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Trip Planner USA  /  Tennessee  /  Dayton

Dayton

4.8
Historic Sites · Hiking Trails · Parks
Dayton is a city and county seat in Rhea County, Tennessee, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 7,191. The Dayton Urban Cluster, which includes developed areas adjacent to the city and extends south to Graysville, had 10,174 people in 2010.Dayton was the site of the Scopes Trial in 1925 dealing with the creation–evolution controversy.HistoryThe community was originally settled circa 1820 as Smith's Crossroads. In 1877, the town was renamed Dayton, after Dayton, Ohio. The town was incorporated in 1903. Early industry included manufacture of pig iron.Scopes trialIn 1925, the famous Scopes Trial was held in Dayton and, for a period of time, filled the town with hucksters of every description and journalists from around the world. The participants included William Jennings Bryan in the role of prosecutor and Clarence Darrow as the principal defense counsel. The trial was over the issue of whether evolution should be taught in public schools. John T. Scopes, the defendant in the trial, was a local science teacher who was recruited by George Rappleyea to begin to teach evolution in his science class, despite it being against Tennessee law at that time. Rappleyea believed that this conflict would create an enormous amount of publicity for the town, and he was absolutely right. The town bustled with activity as people began to flock from near and far to hear the verdict on this controversial issue.
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