Field of Science

May 5, 1925: Inherit the Wind

On May 5, 1925, high school science teacher John T. Scopes was arrested for teaching evolution in one of Tennessee's public schools. Scopes had agreed to act as defendant in a case intended to test Tennessee's new law prohibiting the teaching of evolution in its public schools. On May 4, the day before Scopes's arrest, the Chatanooga Times had run an ad in which the American Civil Liberties Union offered to pay the legal fees of a Tennessee teacher who was willing to act as a defendant in a test case. Several Dayton residents hatched a plot at a local drugstore. They hoped that a trial of this type would bring much needed publicity to the tiny town of Dayton (by NCSE).

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