DAYTON, Tenn., July 13, 1925 (UP) - With pent up emotions threatening to burst the bounds of legal restraint at any moment, the trial of John T. Scopes was resumed today when Judge Raulston's gavel fell.
Seven hundred spectators, on edge for the clash between William Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow, opposing counsel, which was expected momentarily, shifted nervously on their chairs in the crowded courtroom.
Events over the week-end, the bitter statements exchanged by Bryan and Darrow, the resignation of one Dayton pastor, the ban upon public preaching, had served to rouse both sides in the evolution trial to fever heat.
Court again was opened with a prayer. The judge asked everyone in the courtroom to stand.
Rev. W.A. Moffet, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Dayton, asked God to "guide the judge that he may give wise decisions.
"Bless the jury and the lawyers on both sides, also the principals in the case and those in the audience. We pray that Thy presence may overshadow the proceedings so that the high ideals of justice and truth may prevail in this court."
It was stifling when Judge John R. Neal, chief counsel for the defense, rose to open proceedings. Attorneys and spectators sat in their shirt sleeves, fanning themselves and stirring stickily.
Judge Raulston had to caution the spectators to make less noise. A police captain stood as his elbow, perspiring profusely in his heavy uniform.
Flies droned. Heat waves came in at the open window.
Neal asked the judge to call the defense's motion to dismiss the indictment, but Atty. Gen. Stewart interrupted by asking permission to question one of the jurors further.
The juror, W.A. Gentry, had stated under questioning Friday that he had taught evolution in the schools. He seemed to be on be one of the defense's best hopes.
Clarence Darrow was on his feet with an objection. But Judge Raulston overruled him. The jury, it appeared, had not been sworn.
So the sheriff took the remainder of the jury out of the room and Stewart questioned Gentry, who said he had formed no opinion on the guilt or innocence of Scopes.
The attorney general was satisfied and they called the jury back.
Then it developed that another of the jurors was missing and the trial was delayed while they hunted for him.
Finally, when all was ready, Stewart read the indictment.
At the conclusion of his reading, Neal, for the defense, moved to quash the indictment in a brief statement. He charged that the Tennessee evolution law was unconstitutional and null and void.
He quoted the Tennessee constitution making provision for the fostering of science in the public schools, decreeing freedom of worship and forbidding establishment of a state religion.
Neal's statement was identical with the motion to dismiss filed by the defense several weeks ago and he read from the document previously filed with the court, which he borrowed for the purpose from Stewart.
Major stress was put by the motion on the provisions of the Tennessee constitution. The federal constitution, however, was cited in the opposition to the indictment, Neal reading the fourteenth amendment.
The crowd, as on Friday, was mostly hatless, coatless and necktieless.
A sharp contrast was presented, however, by the women in the room. They were neatly garbed in summery frocks. Many of them rolled their hose. Some wore hats, most of them straw with a flower on them and a few rouged.
Three uniformed policemen from Chattanooga took up posts in the aisles with their clubs under their arms.
Judge Raulston arrived at the courtroom early and inspected a small electric fan, which had been placed there to keep him cool.
Clarence Darrow was the first of the attorneys on either side to reach the courtroom and immediately removed his coat.
Eleven of the jury were in their seats by 8:50. They carried fans bearing an advertisement for tooth paste starting off in big letters, "Do your gums bleed?"
Bryan arrived at 8:50. He was without a coast and wore a shirt with a starched front, no collar and short sleeves. He waved a large palmleaf fan.
Mrs. Bryan, an invalid, matronly woman with white hair and a white dress, was brought into the courtroom in a wheel chair and given a place inside the railing. Her nurse was with her.
Dudley Field Malone looked cool and fresh in spite of a warm brown suit he was wearing.
Just before court opened a messenger shoved his way to John R. Neal and handed him a telegram.
The message read: "Civilization is at stake. Communicate with me by phone at the St. James Hotel, Knoxville, Tenn." Dr. Neal said he did not know the sender.
As Neal swung into his argument for dismissal of the indictment, he charged the anti-evolution law violated the Tennessee constitution by making mandatory the teaching of a particular religious doctrine in the public schools.
Stewart interrupted him from his chair to demand that the jury be taken from the room because "we are getting on dangerous grounds," he said.
Darrow and Malone, Neal and Arthur Garfield Hayes, were on their feet in an instant in opposition. Raulston, however, sided with the prosecution and the jury was led out.
"The court will be more at ease if these questions are not discussed before the jury," said Raulston.
"And we will be less at ease," replied Darrow as he resumed his chair, discontentedly.
Neal resumed his argument.
"This law is so indefinite that no indictment possibly can be based on the law," he said.
"It is so indefinite that it fixes no particular crime. It makes two acts mandatory."
First, teaching a theory contrary to the Bible and, second, that man is descended from a lower order of animals.
The court would have to exercise a legislative power to determine what constitutes a crime under it.
Coming to the argument that the law violates the fourteenth amendment of the federal constitution, Neal said:
"This subject is not a proper thing for any legislature to attempt to make binding. It was not the purpose for which legislatures were created under our constitution to attempt to regulate questions of religion.
"Our founders of the constitution regarded it so important that they laid down a binding rule tat no laws were to be enacted that were to bear on such questions."
Hayes, following Neal, contended that the Tennessee law was unreasonable and violative of Supreme Court precedents. Hayes submitted to the judge a law which he said could be passed if the anti-evolution law is held unconstitutional.
It was identical in form as the anti-evolution law, but it made teaching of the "heliocentric theory" a crime. It forbade teaching the sun was the center of the solar system or any theory which denied that the earth was the center of the universe, "as taught by the Bible."
The penalty provided in Hayes' legislative example was death.