George Washington Rappleyea
Jul, 1925
George Rappleyea (1894 - 1966) was the prime instigator in challenging Tennessee's anti-evolution law. He believed a trial would generate publicity and tourism for Dayton, Tennessee, which was suffering economically. Rappleyea was a civil engineer who came from New York to Dayton to manage ironworks in the area for out-of-state owners. He and others hatched the plan to challenge the law after he saw an ACLU advertisement in a newspaper offering to defend anyone in Tennessee who would challenge the law. Although not an attorney, he was an open supporter of Scopes, hosted defense lawyers and expert witnesses, and often sat with the defense team during the trial. From the Smithsonian Institution.