Tuesday, May 31, 2016

RE: TDEC's "5 for Today" & This Day in Tennessee History

This Day in Tennessee History, May 28-June 3.


May 28


1845, The Hermitage – William Tyack, a visitor from New York, made the following observations concerning the moribund Andrew Jackson:


His feet and legs, his hand and arms are very swollen with dropsy, which has invaded his whole system. Bandages are drawn tight right around the parts most affected, to prevent as much as possible, the increase of water. He has scarcely any use of his hands….He has not the strength to stand. His respiration is very short and attended with much difficulty, and the whole progress of the disease, accompanied by great suffering. He gains sleep…by opiates….When the dropsy commenced, the cough was extremely severe, and expectoration profuse….This was followed by a loss of appetite and constant nausea and prostration. This change took place in early April; about 1 May a diarrhoea [sic] commenced, which seemed to threaten an immediate dissolution. This continued for a few days, but fortunately reduced the swelling of the whole system. The abatement of the diarrhhoea was succeeded by the selling in all parts, with violent pain and extreme difficulty of breathing, when nature would again relieve itself as above described.


1869, Murfreesboro – A group of excursionists arrived in town from Nashville. According to the Nashville Republican Banner, the party traveled aboard a brand-new Nashville and Chattanooga "palace car.: the excursionists numbered nearly 100including 75 girls from the Reverend W. E. Ward's seminary. After detraining, the group "formed in procession and marched through the principle street of the town, perfectly dazzling the sober denizens of the burg, who crowed to doors to witness the novel spectacle. Amazement rested on every face."

After an hour's stroll, the party boarded the palace car and returned to Nashville.


1979, Nashville – It was announced that out of over 1,800 arrests for prostitution in the capital city since 1976, only 30 had resulted in jail sentences. This was because of a metropolitan Davidson County ordinance that imposed only fines, and mild ones according the Nashville police captain King Herndon, "Prostitutes come here from all over the country because they know they probably won't have to serve jail time."

Thus far in 1979, there had been 416 arrests for prostitution, with only two jail sentences handed down. In 1978, there were 484 arrests that resulted in only nine jail terms. In the preceding 2½ years, there had been just 115 arrests of men for soliciting prostitutes, resulting in only three jail terms. For 1979, there had been 33 such arrests, with no jail sentences.

I try to give the men a break," said vice officer Ed Bartley "because their arrest can lead to a divorce and family problems."


May 29


1849, Nashville – The steamboat America, having left New Orleans on May 23, reached Nashville in the record-breaking time of five days, 15½ hours. The nautical distance between the two cities is 1,262 miles at an average speed of 16.7 miles an hour.


1882, Knoxville – About 4:15 p.m., 200 African-American men gathered at the car shed to wait for the train. As it rolled in, the crowd of blacks gathered around the door of thje first-class coach. A scuffle resulted as the conductor tried to hold them back. As he closed the door, two black women and one black man managed to get on board. Ten African-American men were on the platform pressed up against the door by their comrades. Two constables arrived to enforce segregation but their demands for order were met with yells from the crowd, which encouraged the 10 men on the platform to stand their ground

It was feared that the crowd would become unmanageable. Police reinforcements arrived. One resolute black was told to take the Jim Crow (segregated) car, get on the platform, or be jailed. He refused and was slammed into the car door by the policemen. The crowd of black males and their female supporters clustered close to the protesters and inspired them with shouts.

Ultimately, the train left the station with three civil rights protesters in the first-class section. Claiming victory the crowd gave a yell as the train rolled out.

Their triumph, however, was brief, as segregation held sway until the middle of the 20th century.  Yet the fact that the protest occurred at all is remarkable and telling of the long struggle for equality and civil rights in Tennessee and America.


1887, Murfreesboro – The Methodist church held an auction and offered crazy quilts as premiums.  Some quilts brought as much as $500, and the church was well on its way to financial success.


1895, Covington – A crowd of between 3,500 and 5,000 witnessed the unveiling of a monument honoring Confederate soldiers from Tipton County. The monument, which symbolized the myth of the "lost cause" was placed on the south lawn of the courthouse.


1989, Shelbyville – Lynchburg's favorite Irish lady, a street walker, died in nearby Shelbyville.

Fritz was a 16-year-old Irish setter. Technically she belonged to Sunshine and Elmwood Ervin. Most likely dropped off by a tourist, she became the town dog. She appeared in Jack Daniel's Distillery commercials and even had small parts in two movies. Once, during the movie Starman on the town square, she charged from behind the Confederate monument and howled so loudly that the filming was disrupted. Fritz was a favorite of tourists for years and made the rounds among the local churches, preferring the Methodists, who fed her well.



May 30


1806, Kentucky, just above the Tennessee Line – Andrew Jackson killed Charles Dickinson in a duel.

Dueling was strictly forbidden by lay in Tennessee, but not in Kentucky. The two men stood 24 feet apart, Jackson swearing an oversized cloak. Dickinson, an expert marksman, fired first and hit Jackson in his ribs. Visibly shaken, Jackson nonetheless, took aim but his piece misfired. He drew back the hammer, fired, and killed Dickinson.

Jackson carried the bullet with in for many years, which caused his intense discomfort. Many in Nashville were aghast at the incident, which had started as a disagreement over a horserace bet between friends of the two duelists, then escalated to an alleged insult to Jackson's wife than he would not abide.

Had the duel taken place in Tennessee, Jackson would have been guilty of homicide.


1821, Harpeth Shoals, Cumberland River – The General Jackson, Nashville's first steamboat, got snagged and sank 35 miles below the city.


1845, The Hermitage – It was reported that a moribund Andrew Jackson "with considerable exertion….was enabled to finish the portrait….After examining it, he remarked to Mr. [George Peter Alexander] Healy 'I am satisfied Sir, that you stand at the head of your profession: if I may be allowed to judge my own likeness, I can safely concur in the opinion of my family, this is the best that has ever been taken.'"


1886, Memphis – a crowd exceeding 6,000 attended the opening of General Peter Tracy's "Toboggan," a 19th-century amusement park ride that simulated a downhill toboggan ride.


1887, Nashville – It was reported that Fannie Brown, a 19-year old Middle Tennessee girl of "German parentage, with fair hair, sparling eyes and peach and cream complexion" had an abortion with the help of H. B. Bailey, a Vanderbilt medical student, and Drs. Patterson and Brantley. She had fallen "from the path virtue" and become a harlot.

Abortions had been illegal in Tennessee since 1883. The townspeople were incensed. The physicians and the student left town quickly, never to be heard of again in the City of Rocks. It is not known if Fannie survived the operation.



May 31


1862, Hamilton County – James J. Andrews, the leader of the famous Andrews' Raid, escaped captivity but was later recaptured by Confederate forces. He was hanged in Atlanta, Georgia on June 7, 1862.

The members of the Andrews' raiding party were the first in the United States to be receive the Medal of Honor.  Walt Disney Studios later made a movie about this Civil War exploit.


1931, Nashville Dr. Carroll Gideon Bull died.

Bull was born in Nashville in 1884. He was a noted teacher at Johns Hopkins, as well as an eminent immunologist whose work helped establish current theories and practices in the field. A plaque at the Johns Hopkins Immunology Department recalls his chairmanship form 1918 to 1931.


194y, Nashville – As part of Tennessee's sesquicentennial celebrations, the busts of Matthew Fontaine Maury and David Glasgow Farragut were unveiled. Comments were made by Vice Admire. A. S. Carpenter. In attendance were the mother of governor Prentice Cooper, Judge Samuel C. Williams, Governor Jim McCord, and a host of onlookers.


1979, Nashville – Claude Diehl accept an out-of-court settlement of $1.1 million from WSM National Life and Casualty and California-based Buena Vista (Disney) Corporation, on behalf of his partially paralyzed son, Dale.

In August 1976, Dale had been injured in a shooting-gallery incident at Opryland. He had originally sued for $10 million.





June 1, 1540, in what is now Polk County  -  Spanish conquistador and explorer Hernando DeSoto visited a Cherokee village named Canasoga, camping with his expedition in the open country near the town. A delegation of 20 villagers met his column, each person carrying a basket of mulberries as a peace offering.

This may have resulted in the first instance in Volunteer State history in which white men had to contend with the "Tennessee trots."



1796, Philadelphia the Nation's Capital – Tennessee became the 16th state in the union. The occasion is celebrated as Tennessee Statehood Day.


1827, Memphis – British philanthropist Robert Dale Owen and radical female reformer Francis "Fannie" Wright visited the utopian community of Nashoba (Choctaw for "Wolf"), whose purpose was educating and freeing slaves.

On the occasion of their visit, a slave named Redrick forced sexual relations with another slave, Isabol. This was a gross violation of the mutual-consent rule practiced at Nashoba. Redrick was threatened with a flogging. Isabol had been denied a lock on her door, as Fanny Wright explained, because the mutual consent rule was considered protection enough.


1870, Knoxville – In an interview in the Knoxville Daily Chronicle, attorney John Baxter commented that the number of litigations were higher than ever. Commenting on the general state of the neighborliness, Baxter noted that the "oldest inhabitant is unable to recall a period when East Tennessee was not disturbed by some personal, religious, or political controversy; conduct with such low and vulgar epithets and personal denunciations to offend the refined sensibilities of every orderly and decent person."


June 2


1845, The Hermitage – Andrew Jackson's health continued to decline. According to William Tyack, a visitor from New York, "his distress suddenly became very great; and the water increasing to an alarming extent. An express was sent to Nashville, twelve miles, for surgical aid. An operation was performed by Dr. Evans with success; much water was taken from his abdomen, which produced a great relief although great prostration.                                                                  '


1846, Nashville -  An editorial in the Tri-Weekly Nashville Union entitled "The Right Spirit in Tennessee," commented on the larger number of men volunteering for the Mexican War. According to the editor

From Carter County to Shelby, the utmost enthusiasm prevailed, and we have not a doubt that more than ten thousand gallant sons of Tennessee have been disappointed in not being able to secure a reception. So many have  tendered their services that the privilege of being received was necessarily determined by ballot. The singular process has been witnessed by drafting men o9ut of the service instead of drafting into service. In some cases, we have heard of as much as $250 being offered by individuals for the privilege of taking the place of others who had been fortunate enough in the ballots, but we have heard of no such trade being mde. The disappointment among those who drew blanks has been great….We can truly say that the call has been most gallantly met – the result has proved that we are proud of the rifle and the "Volunteer State."


1909, Knoxville – According to reports, it was decided at the 51st general assembly of the United Presbyterian Church that no Presbyterian minister was to marry a divorced couple except on spiritual grounds. The "spiritual grounds" exception was more understood than defined.


1920, Kyrock, Kentucky – Frank Goad Clement, Tennessee's 42bnd chief executive was born.

Clement spent his childhood in Dickson and later became a famous orator. He was a three time governor, including a two-year term beginning in 1952 and two four-year terms beginning in 1952 and 1962. He inaugurated new programs such as the Tennessee Department of Mental Health, the first state speech and hearing center, and long-range highway construction.  He was also noted for providing textbooks for the public schools.

The Clement Railroad Hotel Museum, housed in the Hotel Halbrook, in Dickson, Tennessee, memorializes his achievements as governor.


June 3


1806, Jonesborough – Thomas Lenoir, a wealthy landowner, noted in his travel journal that a girl age 13 or 14 had been locked in the Jonesborough jail for murdering her father. The girl sat comatose for days, not changing her position. It was said she had killed her father with an ax. Since the body was too heavy for her to drag, she cut it into pieces and put them in a nearby cellar. When neighbors began to ask about the whereabouts of her father, her little brother had indicated where the body could be found.

There would be no state facility to aid the mentally ill in Tennessee for another 24 years.


1864, Occupied Memphis – The editor of the Memphis Daily Bulletin drew his readers' attention to the great numbers of color and black-and-white pictures of nude women then proliferating in the Bluff City. "We have long been accustomed to see such…being hung on the walls of grog shops, club rooms, and places only visited by the male sex" he wrote, but gave the opinion that they shouldn't be displayed in shop windows where ladies and children might see them. The city government should, exhorted the editor, pass a law making such public display illegal. Such images were the pornography of the time.


1917, Chattanooga – In an effort to raise money to support striking textile operatives, young female workers wore union cards in their hatbands, solicited nickels, and tied tags bearing the slogan "Practical sympathy for locked out textile workers" to the clothing of donors. These "sympathy tags" were seen on passersby all the down town area, especially on the khaki uniforms of soldiers from Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia.

One striking female operative on the corner of Eighth and Market streets explained to a reporter, "just notice as you go down the street, and see if everybody ain't sympathizing with us. There's a few women all dressed up who can see us girls when they go by. They're the folks we have been slaving for [for] nothing….I look as some of these women and girls in their swell clothes and I wonder if they ever realize it's us that make the money for 'em. No, they don't. We are just dirt under their feet, and they wouldn't so much as give us a nickel if they thought we was starving. But we are going to show 'em."



James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Editor, The Courier

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214


(615)-532-1549  FAX


From: Kim Schoetzow
Sent: Tuesday, May 31, 2016 8:52 AM
Subject: TDEC's "5 for Today" and Daily News Summary - May 31

To view the full version, including all photos, visit the TDEC Intranet at: http://tdecintranet.tn.gov/tdec-news/article/5-for-today-tues-may-31.

5 for Today – Tuesday, May 31

1.      May 31-June 2 is the statewide Air Pollution Control staff meeting at Montgomery Bell State Park. TDEC employees will participate in a variety of professional exercises, including a service activity, leadership Q&A, breakout sessions on topics such as enforcement and permitting, and more. Commissioner Martineau and Deputy Commissioner Meghreblian will also address the group.

2.      Are you a TDEC mastermind? Try your hand at this week's Tuesday Trivia questions!

3.      On Friday, Gov. Haslam hosted the annual memorial ceremony on War Memorial Plaza in downtown Nashville. This year the state honored Gunnery Sergeant Thomas Sullivan, Staff Sergeant David Wyatt, Sergeant Carson Holmquist and Lance Corporal Squire "Skip" K.P. Wells, who were killed during the terrorist attack in Chattanooga last July, and Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Smith, who died two days later from his injuries. Tribute was also paid to First Lieutenant Alexander Bonnyman, Jr. who was killed in action in 1943 and finally laid to rest in Knoxville in 2015 and to Sergeant Gary "Lee" Reese who died in 2005 supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. Click here for photos from the day.

4.      Tennessee State Parks recently participated in two events with the Tennessee Titans as part of the Play 60 program, which encourages kids to engage in active, outdoor play every day. Deputy Commissioner Brock Hill was on hand last week to receive a $7,500 grant from the Titans and other community partners to support this effort. Click here to read the latest Intranet article about the events.

5.      Henry Horton State Park started a Lazy River Tube Float service on the Duck River this Memorial Day weekend. Each day, about 100 tubes were rented out to visitors looking to beat the heat and enjoy the beautiful scenery. See a picture of this new offering at Henry Horton here. Tube floats are available Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. for $12 per tube. For more information, contact River Rats Outfitters at (931) 381-2278.  

Daily News Summary
McMinn man, 19, drowns while swimming in Tellico Lake
Knoxville News Sentinel
A 19-year-old McMinn County man drowned Sunday in Tellico Lake while swimming with friends. Several agencies responded to the emergency call just before 3 p.m. at Fort Loudoun State Historic Park in Vonore. The Englewood resident, whose identity has not been released, "wasn't a strong swimmer," said Kelly Brockman, communications director for the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, which oversees state parks. "He just got too far out … went under and never came up." Brockman said there was no indication alcohol or drugs were involved. Emergency personal found the man's body around 5:45 p.m. Sunday, she said.

Terry Cook: Enjoy Tennessee's parks and keep them safe
Chattanooga Times Free Press
Camping is a great family activity. It's a bonding experience and an adventure that your kids will always remember. I recently relocated to Tennessee from Massachusetts with my wife and two children to be the new state director for The Nature Conservancy in Tennessee, and we're really looking forward to camping in the Tennessee woods this summer. When we do, we're going to do it right. Which means we're going to follow a new park policy aimed at keeping the state's forests safe from disease.

TDEC: Knoxville College science building 'very dangerous place' after mercury contamination
Knoxville News Sentinel
City officials delayed emergency repair orders Friday on three Knoxville College buildings, including a former science laboratory so contaminated by toxic chemicals that state environmental officials have proposed it be declared a Superfund cleanup site. Even so, college leaders said they still plan to move forward with plans to reopen the shuttered school and redevelop the campus of the city's only historically black college.

Radioactivity levels drop at Oak Ridge sewage plant
Knoxville News Sentinel
Levels of radioactivity at a city of Oak Ridge sewage treatment plant have been reduced by 90 percent over the past two years, according to a U.S. Department of Energy contractor in charge of the cleanup. Anne Smith, a spokeswoman for URS-CH2M Oak Ridge, said the contractor recently completed its 18th shipment of radioactive sludge — totaling 90,000 gallons — to a treatment facility in Washington state. Sludge has been removed periodically from the Rarity Ridge Wastewater Treatment Plant to help reduce the levels of radioactive technetium-99, which infiltrated pipelines leading to the sewage plant during demolition activities at the former K-25 uranium-enrichment facility.

2 Springfield businesses evacuated for petroleum buildup
The Tennessean
A petroleum buildup forced the evacuation of two Springfield businesses Thursday night, according to Springfield Fire Chief Jimmy Hamill. Crews responded at 5:48 p.m. to Hollingsworth Oil and El Vaquero Restaurant, both located at 1503 Memorial Boulevard, after stopped up drains at the Hollingsworth facility caused flooding there, Hamill said.

Troubled waters
The Greeneville Sun
Half a dozen bags crammed full of garbage. Two pairs of shoes. Over 300 cigarette butts. That's only a sliver of what students from West Greene High School and members of the Middle Nolichucky Watershed Alliance plucked out of Richland Creek during a cleanup two months ago. A section of the creek meanders through Hardin Park, a popular spot for kids to play and for pet owners to walk their animals. Because of litter and cows grazing too close to the water in nearby fields, the United States Environmental Protection Agency labels the shallow stream "impaired" -- too polluted to meet the standards set by the Clean Water Act of 1972 -- for fish and aquatic life.

Bald eagle found dead in Blount County neighborhood
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is investigating after an American bald eagle was found dead Monday in a yard in Blount County. The homeowners said they returned home from an outing to find the eagle in their yard. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency says there were no obvious signs of injury, but they believe it may have been struck by something or flew into something.

Letter to the Editor: Help environment by planting trees
Knoxville News Sentinel
In recent times avid environmentalists, politicians and the media have fostered paranoia and created panic about global warming. There seems to be sufficient evidence to conclude the Earth has in the past and probably will in the future experience cycles of temperature variations. Rather than spending billions of dollars attempting to eliminate carbon emissions, creating alternative energy sources (many of which have proved economically unfeasible) and panicking about something that might happen a hundred years from now, let's encourage everyone to become environmentally conscious and use common sense to avoid polluting our air and water.


Kim Schoetzow | Communications Officer

Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation

William R. Snodgrass Tennessee Tower
312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue
Nashville, TN 37243

Office:  615.350.3431
Cell: 615.571.3165


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