Evolution in Tennessee Digital History ID 2350

Evolution in Tennessee

Credit: Library of Congress
Media type: cartoon
Museum Number: LC-USZ62-128374
Annotation: This is a "then & now" cartoon. The first panel, labeled "Five Months Ago," shows a scruffy mountain man labeled "Dayton" asleep against the trunk of a mighty oak. The second panel, labeled "Today," shows the same man as a giant, all spruced up in a new suit and hat, speaking into an enormous microphone, saying "This is the life!" He is surrounded by photographers and reporters. The mighty oak has been reduced to a tiny tree. In July 1925, John T. Scopes was tried for violating a Tennessee state law prohibiting the teaching of evolution in the public schools. He was defended by the famous criminal lawyer Clarence Darrow and prosecuted by William Jennings Bryan. The small town of Dayton, Tennessee, became the center of a media circus as it was overrun by reporters, religious fundamentalists, and curious tourists. Scopes lost the case and was fined $100, but his conviction was later overturned on a technicality.
Year: 1925

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