Wednesday, July 20, 2005

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This just arrived from my friend, Ian: Rare, unpublished photographs from 1925 Tennessee vs. John Scopes "Monkey Trial" were recently discovered in the Smithsonian Archives by Marcel C. LaFollette, an independent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.

[Photo Above]

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.


© 2004, 2005, 2006 by GrrlScientist

6 Peer Reviews:

Anonymous Nuthatch said...

We can only hope -- and work to see to it -- that this scene does not repeat itself!

7:50 PM  
Blogger Ms.PhD said...

Oh, evolution, stem cells, roe v. wade... we can kiss them all goodbye and leave the country if things with the supreme court don't turn out well.

On the other hand, I heard a very uplifting story about how many supreme court justices have turned the tables on the people who nominated them... and instead of making the expected, political decisions, actually did what was right! Will wonders never cease. The reporter made some glib comment about how the view from that particular bench can have an effect on people.

random: great quote, btw. i need a wits-sharpener.

10:48 PM  
Blogger John said...

Exactly eighty years after the Scopes Trial, evolution is still under assault in some places. The more things change, the more they stay the same, I guess.

10:55 PM  
Blogger Rexroth's Daughter said...

Just a reminder that in every era there are the narrow minded who are afraid. They impede progress; thwart intellectual efforts; rail against change. Sometimes their numbers are small, so they are merely a nuisance, other times they hold power in the highest offices of the land. They always leave misery and ignorance in their wake.

10:38 AM  
Blogger Smilin' Jack said...

r's d: Yeah, damn those environmentalists. Millions have died of malaria thanks to their ban on DDT.

Or, oops, did you mean the creationists? Yeah, I guess they're pretty evil too, since they're responsible for the misery of...ummm...well, there was probably somebody.

11:38 AM  
Blogger GrrlScientist said...

Nuthatch Absolutely! ... although we do have air conditioning now, so one could argue that this scene will never repeat itself (okay, okay, I am being silly).

Ms PhD I've noticed this too about the Supremes; when given the chance they tend to do the right thing (although there are still those creepy ones who are incapable of such things .. Clarence Thomas comes to mind, for example).

John .. yes, sad, isn't it? Maybe one day, when this country finally grows up, we will be allowed to think for ourselves instead of barfing up the party line on command.

Smilin' Jack .. yeah, right. I guess we can ignore all the enviromental damage done by DDT, which has some breakdown products that act as estrogen disruptors .. whose effects are still being felt to this very day.

And creationists are the cause of MUCH misery, both personal misery and institutionalized misery, in case you hadn't noticed.

On the other hand, why bother to give you the facts when you are much more interested to push your narrow-minded, anti-education agenda on other people's blogs?


1:17 PM  

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