Calendar of Cool: John T. Scopes Born

On August 3, 1900, John T. Scopes was born. He became a biology teacher in Tennesee and was accused of teaching Darwin’s theory of evolution. Scopes violated a state law barring the teaching of any theory that countered the Bible’s story of creation.


The 1925 “Scopes Monkey Trial,” pitting prosecutor William Jennings Bryan against defense attorney Clarence Darrow, galvanized the nation. Scopes was found guilty, fined $100, and later acquitted. This trial was so explosive and significant that it served as the inspiration for the stage play and film Inherit the Wind.


While the subject can still be the subject of some controversy, evolution is accepted by the scientific community as the explanation for the incredible diversity of species now living on Earth. 


Scopes stood up for what he believed in so he could teach the next generation of scientists in the face of extreme adversity. Brave and amazingly cool!