Get gruesome with Jack Neely

KNOXVILLE – In a Brown Bag Lecture on Wednesday, November 8, 2017, at noon, local historian Jack Neely will explore the topic of epidemics and major outbreaks in East Tennessee, including the Plague of 1838 and the Spanish Flu of 1918-1919. The program is presented by the East Tennessee Historical Society in partnership with the Knox County Public Library and is part of the National Endowment for the Arts’ Big Read.

Jack Neely is a well-known local author, historian, and the executive director of the Knoxville History Project.

The program is presented in partnership with the Knox County Public Library and is free and open to the public. The lecture will be held at the East Tennessee History Center, 601 S. Gay Street, Knoxville. Guests are invited to bring a “Brown Bag” lunch and enjoy the lecture. Soft drinks will be available.

For more information on the lecture, exhibitions, or museum hours, call 865-215-8824 or visit the website at www.EastTNHistory.org.


ETHS presents students’ documentaries

(Knoxville, TN) East Tennessee History Day this year will include an ETHS Brown Bag Lecture with documentaries by student winners at noon, Wednesday, August 9, 2017.

The National History Day (NHD) competition is an annual contest for middle and high school students. Each year middle and high school students advance from school, district, and state levels to compete in the national finals at College Park, Maryland. East Tennessee students have proven amazingly competitive. This program will feature video documentaries by East Tennessee students who have won first place or scored high in nationals.

It is especially significant that these entries are based on local stories: a family farm lost to a TVA Dam, a 1929 strike by women workers at a rayon plant in Elizabethton, and the story of a minister/physician who left a lucrative career to establish a mission in the mountains of Sevier County, where his many baby deliveries included the little girl who grew up to become Dolly Parton. Some 500,000 students participate nationally. ETHS is the coordinator for the East Tennessee Region, an affiliate of the national contest.

The program is sponsored by the Gentry Griffey Funeral Chapel & Crematory and is free and open to the public. The lecture will begin at noon at the East Tennessee History Center, 601 S. Gay Street, Knoxville. Guests are invited to bring a “Brown Bag” lunch and enjoy the lecture. Soft drinks will be available.

For more information on the lecture, exhibitions, or museum hours, call 865-215-8824 or visit the website at www.EastTNHistory.org.


Museum wins TAM President’s Award

The Museum of East Tennessee History was recently selected to receive the 2017 President’s Award, the highest project-based recognition presented by the Tennessee Association of Museums (TAM), for the Come to Make Records: Knoxville’s Contribution to American Popular Music exhibition.

This exhibit also won TAM Awards of Excellence in the categories of best temporary exhibition and audiovisual component for the introductory film produced by East Tennessee PBS. The President’s Award recipient is chosen from the top five scoring awards and the winner determined by the votes of the past presidents. The awards were presented at the recent Tennessee Association of Museums Conference held in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

Come to Make Records was organized by the East Tennessee Historical Society in partnership with the Knox County Public Library and the Tennessee Archive of Moving Image and Sound, a division of the Calvin M. McClung Historical Collection, as a temporary exhibition at the Museum of East Tennessee History and was on display April through October, 2016.

Visit www.eastTNhistory.org.


History Museum hosts holiday event

The East Tennessee Historical Society will host a Holiday Open House on Saturday, December 10, 2016, with entertainment by the Smokyland Sound Chorus of the Greater Knoxville Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society. Activities include craft demonstrations and the sale of handmade items, free ornament and craft making for the kids, and holiday refreshments. Local crafter Karen Micheletta will have a selection of her handmade items made from antique quilts to purchase.

ETHS staff will lead a special activity called “A Christmas Story: Traditions Old and New from Me to You,” where audience members, young and old, will contribute to a composition of Christmas memories from yesterday and today to create a unique Christmas story or poem.

Visitors are invited to browse the ETHS Museum Store for a 10% discount on a great selection of traditional gifts, history books, and children’s items. The 10 percent public discount is good for this day only. ETHS members receive a 10 percent discount throughout the year and 15% off throughout the month of December.

Holiday Open House events are free and open to the public from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. The Museum of East Tennessee is located at the East Tennessee History Center, 601 S. Gay Street, Knoxville.

For more information, visit www.eastTNhistory.org or call 865-215- 8824.


Authors to speak on TN history

Tennessee Technological University professors Calvin Dickinson and Michael Birdwell will discuss their new book People of the Upper Cumberland: Achievements and Contradictions in a Brown Bag Lecture at noon on Wednesday, October 12, 2016. The anthology, recently named the “Tennessee History Book of the Year” by the Tennessee Library Association, presents a complex view of the rich history and culture of the Tennessee-Kentucky Upper Cumberland, an area composed of the 24 counties that mostly border the eastern half of the Cumberland River.
Birdwell and Dickinson will discuss the history of the region, politicians, moonshiners, changing medical practices, women’s roles, race relations, and more. Also featured will be a few of the Upper Cumberland’s most famous residents, Cordell Hull, John Gore, John Catron, Charles Faulkner Bryan, and Champ Ferguson. The book will be available for purchase and signing by Dickinson and Birdwell following the lecture.

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Dr. Michael E. Birdwell is a professor of history at Tennessee Technological University and the author of several books, including Celluloid Soldiers: Warner Brothers Campaign against Nazism and Rural Life and Culture of the Upper Cumberland. Birdwell also serves as the chair of the Tennessee Great Wars Commission. Dr. W. Calvin Dickinson is a professor emeritus of history at Tennessee Technological University. He currently serves on the Tennessee Historical Commission and has written or co-authored more than 22 books, including Sister States, Enemy States: The Civil War in Kentucky and Tennessee and Tennessee: State of the Nation.

The program is sponsored by Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC and is free and open to the public. The lecture will begin at noon at the East Tennessee History Center, 601 S. Gay Street, Knoxville. Guests are invited to bring a “Brown Bag” lunch and enjoy the lecture. Soft drinks will be available.

For more information on the lecture, exhibitions, or museum hours, call 865-215-8824 or visit the website at www.EastTNHistory.org.


Lecture highlights radio history

(Knoxville, TN) For decades, Julian Burke has collected unique pieces of broadcasting equipment, including the original announcer microphones from WNOX, the legendary Knoxville radio station known as the “Cradle of Country Music.” In a Brown Bag Lecture on Wednesday, September 14, 2016, at noon, Burke will share early history and artifacts from WNOX’s studio.

The lecture is held in conjunction with the exhibition, Come to Make Records: Knoxville’s Contributions to American Popular Music, on display at the Museum of East Tennessee History through October 30. The exhibit examines the 1929 and 1930 Brunswick Records’ Vocalion label’s recordings that took place at the St. James Hotel in downtown Knoxville and invited locals to come make records. These old-time, jazz, blues, and gospel recordings added Knoxville’s voice to American popular music and inspired the next generation of country music stars. The exhibition features an array of artifacts, videos, sound recordings, and photographs showcasing East Tennessee’s diverse musical heritage and the importance of WNOX Radio.

Julian Burke is recognized locally as one of the foremost experts on old televisions and radios. He has been a lifelong lover of electronics and started collecting old radios by going door to door at age 7, and he hasn’t stopped since. By 13, he was repairing radios and televisions around Knoxville.

The program is sponsored by Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC, and is and free and open to the public. The lecture will begin at noon at the East Tennessee History Center, 601 S. Gay Street, Knoxville. Guests are invited to bring a “Brown Bag” lunch and enjoy the lecture. Soft drinks will be available.

For more information on the lecture, exhibitions, or museum hours, call 865-215-8824 or visit the website at www.EastTNHistory.org.


Knoxville hosts preservation conference

The annual East Tennessee Preservation Conference will be held in Knoxville on October 22-24, 2015. This popular event emphasizes finding solutions for securing the future of historic places while capitalizing on cultural heritage.

Primary sessions will be held at the East Tennessee History Center and the conference will include an opening reception and hands-on workshops at Historic Westwood. This year’s keynote speaker and special guest will be Donovan Rypkema from Washington, DC, recognized as an industry leader in the economics of preserving historic structures.

The Tennessee Historical Commission will be providing specialized training for Certified Local Government and Historic Zoning Commission members and AIA continuing education credits will once again be offered.

A variety of walking tours to sites in downtown Knoxville will be available.

Register for the conference by calling 865-523-8008.

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The city of Knoxville and East Tennessee offer a wealth of historic buildings and cultural opportunities for residents and visitors alike. Photo of downtown Knoxville in the early 1900s courtesy the East Tennessee Historical Society.

 


Film fest features local history

The Smoky Mountain Film Festival, a presentation of East Tennessee home movies, television footage and classic advertising, takes place this year on August 15, 2015, from noon to 5 p.m. at the Tennessee Theatre.

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The event takes place in partnership with the East Tennessee Historical Society’s annual History Fair and Historic Tennessee Theatre and is sponsored by the Knox County Public Library System.

Tennessee Archive of Moving Image and Sound (TAMIS) will show rare home movies from the Thompson Brothers and Jack Huff collections along with outtakes from WBIR’s Heartland Series and other short films from the early days of Great Smoky Mountains National Park movement.

All films will be accompanied by live music, are free and open to the public.

For more information, please email TAMIS at tamis@knoxlib.org.