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  • Film

    Monkey Trial

    In 1925, a biology teacher named John Scopes was arrested for teaching evolution in defiance of Tennessee state law. His trial became an epic event of the twentieth century, a debate over free speech that spiraled into an all-out duel between science and religion.

  • Monkey Trial | Article

    John Scopes

    Though he couldn't remember actually teaching Darwin's theory, John Scopes believed in evolution and agreed to the plan.

  • Monkey Trial | Timeline

    Timeline: Monkey Trial

    A timeline of relevent events that occured during the monkey trail.

  • The Site of the Trial: Dayton, Tennessee poster image
    Monkey Trial | Article

    The Site of the Trial: Dayton, Tennessee

    Nestled in the Tennessee River valley, Dayton was only a village of 200 in 1880. By the turn of the century the town was fueled by both industry and agriculture as the Southern Railway line came through, bringing the coal and iron jobs.

  • Monkey Trial | Article

    WGN Radio Broadcasts the Trial

    Quinn Ryan and WGN radio made history in Dayton. The Scopes trial was the first live broadcast of a trial in American history. 

  • Monkey Trial | Article

    The Trial as Folk Event

    Science and religion clashed at the Scopes trial and inspired a unique mythology that reverberates to this day.

  • Monkey Trial | Article

    Clarence Darrow

    In 1925, when he volunteered to defend John Scopes' right to teach evolution, Clarence Darrow had already reached the top of his profession. 

  • Monkey Trial | Article

    The Jazz Age

    The Scopes trial was a signature event of the Jazz Age. It had that "ballyhoo" spirit so typical of the 1920s.

  • Monkey Trial | Article

    The American Civil Liberties Union

    When the state of Tennessee passed a law making it a crime to teach Darwin's theory of evolution in public schools, Roger Baldwin saw it as an opportunity and became executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, a fledgling organization devoted to individual rights.

  • Monkey Trial | Article

    The American Drugstore

    It began over cokes and phosphates in a drugstore in Dayton, Tennessee. A little scheme to boost the local economy exploded into the trial of the century.

  • Monkey Trial | Article

    Fundamentalism and the Social Gospel

    American fundamentalism and the social gospel are two distinct religious movements with radically different goals.

  • Sister Aimee | Article

    McPherson On Trial

    Bryan won the battle, and John Scopes was found guilty of teaching evolution. But McPherson would also be punished.

  • Monkey Trial | Article

    William Jennings Bryan

    William Jennings Bryan stepped off the train at Dayton in July of 1925, ready to fight for a "righteous cause."

  • Digital Short

    The "Scopes Monkey Trial"

    In 1925, the State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes pit traditional Christian beliefs against evolution.


  • Interview: Bryan, Darrow, and Great Speeches poster image
    Monkey Trial | Article

    Interview: Bryan, Darrow, and Great Speeches

    In 1999, Stephen E. Lucas surveyed his peers to compile a list of the top 100 American speeches of the twentieth century. Here he discusses good speechmaking, and the speaking skills of William Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow.

  • Film

    Sister Aimee

    Sister Aimee tells the dramatic life story Aimee Semple McPherson, the controversial, charismatic, wildly popular evangelist who was instrumental in bringing conservative Protestantism into mainstream culture and American politics.


  • Sister Aimee | Article

    The Fight for Genesis

    The conflict between the story of the world's creation in the Book of Genesis and Charles Darwin's account of it in Origin of Species would remain a central issue in her life. 

  • Film

    God in America

    Inside the tumultuous 400-year history of the intersection of religion and public life in America — from AMERICAN EXPERIENCE and FRONTLINE. This six-hour series examines how religious dissidents helped shape the American concept of religious liberty and the controversial evolution of that ideal in the nation's courts and political arena.

  • Monkey Trial | Article

    The Leopold and Loeb Trial

    In the Leopold and Loeb trial of 1924, attorney Clarence Darrow achieved what many thought impossible. He saved the lives of two cold-blooded child-killers with the power of a speech.

  • Woodrow Wilson | Article

    William Jennings Bryan

    Before Woodrow Wilson became the standard bearer for the Democratic Party, that honor belonged to William Jennings Bryan.