NonPotus of the Week:John Scopes Spenser Clark


Scopes was born in 1900 in Kentucky to a big family, he had 4 sisters and he was the only son. He graduated college with a degree in law, but in 1924, Scopes started teaching algebra, chemistry, and physics at Rhea County Central High school. Around this time there was a big debate over whether the theory of evolution should be taught in schools where it contradicted the bible.


Tennessee passed a law that forbid teaching evolution in publicly founded schools. To be part of a trial involving the law, Scopes volunteered by admitting he used a book that supported evolution while substituting. Scopes argument was that "What goes on in the classroom is decided by the student and the teacher." He was put on trial and was represented by Clarence Darrow, one of the more famous lawyers at the time. This resulted in a lot of publicity for the small town. The fact that the town was all religious, they all wanted Scopes to be proven guilty. Long story short Scopes was proven guilty, but his punishment was overturned.


Scopes never taught again after the trial. He went back to school and got his Geology in Chicago. He then started working for oil companies such as Gulf and United Gas. He wrote a book about the monkey trials which was what his trial was called. Scopes died in 1970 because of cancer.


The monkey trials had an immediate effect of books being banned or forced to change their contents if they has the theory of evolution in it, soon after this was changed back and more books started adding the theory of evolution. From this, evolution was being taught more and more, and state laws did not stop the learning because a verdict was already reached in the monkey trials. Another impact scopes and the monkey trials had was the Inherit the Wind Play which tells the story of the monkey trials.

"It was a play for the ages, absolutely magnificent" - George Washington (Probably)

Sources Editors. "John Scopes." A&E Networks Television, 03 Sept. 2014. Web. 19 Dec. 2016.

Boundless. “The Scopes Trial.” Boundless U.S. History Boundless, 12 Dec. 2016. Retrieved 20 Dec. 2016 from

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