Events & Programs


East Tennessee Historical Society Programs

As the public programming arm of the East Tennessee History Center, the East Tennessee Historical Society presents a variety of programs on historical topics featuring diverse subjects, speakers, and formats.  These include a Brown Bag and quarterly lecture series, conferences, tours, “A Tennessee Conversation” series with special speakers, a history fair, and teacher and student programs.

Upcoming Events

  • @ East Tennessee History Center
    October 19, 2019 - 11:00am to 2:00pm

    On Saturday, October 19, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., join the East Tennessee Historical Society for a spooky event highlighting the “monsters” and superstitions that have called East Tennessee home over the years. From the wampus cat to eerie Victorian mourning traditions, we’ll delve into the region’s history of sightings and folklore! The event will...

  • @ East Tennessee History Center
    October 22, 2019 - 12:00pm

    “I never felt connected with my foster parents. I don’t remember feeling a part of their family. I’m not sure why; I guess I just suspected something wasn’t right.”

    Born 1940 in Rotterdam, Clara van Thijn was separated from her parents on July 29, 1942, when they reported for the first Jewish transport headed for Auschwitz and...

  • @ East Tennessee History Center
    October 27, 2019 - 2:00pm

    One of the most-talked-about events of the Cold War was the drowning of the American U-2 spy plane piloted by Francis Gary Powers of the Soviet Union, May 1, 1960. Tried for espionage and held for nearly two years in a Soviet prison, Powers was eventually exchanged by a senior KGB spy. Though cleared by the U.S. government of any wrongdoing...

  • @ East Tennessee History Center
    October 27, 2019 - 2:00pm

    One of the most talked about events of the Cold War was the 1960 downing of the American U-2 spy plane piloted by Francis Gary Powers over the Soviet Union. Powers was captured by the KGB subjected to a show trial, imprisoned, and later exchanged for a captured Russian spy and returned to the U.S., where he was exonerated of any wrongdoing...

  • @ East Tennessee History Center
    November 2, 2019 - 1:00pm to 4:00pm

    Instructor: Ann Blomquist, MEd. Advanced techniques in genealogical research beyond online sources with special attention to primary sources. Participants should have completed some family research including census and internet work, and should bring the research they have already done. Call (865) 215-8809 to pre-register beginning on October...

  • @ East Tennessee History Center
    November 16, 2019 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm

    Instructor: Eric Head, BA, Knox Co. Archives and/or Dr. George K. Schweitzer, PhD, ScD. Finding your Revolutionar War ancestor, service records, pension records, bounty land records, battle records, regimental histories, burials, obituaries, descendants of the veterans, loyalist records. Participants should bring mnames of service men. Call (...

  • @ East Tennessee History Center
    December 7, 2019 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm

    Instructor: Eric Head, BA, Knox Co. Archives and/or Dr. George K. Schweitzer, PhD, ScD. Students use an individual computer to explore the major internet sites for state, county, and city genealogical records. Call 865-215-8809 starting November 25 to register.

Previous Events

  • Have a Blast with the Past! Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019
    August 17, 2019 - 10:00am to 5:00pm

    Join the East Tennessee Historical Society on Saturday, August 17, for an one-of-a-kind celebration of our region's history! Participants representing the people, places, and events that shaped our past spill out of the East Tennessee History Center and fill downtown Knoxville, making history truly come alive...

  • @ East Tennessee History Center
    August 14, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

    Following a decade of study and collaboration, the Manhattan Project National Historical Park was established in 2010. Consisting of Hanford, Washington; Los Alamos, New Mexico; and Oak Ridge, Tennessee, MAPR preserves the history and tells the story of the birth of the atomic age in America. Ray Smith served on the committee to establish the...

  • @ East Tennessee History Center
    August 10, 2019 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm

    Instructor: Eric Head, BA, Knox Co. Archives and/or Dr. George K. Schweitzer, PhD, ScD. Finding your Civil War ancestor, service records, pension records, battle records, regimental histories, burials, obituaries. Participants should bring names and states of known or suspected Civil War ancestors. Call (865) 215-8809 to pre-register beginning...

  • @ East Tennessee History Center
    July 20, 2019 - 1:00pm to 4:00pm

    Instructor: Ann Blomquist, MEd. Advanced techniques in genealogical research beyond online sources with special attention to primary sources. Participants should have completed some family research including census and internet work, and should bring the research they have already done. Call (865) 215-8809 to pre-register beginning on July 8....

  • @ East Tennessee History Center
    July 10, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

    James Rufus Agee (1909-1955) was one of America’s most gifted writers. Only six when his father died in an automobile accident, he later wrote about the tragedy in the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, A Death in the Family, set in his hometown of Knoxville. One-third of Agee’s short years were spent in East Tennessee. Paul F. Brown draws on...