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Front Porch to the Region's History

Geography defines East Tennessee as a land of mountains and valleys and with a history and heritage apart from the rest of the state. The East Tennessee Historical Society recognizes this distinctiveness with programs and exhibitions uniquely tailored to the region. Our educational mission is to engage the public with the message that history is important. 

This Day In East Tennessee History

  • August 6, 1861

    Attesting to the strength of the Unionists in East Tennessee, the first commander of the Department of East Tennessee, Brigadier General Felix K. Zollicoffer stated on this day in 1861 that "there are very many Lincoln men here [East Tennessee] who will be restrained from cooperating [with a Union invasion] only by consideration of policy or apprehension of the circumstances," and one Confederate recruit claimed to have heard Zollicoffer state that he "has a force sufficient, at his command and that he intends whenever [rebellion] shows its heard to crush it out, let the cost be what it may."

  • August 1, 1947

    The last electric streetcar in Knoxville made its final run on this day in 1947.  The city transit system was converted to fuel-powered buses but as the city expanded it could not keep up with the residential development.