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Dayton

Trip Planner USA  /  Tennessee  /  Dayton
(40+ reviews from 1 attraction)
Historic Sites
Dayton is a city and county seat in Rhea County, Tennessee, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 7,191. The Dayton Urban Cluster, which includes developed areas adjacent to the city and extends south to Graysville, had 10,174 people in 2010.Dayton was the site of the Scopes Trial in 1925 dealing with the creation–evolution controversy.HistoryThe community was originally settled circa 1820 as Smith's Crossroads. In 1877, the town was renamed Dayton, after Dayton, Ohio. The town was incorporated in 1903. Early industry included manufacture of pig iron.Scopes trialIn 1925, the famous Scopes Trial was held in Dayton and, for a period of time, filled the town with hucksters of every description and journalists from around the world. The trial participants included William Jennings Bryan in the role of prosecutor and Clarence Darrow as John T. Scopes' principal defense counsel.Although this trial is often represented as being pivotal in the movement to allow evolution to be taught in American schools, it actually marked the beginning of a major decline in the teaching of evolution which did not start to recover until the early 1960s. Likewise, the Butler Act, which Scopes was supposed to have violated—though it was never invoked again—remained on the books until 1967, when it was repealed by the Tennessee Legislature.
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