Rediscovered photos provide a look inside the 1925 Scopes evolution trial
The July afternoon was oppressively hot in Dayton, Tenn. After a steamy morning session in the county courthouse, the judge had ordered that the trial of teacher John T. Scopes be moved outdoors. As the afternoon wore on, more and more townspeople joined the crowd, which eventually numbered at least several hundred. It was the final day before the case was to go to the jury, and, in a calculated move, lead defense attorney Clarence Darrow, 68, called William Jennings Bryan, a member of the prosecution team, to testify for the defense. A famed orator and 3 years younger than Darrow, Bryan was the leader of a fundamentalist campaign against the teaching of human evolution in schools. In dappled shade, Bryan sat in a chair as Darrow stood nearby, firing question after question at the witness. It would become one of the most famous scenes in U.S. legal history. Bryan himself fell ill and died just 6 days later.