Dayton, Tennessee


On October 22nd, 2016; Becky (my wife)and I visited Dayton, Tennessee to explore the original courthouse that housed the infamous “Scopes Trial”.  There they had a small visitor’s center in the basement.

Central Tennessee area map

     Here from July 10th to the 21st, 1925, John Thomas Scopes, a county high school teacher, was tried for teaching that man descended from a lower order of animals, in violation of the lately passed state law.

1925 Scopes Trial from inside the courthouse in Dayton, Tennessee

     William Jennings Bryan assisted the prosecution; Clarence Darrow, Arthur Garfield Hays and Dudley Field Malone the defense.

Clarence Seward Darrow (1857-1938), prominent American lawyer (L), defended John Scopes in (1925), who was charged with violating state law forbidding teaching of evolution in public school system. Seated at right, William Jennings Bryan (R), who died a few days after the trial.
Photo taken inside the Dayton, Tennessee historical courthouse, (still in use)

     Scopes was convicted. Later, that decade, the Supreme Court made a ruling that teaching Evolution was legal and creationism was illegal to be taught in a United States Science-Class.

Just outside the historical courthouse in Dayton, Tennessee.

     Above is a picture of the untouched courthouse, along with the court room. This location changed the history of science and how it is taught in the United States.

Front door of the “Scopes Trial” courthouse in Dayton, Tennessee
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