Today in History: Charles Darwin & Teaching Evolution


Today in History–May 5–the Library of Congress features the controversy surrounding teaching Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. On this date in 1925 John Scopes was arrested for teaching evolution in a Tennessee public high school. Originally conceived as both a test case and a publicity stunt, Scopes went to trial and was found guilty. Later, the Tennessee Supreme Court acquitted Scopes but upheld the law prohibiting the teaching of evolution. Learn more about this infamous trial by visiting the Today in History section, then check out related primary sources linked to below.

1925 historical newspaper coverage

In a State Where You Can’t Teach Evolution” 1937 cartoon by Herb Block

Creationism or Evolution? That’s Up to the States” 2000 cartoon by Herb Block

Monkey Trial Timeline PBS American Experience

Human Evolution (Science Tracer Bullet)

Evolution and Revolution: Nature Writer Discusses Darwin Library of Congress Information Bulletin June 2001

The Evolution Controversy  Constitutional Controversies University of Missouri Kansas City

Darwin Getting His Due Library of Congress Blog March 6, 2009

Charles Darwin, Geologist streaming webcast

Charles Darwin image set

Books & other texts by and about Charles Darwin

Topics in Chronicling America: Darwin’s Theory of Evolution

More historical newspaper articles related to Charles Darwin and evolution

Legislation in support of Darwin Day

Related resources