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.

Upcoming Lectures

  • @ East Tennessee History Center
    September 18, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

    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...

  • The British are Coming: The War for America, Lexington to Princeton, 1775-1777
    September 24, 2019 - 6:30pm
    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
    October 9, 2019 - 12:00pm

    In his new book, Historic Disasters of East Tennessee, author and historian Dewaine A. Speaks chronicles the stories of a series of disasters that have taken place in East Tennessee. The 1902 Fraterville Mine explosion, took the lives of 216 men and boys. The New Market train wreck in 1904 claimed 64, and in 2016, the Great Smoky...

  • @ 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 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
    October 27, 2019 - 2:00pm

    One of the most talked about events of the Cold War was the 1960 downing of the American U-2 spy plane piloted by Francis Gary Powers over the Soviet Union. Powers was captured by the KGB subjected to a show trial, imprisoned, and later exchanged for a captured Russian spy and returned to the U.S., where he was exonerated of any wrongdoing...

Previous Lectures

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

    A Fortress and a Legacy combines engaging dialogue and historical accuracy with the pathos of a family torn by war. The heart and soul of the story is an exchange of more than 1,000 letters between Knoxville native and B-17 bombardier Lt. Ross W. “Bud” Perrin and his bride, Thelma, who was both Miss Knoxville and a 1940 Miss American contestant...

  • @ East Tennessee History Center
    August 14, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

    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 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

    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 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

    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 - 6:00pm

    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...

  • A Conference Finale to the Polk Project
    April 12, 2019 (All day) to April 13, 2019 (All day)

      Department of History...
  • @ East Tennessee History Center
    April 3, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

    Maryville College sprang from the vision of Reverend Isaac Anderson to fill what he saw as a great need for trained pastors and churches on the frontier. As pastor of Maryville's New Providence Presbyterian Church, Anderson led efforts to establish the "Southern and Western Theological Seminary," the forerunner of Maryville College, and for six...

  • @ East Tennessee History Center
    March 31, 2019 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm

    Dr. Tim Johnson, professor of history at Lipscomb University, will discuss the Mexican War (1846-1848), its causes, legacy, and the role of Tennesseans. With the outbreak of the war, Tennesseans responded in such numbers that state officials were forced to resort to a lottery to select the 6,000 to serve. The response solidified Tennessee's...