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Rhea County Courthouse, Dayton

(4.2/5 based on 35+ reviews on the web)
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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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • My kids really enjoyed walking through the courthouse and learning a bit about history. I would like to visit again during the mock trials. 
  • As an officer of the courts I have visited the building often for document issuance and recording. I am always at awe with the history it holds. The energy is palpable even thought I never enjoyed the...  more »
  • This place is small and very informative, with actual artifacts from the time period and things from the town. Would be great to stop in for a few hours after having lunch.