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Key Arguments for the Defense
This group should focus on the main arguments put forth by the defense in this case.
Why did they believe Scopes should be acquitted?
In addition, this group should present the key pro-evolution arguments put forth during this time.
Famous Trials in American History: Tennessee vs. John Scopes
Law professor Douglas Linder from the University of Missouri, Kansas City, created this exceptional legal history site. It includes fascinating treatments of over 50 of the most prominent court trials in American history, including the Scopes “Monkey” Trial (1925).
A PBS website created to accompany the American Experience program.
Clash of Cultures in the 1910s and 1920s
An interpretive essay of more than 10,000 words on the culture wars of an earlier day, with approximately 34 documents and 75 images (photographs, cartoons, posters, flyers, and maps), this site, prepared by two Ph.D. history students, contains a section on the Scopes Trial.
H. L. Mencken's Writing on the Scopes Trial
Mencken, a vocal critic of the prosecution, reports on the trial in these articles.
Teaching and Learning About Evolution with the New York Times
Search these databases available through AVL.
History Reference Center
A search for "scopes trial" or the individual names of the major players returns a number of results. Click on the article of interest and on the left-hand side you will see your full text options. You can also find information by searching for subjects "EVOLUTION -- Religious aspects" or "SCOPES, John Thomas -- Trials, litigation, etc.".
Summer for the gods : the Scopes Trial and America's Continuing Debate Over Science and Religion by
Call Number: 345.73 Lar
Publication Date: 1997
Draws from new archival material, as well as historical and legal analysis to examine the many facets of the Scopes trial of 1925 in which the American Civil Liberties Union challenged a controversial Tennessee law banning the teaching of evolution in public schools, and considers the impact of that trial on the continuing debate between religion and science.
The Devil on Trial : Witches, Anarchists, Atheists, Communists, and Terrorists in America's Courtrooms by
Call Number: 345.73 Mar
Publication Date: 2008
Examines five cases throughout history as examples of situations where people have compromised their principles in the name of safety, and covers the Salem witch trials, the Haymarket Affair trial, the Scopes "Monkey" trial, and others.
Sensational Trials of the 20th Century by
Call Number: 347.7 Kra
Publication Date: 1998
Presents accounts of eight significant trials in the twentieth century, including the Scopes trial, Watergate, Brown v. the Board of Education, and the Hinckley trial.
Call Number: 576.8 Nar
Publication Date: 2005
Contains twenty-two essays that provide various perspectives on evolution, discussing the history of evolutionary theory, the controversy over evolution and natural selection, the debate between evolution and creationism, and modern developments and challenges to evolution.
Supreme Court Drama by
Call Number: REF 347.73 Bra
Publication Date: 2001
Profiles approximately 150 cases that have influenced the development of key aspects of law in the United States; grouped according to the legal principle on which they are based, with alphabetical and chronological lists of cases, a guide to the U.S. Supreme Court, a general bibliography, index, and copy of the U.S. Constitution.
The Monkey Trial
Joe Mindy, one of several chimpanzees who appeared in Dayton during the trial. Dressed in a houndstooth sportcoat, tie, spats, and felt hat and carrying a walking stick, the young male chimp performed in circuses. Joe's owner brought him to Dayton from Atlanta, with intention of presenting him as an exhibit for the defense as living proof of evolution. The defense declined the offer, but Joe was a big hit on the streets during his several-day stay in Dayton. (Photo by Underwood and Underwood; courtesy of the Tennessee State Library and Archives.)