Events & Programs


East Tennessee Historical Society Programs

As the public programming arm of the East Tennessee History Center, the East Tennessee Historical Society presents a variety of programs on historical topics featuring diverse subjects, speakers, and formats.  These include a Brown Bag and quarterly lecture series, conferences, tours, “A Tennessee Conversation” series with special speakers, a history fair, and teacher and student programs.

Upcoming Events

  • @ East Tennessee History Center
    October 19, 2019 - 11:00am to 2:00pm

    On Saturday, October 19, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., join the East Tennessee Historical Society for a spooky event highlighting the “monsters” and superstitions that have called East Tennessee home over the years. From the wampus cat to eerie Victorian mourning traditions, we’ll delve into the region’s history of sightings and folklore! The event will...

  • @ East Tennessee History Center
    October 22, 2019 - 12:00pm

    “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 24, 2019 - 7:00pm

    On the evening of Thursday, October 24th, we celebrate the publication of a new book that gathers the tales and legends of Cas Walker, one of 20th century Knoxville’s most famous citizens. Cas Walker was a grocer, politician, media celebrity, music promoter and coon hunter whose colorful life has become the stuff of the city’s favorite urban...

  • @ East Tennessee History Center
    October 27, 2019 - 2:00pm

    One of the most-talked-about events of the Cold War was the drowning of the American U-2 spy plane piloted by Francis Gary Powers of the Soviet Union, May 1, 1960. Tried for espionage and held for nearly two years in a Soviet prison, Powers was eventually exchanged by a senior KGB spy. Though cleared by the U.S. government of any wrongdoing...

  • @ East Tennessee History Center
    November 2, 2019 - 1:00pm to 4:00pm

    Instructor: Ann Blomquist, MEd. Advanced techniques in genealogical research beyond online sources with special attention to primary sources. Participants should have completed some family research including census and internet work, and should bring the research they have already done. Call (865) 215-8809 to pre-register beginning on October...

  • @ East Tennessee History Center
    November 16, 2019 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm

    Instructor: Eric Head, BA, Knox Co. Archives and/or Dr. George K. Schweitzer, PhD, ScD. Finding your Revolutionar War ancestor, service records, pension records, bounty land records, battle records, regimental histories, burials, obituaries, descendants of the veterans, loyalist records. Participants should bring mnames of service men. Call (...

  • @ East Tennessee History Center
    December 7, 2019 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm

    Instructor: Eric Head, BA, Knox Co. Archives and/or Dr. George K. Schweitzer, PhD, ScD. Students use an individual computer to explore the major internet sites for state, county, and city genealogical records. Call 865-215-8809 starting November 25 to register.

Previous Events

  • @ East Tennessee History Center
    October 12, 2019 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm

    Instructor: Eric Head, BA, Knox Co. Archives and/or Dr. George K. Schweitzer, PhD, ScD. Students use individual computers to access the billions of records and features of Family Search, the largest free genealogical internet site. Items to be explored include available records, family trees, catalog of library items, scanned genealogical books...

  • @ East Tennessee History Center
    October 9, 2019 - 12:00pm

    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...

  • @ East Tennessee History Center
    October 5, 2019 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm

    Instructor: Dr. George K. Schweitzer, PhD, ScD. Cells/chromosomes/DNA, types of DNA studies (Y, mito, auto), DNA strings, string inheritance, 5-generation possibility, autosomal descent, matching probabilities, time arenas, ethnic origins, limitations. Lecture will be in the first floor auditorium. No pre-registration required.

  • @ East Tennessee History Center
    October 4, 2019 - 5:00pm to 7:00pm

    Come out for First Friday at the East Tennessee History Center on October 4 from 5:00-7:00 and enjoy free admission to the Museum of East Tennessee History! Guests will hear live music from the History Center porch, enjoy a nice cold Mountain Dew, and experience free museum admission!

    First Friday guests are invited to tour the new...

  • @ East Tennessee History Center
    September 28, 2019 - 1:00pm to 2:30pm

    Digital Materials Librarian Jennifer Randles will take us on a tour of the vast collection of records available via the newly-redesigned Tennessee Virtual Archive. This free online depository of Tennessee’s history was overhauled in 2018 to make it more mobile-friendly and more accessible to the public. Researchers can now find thousands of...