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William Jennings Bryan

scopes trial democratic

Bryan, William Jennings (1860–1925), U.S. political leader, orator, and lawyer. After serving in Congress in 1891–95, he ran unsuccessfully as Democratic candidate for president in 1896, 1900, and 1908. He was secretary of state under Woodrow Wilson in 1913–15. His famous “Cross of Gold” speech at the 1896 Democratic convention defended free silver. A Christian fundamentalist, he assisted in the prosecution at the Scopes Trial in 1925, when John Scopes was convicted for teaching evolution in public schools in Dayton, Tenn. Bryan was also a supporter of the income tax and of women's suffrage.

See also: Scopes trial; Darrow, Clarence Seward.

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