Love history and want to learn more? Explore a variety of historical topics as authors, scholars, and local historians present the latest research and books, as well as new looks at old subjects. Lectures are open to the public and are free of charge unless otherwise stated.

Previous Lectures

  • @ The East Tennessee History Center
    November 12, 2014 - 12:00pm to November 13, 2014 - 12:45pm

    What were the geological forces that shaped East Tennessee into our beautiful land of mountains and valleys?  Don Byerly will introduce us to Tennessee’s “deep history,” the billion years over which our land has slowly evolved to form the mountains and valleys we enjoy today. He compares the study of Earth history to that of human history in...

  • @ The East Tennessee History Center
    October 29, 2014 - 12:00pm to October 30, 2014 - 12:45pm

    Louisa Trott is project coordinator for the Tennessee Newspaper Digitization Project, a partnership between the University of Tennessee and the Tennessee State Library and Archives to digitize a series of historic newspapers in Tennessee and to make these records publicly accessible online.  The first phase concentrated on the Civil War and...

  • @ The East Tennessee History Center
    October 22, 2014 - 12:00pm to October 23, 2014 - 12:45pm

    Primarily rooted in Southern Appalachia nearly a century ago, the practice of “taking up the serpent” is most often found in fiercely independent churches in the more mountainous areas. Though the practice has long been hotly debated, it wasn’t until 1947, spurred by the death of five East Tennesseans, that the state of Tennessee first outlawed...

  • @ The East Tennessee History Center
    October 9, 2014 - 7:00pm to October 10, 2014 - 6:45pm

    Appalachian author Sharyn McCrumb will introduce us to her newest book, a hauntingly beautiful Christmas story of spirits, memories, and angels unaware.  The book is a welcome revisit with some of her most beloved characters who understand all too well that there is more to this world than the eye can see, especially at Christmastime. Well...

  • @ The Bijou Theatre
    October 7, 2014 - 12:00pm to October 8, 2014 - 12:45pm

    Winston Churchill’s roots were British and American. He was uniquely placed to stand up for the shared values of freedom and liberty so nearly lost in those dark days of 1940.  Churchill’s beautiful and captivating mother, Jennie Jerome, born in Brooklyn in 1854, was a New Yorker through and through. She met Lord Randolph Spencer Churchill in a...

  • @ The East Tennessee History Center
    September 24, 2014 - 12:00pm to September 25, 2014 - 12:45pm

    In 1901, Knoxvillian Weston Fulton patented an invention, the metal bellows, whose impact would reach from the home and industry to “the bottom of the ocean to the surface of the moon and from hospital rooms to the top of skyscrapers.”  Learn more about Fulton’s fascinating story, his business ventures that included Fulton Company, and his...

  • @ The East Tennessee History Center
    September 10, 2014 - 12:00pm to September 11, 2014 - 12:45pm

    Most natives of Appalachia are aware that their speech differs from others but may not understand exactly why and how.  Paul Reed will explain the variations and contributing factors and how their rich linguistic system is critical to local and regional identity, forming a central part of what it means to be an East Tennessean.  A native of...

  • @ The East Tennesssee History Center
    November 12, 2013 - 6:00pm to November 13, 2013 - 5:45pm

    Coup is the remarkable story of how partisans from both sides of the political aisle came together on January 17, 1979, to stop what one FBI agent called, "the state's most heinous political crime in half a century."  Driven by new information that some of the worst criminals in the state penitentiary were to be released (including...