Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Died This Day: John Scopes

Scopes (Oct. 21, 1970 - Aug. 4, 1900) was an American teacher and geologist who was the defendent in the infamous Scopes Monkey Trial. The trial was to challenge the constitutionality of the Butler Act, a Tennesee law signed on March 21, 1925 to prohibit the teaching of evolution in the state's schools.

He took a job at Tennessee high-school in Spring 1924, teaching algebra, chemistry and physics for one year. Then, although he wasn't sure he had actually done any teaching of evolution, at the urging of businessmen wanting publicity for Dayton, Tennessee, he agreed to stand trial in a test case funded by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Although the trial jury voted guilty, on appeal, the verdict was thrown out on a technicality. After the trial Scopes earned a master's degree in geology, and went to work for the Gulf Oil Co., and later United Gas Corp. From here