“Colored Men’s” Application for Pension
In 1921 the Tennessee General Assembly enacted a law "to provide for those colored men who served as servants and cooks in the Confederate Army." Senator Edgar Jones Graham of Hickman County proposed ... Continue Reading »
101st Airborne Division
The 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) has been since the 1960s the single major military force stationed--if only partially--in Tennessee. The unit boasts an illustrious combat record and is one o... Continue Reading »
Acklen, Adelicia
One of the wealthiest women of the antebellum South, Adelicia Acklen was born March 15, 1817, the daughter of Oliver Bliss Hayes, a prominent Nashville lawyer, judge, Presbyterian minister, land specu... Continue Reading »
Acuff, Roy C.
Roy Acuff, known as the "King of Country Music" due to his long association with the Grand Ole Opry, was born in Maynardville, Union County, on September 15, 1903. At age sixteen, he moved with his fa... Continue Reading »
The Acuff-Rose music publishing company was founded by Roy Acuff and Fred Rose and officially incorporated on October 13, 1942. The company's start-up capital included $25,000 from Acuff (which w... Continue Reading »
Adams, Jesse F.
Jesse F. Adams, rural Middle Tennessee medical pioneer and entrepreneur, was born in Cannon County on October 19, 1881. He married Laura Elizabeth Hudson, a Texas native, in 1907, and they had nine ch... Continue Reading »
African American Decorative Arts
African American decorative arts embrace many forms, from the practical utility of bed quilts and baskets to the traditional crafts of blacksmithing and wood carving to the skill in design and constru... Continue Reading »
Agee, James R.
James R. Agee was born in Knoxville on November 27, 1909. His father, Hugh James Agee, was of southern Appalachian yeoman background; his mother, Laura Tyler, came from a family of means and education... Continue Reading »
The Agrarians were a group of social critics centered around Vanderbilt University in the 1930s. They drew their name from their frankly reactionary resistance to industrial capitalism and their insis... Continue Reading »
Agricultural Journals
Over the last two hundred years, a number of agricultural journals have been published in Tennessee. The first, The Tennessee Farmer, began publication in 1834 and ran through 1840, when it and the sh... Continue Reading »
Agricultural Societies
County agricultural societies played an important role in rural affairs in the period before the Civil War. Local leaders formed the organizations for the purpose of exchanging information and promoti... Continue Reading »
Agricultural Tenancy
Agricultural tenancy is a broad, often loosely defined term used to describe a variety of land and labor arrangements in which individuals farm a plot of land that they do not own but have instead ren... Continue Reading »
Agricultural Wheel
The Agricultural Wheel in Tennessee traced its origins to a February 1882 meeting of seven disgruntled farmers in Prairie County, Arkansas. Concerned over continuing depressed farm prices and mounting... Continue Reading »
More than any other form of human activity, agriculture has influenced the development of Tennessee and shaped the lives of its people. It was the driving force behind the state's settlement, a v... Continue Reading »
The first scheduled airline operations in Tennessee began on December 1, 1925, when a route between Atlanta and Evansville included a stop in Chattanooga. For the next ten years, however, air traffic ... Continue Reading »
Aladdin Industries
When Aladdin Industries located its corporate headquarters in Nashville in 1949, it also introduced a progressive industrial design to Nashville's emerging corporate landscape. The company built ... Continue Reading »
Alcoa, Inc. (Aluminum Company of America)
Organized as the Pittsburgh Reduction Company in 1888, the company changed its name in 1907 to the Aluminum Company of America and began using the acronym ALCOA in the early 1900s after applying the a... Continue Reading »
Alderson, William Thomas
Historian and editor William T. Alderson was born and raised in Schenectady, New York. After service in the navy during World War II, he graduated from Colgate University in 1947. He then entered the ... Continue Reading »
Alex Haley State Historic Site
The Alex Haley State Historic Site is located at 200 South Church Street in Henning, Lauderdale County. This one-and-one-half story weatherboard bungalow was the house of Alex Haley's grandfather... Continue Reading »
Alexander, Lamar
Lamar Alexander, U.S. senator, governor, university president, and U.S. secretary of education, was born on July 3, 1940, in Blount County. His parents were teachers in Maryville, and Alexander attended public schoo . . . Continue Reading »
Allison, David
David Allison, backcountry lawyer, political operative, and land speculator, was an agent for the Blount brothers, especially William Blount, Tennessee's first territorial governor. Allison'... Continue Reading »
American Association for State and Local History (AASLH)
AASLH is a not-for-profit professional organization of individuals and institutions working to preserve and promote history. Its roots stem from the early Conference of State and Local Historical Soci... Continue Reading »
American Baptist Theological Seminary
With roots going back to 1901, American Baptist Theological Seminary remains one of the most influential and important African American seminaries in America. After a long planning process, the scho... Continue Reading »
American Museum of Science and Energy
The American Museum of Science and Energy in Oak Ridge was initially established in 1949 as the American Museum of Atomic Energy. Its opening on March 19, 1949, coincided with the opening of the secur... Continue Reading »
Ames Plantation
The 18,567-acre Ames Plantation, owned and operated by Trustees of the Hobart Ames Foundation under provisions of the will of Julia C. Ames, is located in Fayette and Hardeman Counties. Serving as an ... Continue Reading »
Anderson County
According to archaeological investigations, long before Tennessee became a state, Native Americans occupied lands in present-day Anderson County. Permanent white settlement dates to 1796, when Thomas ... Continue Reading »
Anderson, William Robert
William R. Anderson, U.S. Navy captain and congressman, is best known as the commander of the submarine USS Nautilus during the first underwater crossing of the North Pole in 1958. Anderson was born o... Continue Reading »
Andrew Johnson National Historic Site
The Andrew Johnson National Historic Site in Greeneville honors the life and work of the nation's seventeenth president and preserves his two homes, tailor shop, and grave site. The National Park... Continue Reading »
Andrews v. State
The case of Andrews v. State is the single most important case regarding the right to bear arms under the Tennessee State Constitution. Article I, Section 26 of the constitution provides "That the cit... Continue Reading »
Appalachian Decorative Arts
The early decorative arts of Appalachia were the hand-pieced quilts, handwoven coverlets, split oak egg baskets, and other "necessary" crafts once common to every remote household. In the Appalachian ... Continue Reading »
Appalachian Exposition of 1910
The Appalachian Exposition of 1910 was held in Knoxville from September 12 to October 12, 1910. Although large expositions were commonplace at the turn of the century, and county, regional, and state ... Continue Reading »
Appalachian Regional Commission
In the 1960s, much of the Appalachian region lagged behind the rest of the nation in income, educational attainment, access to health care, and efficient transportation. The Council of Appalachian Gov... Continue Reading »
Appalachian Trail
The Appalachian Trail is a continuous marked footpath extending 2,140 miles through fourteen states from Springer Mountain, Georgia, to Katahdin, Maine. The route crosses eight national forests, eight... Continue Reading »
Archaic Period
The Archaic in Tennessee is the longest defined prehistoric cultural period, spanning approximately seven thousand years. The beginning of the Archaic Period roughly coincides with the Pleistocene/Hol... Continue Reading »
Armfield, John
John Armfield, slave trader and businessman, descended from North Carolina Quakers who were Loyalists during the American Revolution. While still a boy, Armfield ran away from home, vowing not to retu... Continue Reading »
Army of Tennessee
The Army of Tennessee, known by various names in the course of its existence, was the Confederacy's principal army on the western front. From the Appalachian Mountains to the Mississippi River, t... Continue Reading »
Arnell, Samuel Mayes
Reconstruction legislator and congressman Samuel M. Arnell was born at Zion Settlement in Maury County on May 3, 1833. After attending Amherst College, Arnell returned to Tennessee, studied law, and p... Continue Reading »
Arnold Engineering Development Center (AEDC)
Located on thirty-nine thousand wooded acres in Coffee and Franklin Counties, AEDC is the world's most diverse complex of aerospace ground simulation test facilities and one of the most unusual U... Continue Reading »
Arnold, Eddy
The most successful commercial artist in country music for the years immediately after World War II was Eddy Arnold. Arnold's success in country music sales centered on two eras: the period from ... Continue Reading »
Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts
Arrowmont, a visual arts complex in Gatlinburg in Sevier County, grew out of the manual arts curriculum of the Pi Beta Phi Settlement School. The Pi Phi teachers taught handicraft skills to the commun... Continue Reading »
Tennessee, which until recently was rural, egalitarian, and lacking in concentrated wealth, never has been a center of art patronage or production. The first generation of pioneers lacked both time an... Continue Reading »
Asbury, Francis
Francis Asbury, bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church in America, was born near Birmingham, England, to Joseph and Elizabeth (Rogers) Asbury and apprenticed as a blacksmith. At an early age Asbury ... Continue Reading »
Ashwander et al. v. Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)
On February 17, 1936, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes delivered the principal opinion in this 8-1 ruling on the constitutionality of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) after di... Continue Reading »
Association for the Preservation of Tennessee Antiquities (APTA)
Thirty Nashville women founded the Association for the Preservation of Tennessee Antiquities (APTA) in 1951 to "acquire, restore, and preserve Tennessee's historic buildings and landmarks." On No... Continue Reading »
The Athenaeum rectory is a historic Gothic Revival building in Columbia that was once part of a women's college and finishing school which operated between 1852 and 1903. The Reverend Franklin Gi... Continue Reading »
Athens, Battle of
Officially, the "Battle of Athens" in McMinn County began and ended on August 1, 1946. Following a heated competition for local offices, veterans in the insurgent GI Non-Partisan League took up arms t... Continue Reading »
Atkins, Chester Burton 'Chet'
Chet Atkins, one of country music's greatest instrumentalists, producers, and promoters of the Nashville Sound, was born the son of a fiddler in Luttrell, Union County in 1924. He took up guitar ... Continue Reading »
Attakullakulla was a powerful eighteenth-century Overhill Cherokee leader who played a critical and decisive role in shaping diplomatic, trade, and military relationships with the British Colonial gov... Continue Reading »
Auerbach, Stanley Irving
A founder of the science of radiation ecology and staff leader at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Auerbach was born in Chicago in 1921. He studied at the University of Illinois and Northwestern ... Continue Reading »
Austin Peay State University
Located in Clarksville, Austin Peay State University was founded on April 26, 1927, and named for Governor Austin Peay, a Clarksville resident. The campus had been the location of educational institu... Continue Reading »