Scopes Trial


Scopes Trial

(July 10–21, 1925) Widely publicized trial (called the “Monkey Trial”) in Dayton, Tenn. John T. Scopes (1900–70), a high-school teacher, was charged with teaching Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, which violated a state law prohibiting the teaching of any doctrine that denied the divine creation of humans. The trial was broadcast live on radio and attracted worldwide interest. The prosecutor was William Jennings Bryan; the defense attorney was Clarence Darrow. The judge limited arguments to the basic charge to avoid a test of the law's constitutionality and a discussion of Darwin's theory. Scopes was found guilty and fined $100; he was later acquitted on the technicality that he had been fined excessively. The law was repealed in 1967.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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