Tennessee Great War Commission (TGWC)
Confirmed Events/Articles for 2017
1-21: "World War I and American Art," the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville.
19: "In the Footsteps of Sergeant York," exhibit opens at the East Tennessee History Center, Knoxville, and will be on display until July 8.
Work on the restoration of the World War I Memorial Fountain in Jackson, made possible by a "100 Cities, 100 memorials" grant by the Pritzker Foundation/US World War I Centennial Commission (USWWICC).
1-28: Special exhibit from the Library of America, "America’s World War I Project," at the East Tennessee History Center, Knoxville.
1-TBD: (Thursday), 5:30pm onwards at UTK John C. Hodges Library, Elaine Altman Evans Exhibit Area on first floor and the Lindsay Young Auditorium. Reception and opening of exhibit "Echoes of War" on WWI and WWII special collections, with lecture by TGWC Commissioner Dr. Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius, Director of the Center for the Study of War and Society, on "Echoes of War: Human Experiences during WWI and WWII."
11 (Sunday): "The Path to War: How the First World War Created Modern America," Lecture presented by Dr. Michael Neiberg from the U.S. Army War College at the East Tennessee History Center, Knoxville at noon. The event is sponsored by UTK’s Center for the Study of War and Society.
16 (Friday): 4:00 p.m. at UTK Haslam Business Building, Room 303, UTK's Center for the Study of War and Society presents, "Remembering 1918: A Hundred Years Since World War I and the Restoration of Lituanian Independence." This event will feature a brief talk by TGWC Commissioner Vejas Liulevicius, Ph.D. and then a panel discussion with professors Audris Mockus and Jolita Zabarauskaite-Rosenow, former advisor and assistant to the deputy speaker of the Lituanian parliament.
18 (Sunday): Screening of the film Sergeant York, with comentary by Dr. Michael Birdwell, East Tennessee History Center, Knoxville.
22: "Immigrants who Joined the American War Effort," a presentation by TGWC Commissioner Andy Pouncey.
23-24 (Friday and Saturday): "Winter in the Trenches," Living History event at the Alvin C. York State Historic Park, focuses on how soldiers in the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) coped during the brutally cold winter of 1917-1918. The program on the 23rd is geared toward students, and the events on Saturday are open to the general public. During the event re-enactors will continue to add new features to the trench.
27-28: "World War I: The Not So Great War," Louis Varnell’s one-man show at the Chattanooga Theatre Center.
28: "The YMCA’s Contributions to the War Effort," presented by Will Albritton, COO of the Memphis and Mid-South YMCA.
28-March 1: "Over Here and Over There" Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) digitization of World War I related documents and artifacts, curated by Myers Brown at the Morton Museum of Collierville History, Collierville, Shelby County, Tennessee.
TBD: "Tennessee Women’s Contributions to the Great War."
TBD: "Tennessee African Americans and their Experiences During the Great War," an exhibit created and hosted by students from the John Early Museum Magnet school. Grand opening event.
3-4: Mid-south Military History & Civil War Show at the Agri-Center in Memphis.
4: (Sunday, 2:00 p.m.) "World War I Research," presented by commissioner Andy Pouncey at the Mid-south Military History & Civil War Show at the Agri-Center in Memphis.
24: American Legion Exhibit commemorating its 1st Caucus (March 15, 1919) in Paris, France. Organized by Theodore Roosevelt Jr., and Luke Lea, several Tennesseans were in attendance including General Lawrence Tyson, Colonel Cary Spence, Colonel Harry Berry, Sergeant York, etc. at the Alvin C. York Historic Park, Pall Mall.
24: Annual Sergeant York Memorial Black Powder chunk-gun competition at the Alvin C. York Historic Park, Pall Mall.
6-8: Bicentennial Mall: Living History and Symposium including:
- The Ebony Doughboys from the Harlem Hell Fighters
- The Homefront
- The Struggle for Women’s Suffrage
- Life Behind the Lines
- YMCA workers
- Red Cross Volunteers
- The Realm of the Quartermaster
- Working Field Kitchen
- Louis Varnell and his mobile trench
- Training Obstacle Course
- The story of African American nurse Frances Elliott, Red Cross nurse A-1
- Formal presentations from professional scholars
- Vintage Baseball game
8: Shelbyville, Tennessee, 12:00-4:00 p.m., Bedford County History Festival
27-28: World War I Film Festival in the Barn at the Alvin C. York Historic Park and a new exhibit about George Patullo’s Saturday Evening Post article "The Second Elder Gives Battle," that first informed the world about Corporal Alvin C. York’s famed exploit near Chatel-Chehery on 8 October 1918.
Poppy Art at Germantown Depot, Metal Poppies (3 ft. diameter) on display at the west end of the Depot in view of home-coming traffic on Poplar Pike.
4-5: "The AEF Proves its Worth: The Battle of Cantigny," Alvin C. York State Historic Park. Programming on the 4th is for students, and the events on the 5th are for the general public and examine the first significant battle where AEF soldiers fought on the Western Front on 28 May 1918.
6: First in a series of World War I-related films at the Cookeville Performing Arts Center (CPAC).
19: The Company of Military Historians Annual Meeting in Nashville. Dr. Michael Birdwell will be presenting, "Yanks, Tommies and Diggers: The 30th "Old Hickory" Division and the Hindenburg Line; along with a panel discussion of the attempt to kidnap the Kaiser featuring Major Darrin Haas, Hobart Akin, and Dr. Michael Birdwell.
21-June 1: "Remembering the Western Front, 1914-1918," a Travel Study to England, Belgium, and France. The tour is joint venture made possible by the University of Tennessee at Martin and Union University and led by Drs. Alice-Catherine and Stephen D. Carls.
26: Kick off Poppy Program at the Alvin C. York Historic Park with World War I era music performed in the barn and the initial performance of a one-man play about Sergeant Alvin C. York by playwright Lisa Soland.
27: Second installment in the CPAC World War I film series.
28: Cookeville Community Band Concert, WWI re-enactors and musicians stationed in Dogwood Park.
1: "Over Here and Over There," TSLA digitization event curated by Myers Brown at the Old Hickory Public Library, Davidson County, Tennessee.
1-3: Old Hickory at 100 celebration including a variety of festivities and a presentation about the Du Pont Smokeless Powder Plant and its role in the war by Dr. Michael Birdwell.
7: Special hike to Wedding Rock on the 99th anniversary of Alvin C. York and Gracie Williams wedding day.
11: Cookeville Community Band Concert, WWI re-enactors and musicians stationed throughout Dogwood Park.
12: Special exhibit on the anniversary of Sister Cities Pall Mall, Tennessee and Chatel-Chehery, France at the Sergeant Alvin C. York Historic Park.
25: Cookeville Community Band Concert, WWI re-enactors and musicians stationed throughout Dogwood Park.
29-30: A special ticketed immersive event "Surviving in the Trenches," Living History program at the Alvin C. York State Historic Park.
2: Cookeville Community Band Concert, World War I re-enactors and musicians stationed throughout Dogwood Park.
3: Army Band concert, at Dogwood Park, Cookeville, Tennessee, with World War I re-enactors stationed throughout the park.
4: Independence Celebration and Anniversary of World War I Centennial Bridge dedication over the Wolf River at Pall Mall and a second performance of Lisa Soland’s play about Sergeant York.
9: Cookeville Community Band Concert, WWI re-enactors and musicians stationed throughout Dogwood Park.
23: Cookeville Community Band Concert, WWI re-enactors and musicians stationed throughout Dogwood Park.
All month long: "Tennessee’s Home Front," a special month-long exhibit at the Alvin C. York State Historic Park Visitor Center.
25: "Tennessee Day," an event honoring the Volunteer State’s Great War veterans.
1: An event honoring Alvin C. York and his wife Gracie Williams York that includes the presentation of a special wreath at their restored gravesite.
14-15: "The Meuse-Argonne Offensive" the second ticketed immersive living history event at the Alvin C. York State Historic Park.
15: Opening of temporary exhibit, "Over There," at the Overton County Heritage Museum; it will be up through Armistice Day.
22: Cookeville City Cemetery Walk, a living history event featuring soldiers and civilians from the Great War Era, including a suffragette, the Putnam County director of the Four Minute Men, Poet Laureate Clara Cox Epperson, Putnam Herald editor Alvin Wirt, Distinguished Service Cross recipient Sergeant Thurman Lowe, and others TBD.
29: Appreciation of MOH recipients Joseph B. Adkinson and Milo Lemert who led the way through the breaching of the Hindenburg Line on the 100th Anniversary of the battle near Bellicourt, France, venue to be determined (Palace Theatre, Crossville?).
Grand opening of the new State Museum on the Bicentennial Mall with a World War I Centennial exhibit curated by Dr. Lisa M. Budreau.
Special exhibit at the Monterey Depot Museum about Gordon Klope who was killed in action during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.
6-November 3: Special exhibit about Major Rutledge Smith’s family (including his wife Graeme McGregor, their sons Albert Perrine and McGregor and their daughter Eudora "Dolly") and their experiences during World War I at the Cookeville History Museum. The exhibit will be on display for a month. Mark Creter and Beth Thompson will portray them at the exhibit’s opening.
7: Third installment in the CPAC World War I film series.
8: 100th Anniversary of the events near Montbrehain and Chatel-Chehery, France that earned Buck Karnes, Calvin Ward and Alvin C. York the Medal of Honor.
14: Last installment in the CPAC World War I film series.
18-20: Ohio Valley Conference of Historians at U.T. Martin featuring the keynote address "From the Old World to the New: The Meuse-Argonne Campaign and the Birth of the American Century," by Dr. Tom Bruscino of the U.S. Army War College, and the Saturday luncheon speaker, "The March to the 19th Amendment," by Rebecca Price, founder and president of Chick History in Nashville.
1-3: World War I symposium in Cookeville at Tennessee Tech’s Backdoor Playhouse and other venues. The events will include among other things:
- scholarly presentations
- living history
- Great War artifacts and documents
- vintage automobiles
- period music
- period-rules football game
9-11: 100th Anniversary of the Armistice and the ramifications of the war, at the Alvin C. York State Historic Park. The three-day event will have a variety of programs and living history events throughout the weekend.
10-11: Special Concert sponsored by the Parthenon in conjunction with the Brussels Philharmonic and featuring six Belgian musicians, Remembrance of World War I, composed by Piet Swerts, featuring images from the Great War.
11: Dedication of the renovated World War I Memorial Fountain in Jackson.
11: Commemorative Program with luminaries at Elmwood Cemetery on the graves of World War I Soldiers/Nurses/Gold Star Mothers in conjunction with program to find where all Great War soldiers in West Tennessee are buried.
11-17: Commemorative Service and name change from Germantown to Neshoba for one week.
Events yet to be scheduled:
Period music concert(s) across the state
Continuation of "Over There and Over Here," digitization project by TSLA
Seminar at the Nashville Public Library about ant-German sentiment during the war
Special exhibits are being planned at:
- TTU Archives
- East Tennessee History Center, Knoxville
- Center for the Study of War and Society at UT, Knoxville
- American Legion Post #4, Livingston, Tennessee
Monthly articles about Tennesseans and the war to be posted on the TGWC Facebook Page and website
Events at UT Martin can be found at: http://www.utm.edu/worldwars/