Monkeying Around in the 1920's
The Scopes Monkey Trial
Bookseller sells anti-evolution literature during the Scopes Trial in Dayton, Tennessee, 1925.
Jury in the Scopes Monkey Trial.
Newspaper Headline from Scopes Trial.
The prosecution consisted of attorney generals A.T. Stewart and Ben B. McKenzie, as well as federal prosecutor William Jennings Bryan Jr., son of William Jennings Bryan, a long time supporter of the Butler Act (1). The defense consisted of law school dean John Neal, notorious defense lawyer Clarence Darrow, free speech advocate Arthur Garfield Hays, and international divorce attorney Dudley Field Malone (1). The judge, Judge Raulston, was a heavily conservative christian who had attended a sermon by William Jennings Bryan the Sunday after the first day of trial. The trial was heavily anticipated, and the turnout was astounding. Nearly a thousand people, 300 of whom were standing, were in the courthouse to watch the first day of the trial. The trial was moved to the lawn outside of the courthouse from fear that the courthouse floor would collapse under the weight of the spectators.
The trial was heated, and Darrow even went as far suggesting that the judge was biased against the defense, though he later apologized. In a ground breaking move, Darrow called Bryan to the stand to testify as an expert on the Bible, turning Bryan's argument on its head when he admitted that he didn't interpret all parts of the Bible literally, though he had previously claimed he did (1).