National Constitution CenterCenturies of Citizenship: A Constitutional Timeline Exhibit
  National Constitution Center Home  
   
  Constitutional
Timeline Home
 
 


Era Overviews

 
  1765-1786  
  1787-1790  
  1791-1824  
  1825-1849  
  1850-1865  
  1866-1885  
  1886-1906  
  1907-1930 >  
  1931-1946  
  1947-1954  
  1955-1969  
  1970-1987  
  1987-  
   
  Help  
   
  Credits  
   
   
     




< Previous Event | Back to Timeline | Next Event >

You are viewing the low-bandwidth version of the Constitutional Timeline. View the broadband version.

1907-1930: We are a diverse nation, confronting our differences

July 21, 1925
The controversial “monkey trial” raises issues that won’t go away

Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan

All of us listening by radio already know. Biology teacher John Scopes has been convicted of violating the Tennessee law that forbids teaching any story of mankind’s creation except the one in the Bible.

What a spectacle the trial proved to be. Outside the courtroom vendors hawked toy monkeys. Those inside heard dramatic speeches by opposing attorneys Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan.

Public schools have no right to teach godless ideas that could undermine children’s faith, thundered Bryan. The government has no right to tell teachers what to teach, shot back Darrow.

Important First Amendment principles are at stake. Today’s verdict won’t end the debate. Nor is it likely to ease the tension that arises each time old and new ideas tug the Constitution in different directions.

Read about it in the New York times

< Previous Event | Back to Timeline | Next Event >


You are viewing the low-bandwidth version. View the broadband version (Flash plug-in and broadband connection required)

 

Home | Feedback | Site Map
525 Arch Street, Independence Mall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19106 ph.215.409.6600
Content Copyright 2006, National Constitution Center. Terms of Use and Privacy Policy