1925-D BUFFALO 5C MS66

Grading Service: PCGS
SKU: 143075
Cert Number: 45116447

The debate between science and church has been a prevalent part of history, especially as people set out to disprove certain biblical stories; some U.S. laws were even based off of a biblical view in 1925. The biblical policy was certainly not part of every state law, but in places like Tennessee it was illegal to teach evolution in any classroom setting. Under the law it was considered a misdemeanor “to teach any theory that denies the story of the Divine Creation of man as taught in the bible.” So when science teacher John T. Scopes was turned in for doing just that, it became Tennessee’s trial of the century. The infamous Tennessee v. Scopes trial is also referred to as the “Monkey Trial” due to its context. Before the trial started on the July 10, 1925 Scopes gained support from a local businessman, George Rappalyea, who helped escalate the case to the ACLU. As the trial began, people flocked to Dayton and the surrounding area turned into a carnival-like gathering. The preceding judge, Judge John Ralston was a devout Christian man who insisted upon starting the day with prayer. This was an unfortunate circumstance for Scopes’ defense because they planned to utilize science based evidence to win the case, but Ralston would not allow this. Scope’s main defense lawyer, Darrow, quickly switched up the defense and decided it would be best to lose the case and appeal the decision, which would escalate the case to the Supreme Court. With their new tactic, Darrow also humiliated the plaintiff via cross examination. The plaintiff, William Jennings Bryan, a previous presidential candidate and Christian fundamentalist stumbled over bible rhetoric as he was cross-examined. Though Scopes did not actually win the case, in a way they did with humiliation and escalation. Two years later Tennessee’s Supreme Court overturned the verdict, but the constitutionality of the law was not examined until 1968.

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