Posts Tagged ‘Tennessee Governor – signed Butler Act’


Austin Peay, Tennessee Governor, on 3/13/1925 signed the Butler Act into law. This make it “unlawful for any teacher [in the state system] to teach any theory that denied the story of the divine creation of man as taught in the Bible.” Austin Peay was born in Christian Co. KY, 6/1/1876 to Austin (the governor was “the III”) & Cornelia Peay. A lawyer, he was three times elected as governor & became the only TN governor to die in office, 10/2/1927. This is not his only interest in education – he expanded the school yr to 8 months.

The ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) [misnomer?] sought one to challenge the constitutionality of this & found “their man” (man defending monkey) in John Thomas Scopes (1900-1970). Scopes was defended in the Monkey Trial, the “trial of the century,” (Dayton, TN) by the infamous Clarence Darrow. William Jennings Bryan, 3-time Democratic Presidential, candidate opposed Scopes (& UCLA) & won.

If the reader is not acquainted with Darrow a brief biography would be worth a scan. And on a much more positive note, a full reading of Bryan’s bio (good last name – agree? J ) would also be good. Not saying he was perfect but from my reading the Bible & prayer were a real part of his everyday life. Peay (now “enjoying” a high ranting among TN Governors), Scopes, Darrow, & Bryan are all dead but the differences between Creationists & God-haters (what anti-creationists really are) sadly, still exists.

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