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The Scopes Trial

Primary Source Set

The Scopes Trial (sometimes referred to as the Scopes Monkey Trial) was a 1925 legal case which argued whether human evolution could be taught in public schools. A substitute teacher in Dayton, Tennessee, John T. Scopes, was brought to trial for including evolutionary science in his class curriculum. The Scopes Trial was a highly publicized event that brought the conflict between traditionally religious and more modern scientific views to the forefront. This collection of photos, texts, and accounts from the trial help to give a vivid context for the trial itself, as well as the larger issues of science and religion that Scopes’ case brought into question.

Additional resources for research

  1. Evolution: Scopes Trial, PBS.

  2. This Day in History: Monkey Trial Begins, History.com.

  3. The Scopes Trial, National Humanities Center.

  4. Throwback Thursday: The Scopes Trial, The New York Times.

  5. Epperson v. Arkansas, Cornell University Law School.

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