2009
11.27

As the old saying goes, being spontaneous requires a lot of planning in advance. Two examples: the original Rosa Parks, and of course, the monkey trial:

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) offered to defend anyone accused of teaching the theory of evolution in defiance of the Butler Act. George Rappleyea, who managed several local mines, convinced a group of businessmen in Dayton, Tennessee, a town of 1,756, that the controversy of such a trial would give Dayton much needed publicity. With their agreement, he called in his friend, 24-year-old John T. Scopes, who was Clark County High School’s football coach and had substituted for Principal Ferguson in a science class. Rappleyea asked Scopes to teach the theory of evolution. Rappleyea pointed out that while the Butler Act prohibited the teaching of the theory of evolution, the state required teachers to use a textbook, which explicitly described and endorsed the theory of evolution, and that teachers were therefore effectively required to break the law. Scopes mentioned that while he couldn’t remember if he actually taught evolution in class, he did however go through the evolution chart and chapter with the class. Scopes added to the group “If you can prove that I’ve taught evolution and that I can qualify as a defendant, then I’ll be willing to stand trial.”

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