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
    August 23, 2018 - 6:00pm to August 24, 2018 - 7:45pm

    Edward Terry Sanford was born in Knoxville and is one of only six Tennesseans to have served on the United States Supreme Court (1923-1930) and the only one who obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of Tennessee.

    Stephanie L. Slater's important work covers Sanford's early upbringing, the lasting impression a largely pro-...

  • @ East Tennessee History Center
    August 22, 2018 - 12:00pm to August 23, 2018 - 12:45pm
    While the term "Code Talkers" is often associated with World War II, the story actually begins in WWI, when to avoid German deciphering of messages, the U.S. military employed Native Americans fluent in both their native language and English, to send secret messages in battle. The first known use of Native Americans in the American military to...
  • @ East Tennessee History Center
    August 19, 2018 - 2:30pm to August 20, 2018 - 2:45pm
    Ellen Berry (1894-1992), a descendant of Knoxville founder James White, was a southern aristocrat who lived a life of love, riches, world travel, and royal connections. Yet her life was marred by tragedy, sorrow, and a misplaced trust that took her fortune and became an episode of the television series Unsolved Mysteries.    ...
  • @ East Tennessee History Center
    July 19, 2018 - 12:00pm to July 20, 2018 - 12:45pm

    From the fronteir taverns and saloons to upscale dining and continental cuisine and a return to our roots of local eating experiences, Knoxville dining has now come full circle over the past 225 years. In a Brown Bag lecture, author and historian Paula Johnson will share stories ranging from the early country music stars frequenting Harold's...

  • @ East Tennessee History Center
    July 11, 2018 - 4:30pm

    The Friends of the Knox County Public Library and Union Ave Books will host an evening with journalist and author Vince Vawter on Tuesday, August 7, at 7 p.m. at the East Tennessee History Center. Vawter will speak about and sign copies of his latest book, Copyboy...

  • @ East Tennessee History Center
    June 20, 2018 - 12:00pm to June 21, 2018 - 12:45pm

    It was October 1918 when Sergeant Alvin C. York gained national acclaim for his actions in battle in the Argonne Forest of France, single-handedly killing 25 German soldiers and taking 132 prisoner. Over time, the exact site of the battle became lost to history. Between 2006-2008, a national team of historians, archeologists, and geographers...

  • @ East Tennessee History Center
    June 13, 2018 - 12:00pm to June 14, 2018 - 12:45pm

    In a Brown Bag Lecture on Wednesday, June 13, Mark Davidson will speak on the Scots-Irish presence in early Appalachia. Just as they had in Northern Ireland and Scotland before that, the people known today as Scots-Irish had a strong resistance to English domination. They filtered out of Pennsylvania into the Shenandoah Valley, then to the...

  • @ East Tennessee History Center
    May 16, 2018 - 12:00pm to May 17, 2018 - 12:45pm

    In a Brown Bag Lecture on Wednesday, May 16, Louisa Trott will explain what life was like in Tennessee during WWI. From poems and letters from our troops on the front line to advice for coping with farm and home life, to special features, ads and government PSAs, Ms. Trott will explore life on the Tennessee home front as recorded in newspapers...