This Day in History: Evolution in Education; Department of Veterans Affairs Established

Tennessee v. Scopes (1925)

On July 21, 1925, John Thomas Scopes was found guilty of teaching of human evolution in a state-funded school in Dayton, Tennessee.

The case – commonly referred to as the ‘monkey scopes trial’ – was a public battle over Tennessee’s Butler Act, which made it illegal to teach human evolution in public education. It was a proxy for the fundamentalist-modernist debate; it was expected to determine whether science that conflicts with certain religious interpretations would be allowed in schools.

While Scopes was found guilty, the verdict was later overturned. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) financed Scopes’s case.

Evolutionary science was later legislated into public education in 1958 – The National Defense Education Act.

President Herbert Hoover establishes the VA (1930)

On July 21, 1930, President Herbert Hoover consolidated veterans programs and elevated them to a federal administration - creating the Veterans Administration.

Following World War II, due to the exponential increase in the veteran population, Congress enacted the GI Bill – making the VA a major funding and personnel priority.

The Department of Veterans Affairs now manages housing benefits, health-care, unemployment-aid, cemeteries and more for this nation’s veterans and their families.

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