Henry Mencken Arrives in Dayton, Is Credited with Creating the Monkey Trial Name Hot

Scopes Monkey Trial: Journalist Henry Louis Mencken arrives in Dayton, Tennessee, with four bottles of scotch and a typewriter to report on the Scopes Monkey Trial.

In American culture, H.L. Mencken is a defender of everything modern and scientific. His columns frequently mock the South, the uneducated, and especially fundamentalist Christians.

He doesn't have high hopes for John Scopes or science at this trial. "It was obvious," he writes on the first day of the proceeding, "that the jury would be unanimously hot for Genesis."

Mencken will continue to write sharp, critical reports about Dayton, about Tennessee, and about fundamentalist Christianity during the trial — and his reports will be carried by publications all over America.

In fact, H.L. Mencken is the one to give this trial the name "Monkey Trial."


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