One of the most famous trials in U.S. history took place in a tiny town in Tennessee in 1925. Dayton was the site of what became known as the Scopes Monkey Trial.
The defendant, John T. Scopes, was accused of violating a recently passed state law. This law made it illegal to teach the theory of evolution. Under most circumstances, few people would have paid any attention to the trial.
Several of Dayton's leading citizens saw a chance to put their town on the map. They were successful. Two of the country's top lawyersWilliam Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrowsoon became involved. Dozens of reporters poured into Dayton from all over the country. It was the first trial to receive live media coverage.
Scopes was found guilty. He had to pay a small fine. But the issues about evolution that the trial raised are still debated today.