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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.