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John Scopes is best known as the Tennessee educator found guilty of breaking the law for teaching evolution in his class room.
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On the opposing side, former presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan had come to town to help the prosecution. Bryan was called "The Great Commoner" for his support of the working class.
The trial made headlines with reporters from coast-to-coast camped out in the small Tennessee town. Dayton was a small, religious community, which led many, including writer H.L. Mencken,
to believe that a guilty verdict was a foregone conclusion. Still both Darrow and Bryan gave impressive orations during the trial. Darrow even put Bryan on the witness stand. In the court, Darrow grilled Bryan about stories from the Bible. After several days of testimony, the jury took only minutes to decide Scopes's fate. He was found guilty, but his conviction was later overturned.
Scopes never taught again after the trial. He returned to his studies, earning a master's degree in geology from the University of Chicago. Settling down, Scopes married and had two children. He spent the rest of his career working for such companies as Gulf Oil and United Gas.
In the late 1960s, Scopes wrote about his life and his experiences as part of the famed Scopes "Monkey" Trial in Center of the Storm. He died of cancer on October 21, 1970, in Shreveport, Louisiana.
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