Colloquially known as the “Monkey Trial,” the Tennessee v. John Scopes trial ended on July 21, 1925, but 89 years later, the American public is still debating on where it stands with religion and science education.
John Scopes, a public school teacher, was charged by the state for teaching evolution because one of its laws prohibited any public school curricula that contradicted creationism. The trial began on July 10, 1925, and Scopes pled not guilty. Along with other members of the community, Scopes had planned the curriculum as a publicity stunt.
Eighty-nine years ago today, Scopes was found guilty and sentenced to pay a $100 fine — an estimated $1,300, when adjusted for inflation.
After an appeal to the Tennessee Supreme Court, Scopes’ verdict was overturned in January 1927. However, evolution and creationism curricula are still debated. According to a 2005 Gallup poll, 63 percent of people polled would not be upset if evolution was taught in public schools, while 76 percent would not be upset if creationism was taught in public schools.
Video courtesy of Historic Films Stock Footage Archive, via Youtube