Friday, October 10, 2008

Scopes Trial Photos

Boing Boing reports that the Smithsonian Institution Archives recently added 39 photographs from the State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes trial to Flickr. According to the Archives, the negatives were discovered eighty years after the trial and then restored in 2005.

In 1925, a Tennessee law passed prohibiting the teaching of evolution in public schools. John Scopes accepted the ACLU's offer to defend him if he challenged the law. Scopes was arrested, and the "Monkey Trial" quickly became a media circus. William Jennings Bryan prosecuted and Clarence Darrow defended Scopes. The fierce exchanges became legendary and inspired the play Inherit the Wind, which later became a movie starring Spencer Tracy. Scopes was convicted and fined $100, however the fine was overturned by a higher court. The law was repealed in 1967.

For more information, check out one of the many books on the subject or find more primary sources using the library's research databases:
Also visit PBS's American Experience Online to see the film Monkey Trial, hear monkey themed music, and much more!

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