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The Scopes 'Monkey' Trial

Updated: Jul 1

#01 Science in History

5th May 1925

In Tennessee, USA, football coach and sometime substitute teacher John T. Scopes is arrested for teaching human evolution, violating a state law (The Butler Act). The Act prohibited the teaching of evolution since evolution 'denied divine creation as taught by the Bible'.

At the end of the trial in July (known forever as the Scopes "Monkey" Trial), Scopes was found guilty and fined $100 (later overturned on appeal). The Butler Act ‘survived’ for another 40 years.

John Scopes a month before the trial.

(From the Smithsonian Institution Archives)

Interestingly, after the trial, Scopes said he was a teacher of Maths and Physics and didn't recall ever teaching Biology...


Like to know more?

On the Web…

A good overview about the trial


From The Smithsonian



YouTube video from The Smithsonian with archive footage