1925. john scopes was a high school biology teacher in dayton, Tennessee, he was occused of violating tennessee law by teaching the theory of evolution to his students. some religious leaders rejected evolution, saying it denied the word of the Bible. a number of states, including tennessee, passed laws that banned the teaching of Darwin's theory. scopes wanted to challenge the law, so he announced that he taught evolution. the trial became a national sensation. the prosecutor was william jennings bryan, who had run for president 3 times. the defense attorney was clarence darrow, a famous chicago criminal defense lawyer. the trial seemed to pit modern, urban americans against traditional, rural americans. in the end, scopes was conviced and lost his job. laws against teaching evolution remained but were rarely enforced.