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Rhea County Clerk, Dayton

The Rhea County Courthouse, located in Dayton, Tennessee was the scene of the Scopes Trial of July 1925, in which teacher John T. Scopes faced charges for including Charles Darwin's theory of evolution in his public school lesson. The trial became a clash of titans between the lawyers William Jennings Bryan for the prosecution and Clarence Darrow for the defense, and epitomizes the tension between fundamentalism and modernism in a wide range of aspects of American society.Rhea County MuseumA $1-million project which restored the second-floor courtroom to the way it looked during the Scopes trial was completed in 1979. The Rhea County Museum, also called the Scopes Trial Museum, is located in its basement and contains such memorabilia as the microphone used to broadcast the trial, trial records, photographs, and an audiovisual history of the trial. Every July local people re-enact key moments of the trial in the courtroom. In front of the courthouse stands a commemorative plaque erected by the Tennessee Historical Commission: 2B 23 THE SCOPES TRIAL
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  • We walked through the museum on Sunday morning. It was ostensibly closed, but they let us walk through as another party had arranged a special visit that morning. Riding their coat tails, we got to se...  more »
  • We went to the play "Frontpage News" presented in the actual courtroom where the Scopes Monkey Trial took place. It was fantastic. Well written and well performed. This only happens during the Scopes ...  more »
  • We traveled to Dayton, Tennessee for the express purpose of visiting the Rhea County Courthouse where the Scopes "Monkey Trial" was conducted. The Courthouse bore a sign that said, "Read your Bible", ...  more »

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