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

  • @ East Tennessee History Center
    October 22, 2019 - 7:00am to October 23, 2019 - 6:45am

    “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 9, 2019 - 7:00am to October 10, 2019 - 6:45am

    In a Brown Bag Lecture on Wednesday, October 9, author and historian Dewaine A. Speaks will discuss his new book, Historic Disasters of East Tennessee, chronicling the stories of a series of disasters that have taken place in our region. The 1902 Fraterville Mine explosion, took the lives of 216 men and boys. The New Market train wreck...

  • The British are Coming: The War for America, Lexington to Princeton, 1775-1777
    September 24, 2019 - 1:30pm
    The British are Coming: The War for America, Lexington to Princeton, 1775- 1777

    Join the East Tennessee Historical Society as we welcome back the Pulitzer Prize winning author, Rick Atkinson, for a special lecture and books singing of his new book The British are Coming: The War for America, Lexington to Princeton, 1775-1777. Volume...

  • @ East Tennessee History Center
    September 18, 2019 - 7:00am to September 19, 2019 - 7:45am

    Join Jack Neely for a Brown Bag Lecture and book signing as he discusses his latest book, Historic Knoxville: The Curious Visitor's Guide to Its Stories and Places, a comprehensive and engaging guide to scores of sites and institutions relevant to the city's endlessly fascinating, but often little known, history. Jack will also...

  • @ East Tennessee History Center
    August 14, 2019 - 7:00am to August 15, 2019 - 7:45am

    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
    July 10, 2019 - 7:00am to July 11, 2019 - 7:45am

    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...

  • @ East Tennessee History Center
    June 13, 2019 - 7:00am to June 14, 2019 - 7:45am

    Dr. Gail Palmer will share stories of everyday life, love, and happenings, as gleaned from her extensive research into the families and cemeteries of those who lived in the Smokies prior to the creation of the park. Among her previously published works are The Midwives’ Quilt: A Tale of Conflict & Intrigue in the Smokies; Smoky Mountain...

  • East Tennessee History Center
    May 30, 2019 - 1:00pm to May 31, 2019 - 12:45pm

    The East Tennessee Historical Society will host the spring meeting of the American Meteorological Society, Smoky Mountain Chapter, with a guest lecture on the historic weather kiosk located outside of the East Tennessee History Center. Grant Goodge, Climatologist for the National Climatic Data Center, will speak on “Celebrating East Tennessee...