One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A trial of a teacher for teaching evolutionary theories contrary to the laws of certain states of the United States, specifically that of J. T. Scopes in Tennessee in 1925.
1920s; earliest use found in The Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune. From monkey + trial, so called on account of the controversy surrounding the suggestion that humans are related to other primates.
monkey trial/ˈmʌŋkɪ ˌtrʌɪəl/
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