In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War, Tennessee’s Sesquicentennial Commission announces the state’s Inaugural Sesquicentennial Signature Event.
Taking place November 12 and 13, the theme of this historic milestone is “The Coming of the Civil War.” Governor Phil Bredesen will kick off the event at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s Jackson Hall beginning at 10 a.m. CST on November 12.
"The sesquicentennial commemoration of the American Civil War is important to all Tennesseans,” said Governor Phil Bredesen. “This inaugural event, which begins the five-year recognition from 2011-2015, will create conversation, stir interest, and help people develop a greater appreciation for history and acknowledge the role this war played in the lives of all Americans."
The Tennessee Sesquicentennial Signature Event will consist of historical discussions, stories and reenactments in addition to music by the internationally acclaimed Fisk Jubilee Singers and special appearance by country superstar Trace Adkins.
In addition, the historical significance of local attractions such as the Tennessee State Capitol, Tennessee State Museum, Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, Tennessee State Library and Archives and the Tennessee Performing Arts Center will be highlighted.
State-sponsored activities will be held in downtown Nashville throughout the two-day event. Special recognition for Tennessee’s Civil War Trails communities and their efforts in sustaining the state’s history will also play an important role in the event.
“We know the Civil War Sesquicentennial will focus the world’s attention on this pivotal time in our nation’s history. We expect thousands of visitors to make their way to Tennessee to learn about the state’s role in the war,” said Commissioner Susan Whitaker, Tennessee Department of Tourist Development and co-chair of the Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission.
The Keynote Address - The Coming of the War - will be presented by historian and author Sam Davis Elliott. Additional speakers will cover the following topics:
* Overview of the Civil War
* The Election of 1860
* Black Tennesseans, 1856-1861: During the Storm Clouds Before the Civil War
* Tennessee’s Once and Future Military Leaders
* Tennessee Women Prepare for the War
* Was Secession Inevitable?
"Tennessee is creating a national model for how to plan and to commemorate the Civil War Sesquicentennial by sharing how the war impacted families, farms and towns across the state as well as leaving tens of thousands brave soldiers dead on its 38 designated nationally significant battlefields," said Dr. Carroll Van West, director of MTSU Center for Historic Preservation and Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area and co-chair of the Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission.
Tennessee is the only entire state designated by the U.S. Congress as a Civil War National Heritage area. Another important Sesquicentennial initiative is Tennessee’s Civil War Trails program. The program is part of a multi-state Civil War Trails initiative which interprets and creates driving tours of both the great campaigns and the lesser-known Civil War sites. Tennessee, second only to Virginia in Civil War sites, joins four other states in this important project. The entire program has been identified by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as one of the most successful and sustainable heritage tourism programs in the nation.
The Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission, appointed by Gov. Bredesen, leads a state effort to promote, fund and preserve the complete story of Tennessee’s Civil War and its legacy.
Registration for Tennessee’s Sesquicentennial Signature Event is free and open to the public. For more information, please visit
or contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Registration can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.