On This Day

John T. Scopes

Teacher Convicted for Teaching Evolution John T. Scopes

Full Name: John Thomas Scopes
Profession: Teacher Convicted for Teaching Evolution

Nationality:
United States of America
American

Why Famous: John T Scopes was the young school teacher caught up in the infamous 1925 "Monkey Trial" over the teaching of evolution in Tennessee.

In 1925 Tennessee had passed the Butler Act, prohibiting any teaching that denied the divine right of God. The American Civil Liberties Union ask Scopes to be the test case in court. William Jennings Bryan was the lead prosecutor and Clarence Darrow led the defense. Scopes was eventually found guilty and fined $100. On appeal the state Supreme Court acquitted Scopes on a technicality.

The trial did much to publicize the theory of evolution in America. The Butler act itself wasn't appealed until 1967. Scopes disliked the publicity and eventually left teaching to work in the oil industry.

Born: August 3, 1900
Birthplace: Paducah, Kentucky, USA

Generation: Lost Generation
Chinese Zodiac: Rat
Star Sign: Leo

Died: October 21, 1970 (aged 70)
Cause of Death: Cancer

Historical Events

  • 1925-05-05 Dayton teacher John T. Scopes arrested for teaching evolution in Tennessee
  • 1925-07-10 Jury selection takes place in US John T. Scopes evolution trial
  • 1925-07-21 John T. Scopes found guilty of teaching evolution in the “Scopes monkey trial” in Dayton, Tennessee, fined $100 and costs
  • 1927-01-15 Tennessee Supreme Court overturns (on a technicality) John T. Scopes' guilty verdict for teaching evolution, but the law itself remains in force

Famous Educators