"The most important thing to understand about the Scopes trial (wiki) was that it was a publicity stunt. There were no fundamentalist preachers trolling the hallways of Dayton’s schools hunting for teachers who were violating Tennessee’s prohibition on teaching evolution.
"By Southern standards, Dayton was relatively progressive," said Douglas Linder, a professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City law school who maintains the exhaustively detailed Famous Trials Web site, from which some of this account is adapted. "Evolution had been taught in the classroom for a couple of years without any controversy."
The American Civil Liberties Union had published an offer to defend anyone willing to challenge the statute, and Scopes, a football coach and substitute teacher at Rhea County High School, volunteered at the behest of prominent Dayton residents who thought a show trial would be a good way to get attention."
-- MSNBC (May 2005); also a bit more here.