On this day in history - July 10th, 1925 - WDAM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

On this day in history - July 10th, 1925

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William Jennings Bryan (left) and Clarence Darrow at the trial William Jennings Bryan (left) and Clarence Darrow at the trial
John T. Scopes John T. Scopes
HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

On this day in history - July 10th, 1925 - The Scopes "Monkey Trial" begins.

The American Civil Liberties Union funded the Scopes Trial in Dayton, Tennessee in order to test the Butler Act, a law passed in Tennessee that made it illegal to teach evolution in public schools.

John T. Scopes was a substitute biology teacher, and he was not even sure if had actually taught evolution when he substituted, but he agreed to be charged so the case could be set up.

Two of the biggest lawyers in the country at the time, Clarence Darrow and former presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan put the trial at the forefront of national news. Darrow defended Scopes; Bryan argued for the prosecution.

At one point in the trial, Darrow called Bryan to the stand to testify as a "Biblical expert." The two men entered into a highly dramatic and heated exchange that resulted in the judge ending proceedings for the day.

The jury convicted Scopes and the judge fined him $100. The trial is remembered for bringing the Fundamentalist-Modernist argument into national news.