William Jennings Bryan was born on March 19,1860 in Salem, Illinois to Silas Lillard Bryan and Mariah Jennings. His parents were devoutly religious. His father was a Methodist and his mother in 1872, became a Baptist. Young William attended Methodist services with his father. In 1874, he attended a revival, was baptized, and joined the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. He became a lawyer in 1883. In 1890 he was a congressman to the U.S. House of Representatives for Nebraska’s 1st District. He served until 1895. In 1896, he ran as a candidate for the President of the United States on the Democratic Party ticket and lost to Republican candidate William Jennings Bryan. In 1900, he ran again only to lose again to William McKinley. In 1908, he attempted a third run for President and again he lost to William Howard Taft. In 1912, he endorsed Woodrow Wilson for President of the United States. For endorsing Wilson, in 1913, he was appointed U.S. Secretary of State. In June 1915, he resigned as U.S. Secretary of State over the Lusitania crisis. By 1920, he turned to Christian fundamentalism, he supported prohibition, women’s suffrage, opposed Evolution, and the Ku Klux Klan. A devout Presbyterian, in 1925, he participated in the prosecution case against John T. Scopes for teaching Evolution in a Tennessee school which violated the Butler Act. Scopes was defended by legendary lawyer, Clarence Darrow, a staunch atheist and notorious leftist. Bryan throughout the trial defended the Biblical version of Creation against Evolution. On July 21,1925, Scopes was convicted and ordered to pay $100. On July 26,1925, Bryan died of a heart attack near Chattanooga, Tennessee. He is interred in Arlington National Cemetery.
William Jennings Bryan: Three time candidate for President and defender of the Biblical version of Creation.