How It Started

How It Started

Give your students an entertaining and educational field trip to the historic Rhea County Courthouse and take an in-depth look at the Scopes Trial.


The third week in March each year Rhea Heritage Preservation Foundation (RHPF) presents a one-hour play, HOW IT STARTED, telling the story of the Scopes Trial, including selections of Clarence Darrow’s interrogation of William Jennings Bryan. Following the play, students will participate in a lecture/discussion about the trial and the issues involved, then tour the Scopes Trial Museum in the courthouse.


Students and teachers will receive a study guide, including an annotated bibliography for further study about the trial.


The program is free, thanks to support from Humanities Tennessee and Edfinancial Services, but registration is required. For information about times and dates and to register, email RHPF here.


In addition, the Rhea County Historical Society offers guided tours through the historic Rhea County Courthouse and its Rhea Heritage and Scopes Trial Museum throughout the school year. For information about these tours, contact the Historical Society by phone at 423-493-3225, by email here (, or through their website here. (

Stay in the loop! Join our mailing list.