Scopes Trial Notes
A famous orator, William Jennings Bryan was 65 when he joined the prosecution team in the Scopes trial. Bryan was a a leading fundamentalist, traveling widely to warn against "the menace of Darwinism."
Clarence Darrow was 68 when he agreed to act as John Scopes' defense attorney. At the time, he was the most famous criminal defense lawyer in the country, and a very popular public speaker. His favorite topic was anticlericalism.
Despite the hopes of organizers, the trial didn't draw tourists. But locals turned out in droves. Above, girls from the Dayton area display monkey doll souvenirs at the courthouse.
The Scopes trial also inspired music. The excerpt below is from the song "The John T. Scopes Trial," by recording artist Vernon Dalhart:
This was the first U.S. trial broadcast live over a national radio network.
Defense attorney Darrow cross-examines Bryan, trying to get him to admit the bible is open to interpretation. One of the most famous scenes in American legal history, it took place on the courthouse lawn due to the summer heat.
Seated under the WGN microphone is H.L. Mencken, who covered the trial for theBaltimore Sun.