Start date: 1925
End date: Jul 21, 1925
Judges sitting: John T. Raulston
William Jennings Bryan (seated at left) being interrogated by Clarence Seward Darrow, during the trial of the State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes, July 20, 1925. That Monday afternoon, because of the extreme heat, Judge Raulston moved court proceedings outdoors. 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 photographer, appears to be Scopes. The court reporters are seated at the table. Creator/Photographer: Watson Davis Medium: Black and white photographic print Dimensions: 3 in x 4.25 in Culture: American Geography: USA Date: 1925 Persistent URL: photography.si.edu/SearchImage.aspx?id=5269 Repository: Smithsonian Institution Archives Collection: Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes Trial Photographs – During 1925, Watson Davis (1896-1967), Science Service managing editor, took numerous photographs while covering the State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes trial as a reporter. In what was dubbed “The Trial of the Century,” Scopes was tried and convicted for violating a state law prohibiting the teaching of the theory of evolution. William Jennings Bryan served on the prosecution team, and Clarence Darrow defended Scopes. Almost eighty years later, the nitrate negatives, including portraits of trial participants, and images from the trial itself and significant places in Dayton, were discovered in archival material donated to the Smithsonian by Science Service in 1971. Marcel C. LaFollette, an independent scholar, historian and Smithsonian volunteer uncovered these rare, previously unpublished photographs of the 1925 Tennessee vs. John Scopes “Monkey Trial” in the Smithsonian Institution Archives (SIA). In 2005, SIA restored fifty-two of the negatives with funds granted by the Smithsonian Women’s Committee. Included here are thirty-nine of the images. All images belong to the Record Unit 7091: Science Service, Records, 1902-1965 collection of SIA. 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. LaFollette identified and dated each of these images, and has published a new book highlighting these and other images from the trial entitled, Reframing Scopes: Journalists, Scientists, and Lost Photographs from the Trial of the Century, University Press of Kansas, 2008.
Also on this day,
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