Smithsonian Releases never-Seen-Before Scopes Trial Photographs
This just arrived from my friend, Ian: Rare, unpublished photographs from 1925 Tennessee vs. John Scopes "Monkey Trial" were recently discovered in the Smithsonian Archives by Marcel C. LaFollette, an independent scholar, historian and Smithsonian volunteer. In 2005, the Smithsonian Institution restored fifty-two of the negatives with funds granted by the Smithsonian Women's Committee. The linked page shows twelve of these images. All photographs were taken by Watson Davis, Managing Editor of Science Service, while he was in Dayton, Tennessee, June 4-5, 1925, and July 10-22, 1925.
John Thomas Scopes was tried and convicted for violating a state law prohibiting the teaching of the theory of evolution in 1925. William Jennings Bryan served on the prosecution team, and Clarence Darrow defended Scopes.
July 20, 1925 was an extremely hot Monday afternoon, so Judge Raulston moved the court proceedings outdoors. This is one of the photographs taken from the proceedings that day. The session was held on a platform that had been erected at the front of the Rhea County Courthouse to accommodate ministers who wanted to preach during the time of the trial. Defense lawyers for Scopes (John R. Neal, Arthur Garfield Hays, and Dudley Field Malone) are visible seated to the extreme right. One of the men at left, with his back to the camera, appears to be Scopes. The court reporters are seated at the table. The photographer appears to have been standing on the platform directly behind Scopes.
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