Scopes Trial Centennial Set For 2025

  • Thursday, April 11, 2024
  • Jerry Summers

Beginning March 21-22, 2025 at Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee, the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Rhea County’s most famous (or infamous) trial in America’s legal history will take place.

The date of 2025 is no typo or mistake but is a deliberate effort to continue the recognition of the unique and historical events that have many fact and fiction turns.

Pulitzer Prize winning author, Edward J. Larson, in the field of History for his book, “Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America’s Continuing Debate Over Science and Religion” (1997) will be one of the featured participants at the college founded after the actual July trial.

Through the next several months an attempt will be made to bring to light some of the known and unknown activities and individuals that were actively involved in 1925.

A centennial committee comprised of representatives of the Rhea Heritage Preservation Foundation, Rhea County Historical Society, Bryan College, and the Rhea Economic and Tourism Council chaired by local historian Tom Davis at is coordinating the various events that will be reported in subsequent articles.

On July 17-18 a five session Symposium on Law and Science will include a dinner on Thursday and a reenactment of the actual trial on Friday at the location where the events took place.

The Rhea County Courthouse is on the national preservation registry with a renovated Scopes Trial Museum in the basement andshould be perpetually preserved in recognition of its special place that the events of 1925 have in the history of the jurisprudence of Rhea County, Tennessee, and America.

(A visit to either (or both) of the March 21-22 or July 17-18 celebration should be well worth the trip to Dayton!)





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