The 1925 Scopes Trial   




    Clarence Darrow at the 1925 Scopes Trial

      In 1925, the small town of Dayton, Tennessee became the focus of the world for eleven days during what was called the “Trial of the Century”.  John Scopes, a local school teacher, was put on trial for teaching human evolution in a high school biology class, a violation of a recent Tennessee Law banning such teachings in public schools. The trial soon took on a carnival like atmosphere as two major figures in American Culture, William Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow, came to Dayton to argue the case against each other.

      THE TASK:


    Discover the story behind the Scopes “Monkey” Trial

    Use Google and YouTube to access the websites listed below.  Enter your search as indicated and check the web address to confirm you are in the right place.


    Google: umkc butler act


    ·        Read the description of the Butler Act and answer the question below

    1.     What was The Butler Act and who was Representative Butler?


    Google: inherit 1925


    2.     Read the first section; “Setting the Stage: The Butler Law.” What is fundamentalism?  Why would fundamentalists have a problem with Darwin’s theory of evolution?

    Google: nytimes scopes indicted in Tennessee


    ·        This NY Times article will help answer the question below.

    3.     What events in May of 1925 got the trial started and who was involved?


    YouTube: The Scopes "Monkey" Trial - A Documentary

     To answer question 4 and 5 watch the video:



    4.     Who is William Jennings Bryan and why was he selected to help prosecute this case?

    5.     Who is Clarence Darrow and why was he selected to defend John Scopes?

    Google: nytimes scopes trial July 21


    ·        Read this NY Times article to answer the question below.

    6.     What was the outcome of the Scopes Trial?

    7.     Based on the information you’ve gained from this assignment, which side of the argument would you choose?  Write a paragraph arguing either for or against the teaching of evolution in public schools.