The Notorious Butler Act In Tennessee
On this date in 1925, the Tennessee state legislature passed the Butler Act, which forbade the teaching of evolution in Tennessees public schools, preferring instead that the states schools teach creationism, which held that God created all living things, no matter how simple or complex. A court battle to test the mettle of the law ensued that summer, commonly known as the Scopes Trial or the Scopes Monkey Trial. Clarence Darrow defended substitute teacher and coach John Scopes against charges of teaching evolution, while William Jennings Bryan led the prosecution. After a sensational week-long trial, Scopes was found guilty and ordered to pay a 100 dollar fine. The Tennessee legislature repealed the Butler Act in 1967.
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