Nashville, TN, March 4, 2011—
The commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War is already underway, as key events are marked. The state of Tennessee, the only state which has been declared a Civil War Heritage Area, has launched the most ambitious and comprehensive program with a Civil War Heritage Trail that encompasses the entire state, with scores of events taking place over the next five years. In its entirety, the depth and breadth provides an unparalleled opportunity to re-connect with the complex and tormenting history and understand it in a way that is eerily, horrifyingly relevant to today.
Nashville’s Metropolitan Historical Commission will commence its Civil War Sesquicentennial program Saturday, April 9, at The Downtown Presbyterian Church in Nashville with a series of presentations called “The War Begins: Causes of the Secession Crisis in Tennessee.” The church is located at the corner of Church Street and Fifth Avenue, North.
At 8:30 a. m., Mayor Karl Dean will make opening remarks. He will be followed by Jim Hoobler, chairman of Metro Historical Commission’s Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee, who will give a brief history of The Downtown Presbyterian Church and its use during the Civil War.
Starting at 9 a. m., Dr. Jonathan Atkins, of Berry College in Mt. Berry, Georgia, will speak on “Parties, Politics and Sectional Conflict in Tennessee 1832-1861,” in which he will describe the causes in Tennessee leading to its involvement in the Civil War.
Dr. Kristopher Ray, of Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee, and editor of the Tennessee Historical Quarterly, will explain at 10 a. m. how the leaders in both the North and South reinterpreted the precepts of America’s founding fathers to suit their own political, social and economic purposes.
At 11 a. m., The Fisk Jubilee Singers will perform spirituals and other songs appropriate to the Civil War period. Their performance is partially funded by a grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission.
The program will end at noon.
“The Civil War was a defining event in American history,” Hoobler says. “The causes of the war defined who we had been as a country, and the outcome of the war determined that we are a country. Mayor Dean has asked that we as a community commemorate the brave men and women, North and South, who fought and died in this struggle. This event will mark the beginning of a five year activity of commemoration and remembrance. The citizens of Nashville are encouraged to participate in these events and to remember our shared past.”
The event is free and open to the public. Free parking is available in the Premier Parking Lot at Fifth and Church to those people who tell the attendant that they are attending the Symposium. For more information, contact Jim Hoobler at Jim.Hoobler@tn.gov.
See our series about Tennessee’s Civil War Trail launching soon at www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin