In July 1925, TIME described in detail the atmosphere of the trial of high school teacher John Scopes, "alleged violator of the state's antievolution law, bewildered instrument of Science and Faith which have accidentally chosen Dayton as their battleground and in whose wake has come the usual camp-following of freaks, fakes, mountebanks and parasites of publicity." The high-profile case had come about because the ACLU, opposed to Tennessee's new law barring the teaching of evolution, wanted it challenged. And so 24-year-old Scopes went to court. William Jennings Bryan faced off against Clarence Darrow. And H.L. Mencken had a field day with the "monkey trial."
It wasn't long before Scopes was found guilty, and fined $100. When the case was appealed, the conviction was reversed on a technicality but the law itself remained intact, and was only repealed in 1967. Still, the 1925 showdown put the conflict between biblical literalism and Darwin's theory a conflict that manifests itself even today on the global stage.