Anniversary of the famous Scopes “Monkey” trial
On July 21, 1925, the famous Scopes Monkey trial over teaching evolution in public schools concluded. Mostly remembered today was the clash between two legendary public figures. But the legal fight didn’t end that day in Tennessee.
In the Scopes case, high school biology teacher John Scopes was charged with illegally teaching the theory of evolution in violation of a state law championed by William Jennings Bryan.
The 11-day trial was broadcast live on the radio, a first for that medium, and it generated an enormous amount of national attention. The noted journalist H.L. Mencken covered the affair, coining the phrase “monkey trial” and other terms that became part of the trial’s lore.
It took the jury nine minutes to convict Scopes. The judge fined Scopes $100, and the ACLU said it would appeal the decision. (National Constitution Center)
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