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Fiske, John (30 March 1842–04 July 1901), historian and popularizer of evolutionary science, was born Edmund Fisk Green in Hartford, Connecticut, the son of Edmund Brewster Green, a lawyer and Whig journalist, and Mary Fisk Bound. When his father’s political journalism proved financially unsuccessful, his parents sent the one-year-old child to live with his grandmother Polly Fisk Bound and great-grandfather John Fisk in Middletown, Connecticut. In 1855, after the death of his father and his mother’s remarriage to Edwin Wallace Stoughton, a successful lawyer and later U.S. minister to Russia, he agreed to his grandmother’s request that he legally adopt her father’s name since he was the only male descendant of his great-grandfather (he added the “e” to his name in 1860)....

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Scopes, John Thomas (03 August 1900–21 October 1970), high school science teacher, was born in Paducah, Kentucky, the son of Thomas Scopes, a railroad machinist who had immigrated from England, and Mary Alva Brown. When the family moved from Paducah to Danville, Illinois, Scopes and his sisters experienced bigotry firsthand. They were ostracized as southerners who sounded different. They and two African-American students were seated separately from the rest of their class during school assemblies....