Scopes Trial  

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July 10, 1925 - Scopes Trial: In Dayton, Tennessee, the so-called "Monkey Trial" begins with John T. Scopes, a young high school science teacher, accused of teaching evolution in violation of a Tennessee state law.

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The "Scopes Trial" (Scopes v. State, 152 Tenn. 424, 278 S.W. 57 (Tenn. 1925), often called the "Scopes Monkey Trial") was a watershed in the creation-evolution controversy that pitted lawyers William Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow against each other (the latter representing teacher John Thomas Scopes) in an American legal case that tested a law passed on March 13, 1925, which forbade the teaching, in any state-funded educational establishment in Tennessee, of "any theory that denies the story of the Divine Creation of man as taught in the bible, and to teach instead that man has descended from a lower order of animals." This is often interpreted as meaning that the law forbade the teaching of any aspect of the theory of evolution.

John Scopes, a high school teacher, was arrested for teaching evolution from a chapter in a textbook which showed ideas developed from those set out in Charles Darwin's book The Origin of Species. The famous trial was made infamous by the fictionalized accounts given in the 1955 play Inherit the Wind, the 1960 Hollywood motion picture and the 1965, 1988 and 1999 television films of the same name.

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