PBS film highlights state history

The “Tennesseans: A Volunteer Legacy” will premier July 4, 2015 on East Tennessee PBS. The hour-long film is the first documentary to highlight the events, men and women that earned the state its nickname from the Revolutionary War Battle of Kings Mountain to the modern battlefields of today.

It was shot on location across the country featuring nationally recognized military historians, rare films and photographs that tell a story few know about the state’s military legacy.

“We’re so excited to air this incredible film,” said East Tennessee PBS CEO Vickie Lawson. “It truly provides a never-before-seen glimpse into the lives of the individuals who helped shape our state’s history.”

Funded through a partnership between First Tennessee Bank, Ed Hooper, and Rowland Pictures of Knoxville, this bicentennial story is one of a kind. Hooper had recently premiered his previous film, “Medal of Honor: The History,” when he began searching for an underwriter to fund The Tennesseans.

“Tennessee more or less defined the citizen-soldier in U.S. history and the stories of these men and women need to be preserved,” said Hooper.

Hooper said he went to the sources to make this film possible, including The Department of Defense who “graciously gave access and permission to their people and resources.” He also “ran down private collectors, descendants, national historians, etc.” through a statewide effort from Elizabethton to Memphis.

As any good filmmaker would, Hooper found himself sad to leave even a single story on the cutting room floor.

“I hated what was left on the cutting room floor because you can’t tell all the stories in the time we had,” he said. “The story behind the “Volunteer” nickname is one of the most remarkable legacies in the nation.”

farragut

Admiral Farragut appears in the upcoming PBS hour-long documentary to highlight the events, men and women that earned the state its nickname from the Revolutionary War Battle of Kings Mountain to the modern battlefields of today. Photo submitted.