From July 10 to 25, 1925, a young science teacher and football coach named John Scopes stood on trial in Dayton, Tennessee, for reading from the following passage from page 194 of Hunter's Civic Biology (published in 1914) to his high school class:
The great English scientist, Charles Darwin, from this and other evidence, explained the theory of evolution. This is the belief that simple forms of life on the earth slowly and gradually gave rise to those more complex and that thus ultimately the most complex forms came into existence.
Scopes had broken the Butler Act, which stated:
An act prohibiting the teaching of the Evolution Theory in all the Universities, Normals and all other public schools of Tennessee, which are supported in whole or in part by the public school funds of the State, and to provide penalties for the violations thereof.
Let's examine the events and circumstances of one of America's most famous court cases, Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes.