Category Archives: Current Event

Members of the United States Colored Troops to be commemorated in dedication ceremony October 19

I’ve said it before and now I’m saying it again. People and events linked to Nashville history can almost always be connected to people and events associated with a set of railroad tracks once known as Dutchman’s Curve. Movements of the 13th US Colored Troops are no exception.
The Thirteenth U.S. Colored Infantry was formed in 1863. Troops from the 13th were stationed along the tracks of Nashville and Northwestern Railroad line to protect the line from raiding confederates. At that time the tracks at Dutchman’s Curve were part of the Nashville and Northwestern line.
Connected! See how that works?
This weekend certain members of the 13th US Colored Troops are getting some well-deserved attention. The African American Heritage Society of Maury County announced that a dedication ceremony to commemorate the placement of the names of 54 members of the United States Colored Troops from Maury County and 4 white Maury Countians who fought and died for the union in the Civil War will be conducted on Oct 19th, 2013 at 10 AM at the Maury County War Memorial Monument located outside the Maury County Court House.
The program includes an honor guard from the black Civil War re-enactors of the 13th U.S.C. T. Regiment who will present and post arms to honor these men, as their names are read into Maury County’s place of history.
The Key Note speakers include, Mr. Patrick McIntyre, Director of the Tennessee Historical commission; Mr. John Seigenthaler, founder of the First Amendment Foundation, and Dr. Bobby Lovett.

For further information on the event: Jo Ann McClellan 931-682-3755 or 931-698-4765


New Destination for History Nerds; the George W Bush Presidential Library and Museum Opens Tomorrow

My dad Lee Cross, my mom Nan Cross and my daughter Ruby at the Reagan presidential Library and museum 1994

My dad Lee Cross, my mom Nan Cross and my daughter Ruby at the Reagan presidential Library and Musuem

With all the hoopla surrounding the opening of the George W Bush Library and Museum tomorrow, I can’t help but wonder what is a presidential library exactly? I should already know what a presidential library is. My mother has been to almost all of them. Years ago she took my daughter to visit the two in California, Nixon and Reagan, and is currently making plans to visit the two Bush collections in Texas with me. According to Wikipedia a presidential library is a repository for preserving and making available the papers, records, collections and other historical materials of a former president. Since my mom is interested in pop-culture and history it’s the museum part of the library and museum that attracts her to the sites.

When the George W Bush Library and Museum opens to the public visitors like my mom will tour exhibits framed by four themes: freedom, responsibility, opportunity and compassion. The museum’s permanent exhibits include a full-sized Oval Office, a Texas Rose Garden, and a Decision Points Theater designed to take visitors “inside” the decision-making process and policies developed during the Administration of President George W Bush. The exhibit will also show artifacts from the President’s terms of office and the thousands of gifts given to him and the First Lady during their years in the White House. Among the artifacts and gifts on display is the bullhorn used by the President when speaking from atop the rubble at the site of the World Trade Center in New York City on September 14, 2001 and a hand-woven scarf presented to the First Lady by three women of the Mae La Refugee Camp on the Thai-Burma border when she toured there in 2008.

Putting personal views aside I am looking forward to visiting the George W Bush Library and Museum with my mom.The aim of the museum is “to inform, to stimulate discussion, and to encourage engagement.” Given the mood of the times that is a very good aim indeed.

Hiroshi Motomura–Southern Festival Of Books

Following his presentation inside the Sentate Chambers author Hiroshi Motomura signed copies of book,”Americans in Waiting: The Lost Story of Immigration and Citizenship in the United States” at the Southern Festival of Books, in Nashville, October 9, 2010

With the controversy surrounding the question of immigration, and the appropriate directions U.S. and state policies should follow, a hot political topic, today’s presentation by author Hiroshi Motomura was both timely and significant. Speaking inside the Tennessee State Senate Chamber, Motomoru discussed recent developments affecting immigration law as he expounded on excerpts from his book, “Americans in Waiting: The Lost Story of Immigration and Citizenship in the United States.” As a guest speaker at the 16th annual Southern Festival Of Books, Motomura shed valuable light and insight on this divisive and confusing subject.

Hiroshi Motomura is a professor at UCLA. He is an influential scholar and teacher of immigration and citizenship law. His work is known and respected by law makers across the country and in the nation’s capitol. Following the 2006 publication of “Americans in Waiting” Senator Edward Kennedy stated “Hiroshi Motormura’s portrait of immigration history in the United States is as poignant as it is precise.” Senator Kennedy went on to say that Motomura’s book “emphasizes the need to treat lawful immigrants more inclusively, and welcome them as future citizens who will help revitalize the American Dream for future generations, as they have done throughout history.

“Americans in Waiting” by Hiroshi Motomura is available here for online purchase and review.

Michael McDonald Opens New Season Pop Series With The Nashville Symphony

Resident Conductor Albert-George Schram led the Nashville Symphony Orchestra in an energetic and lively performance tonight, launching this season’s Bank of America Pops Series. The evening began with the orchestra’s lively presentation of Dvorak’s Carnival. The ten minute overture, composed in 1892, includes a stirring march, a peaceful interlude of strings and woodwinds and an overriding movement punctuated by moments of dramatic percussion. The orchestra closed the first hour with a moving rendition of Leonard Bernstein’s Westside Story overture, bringing the audience out of the nineteenth century and into the age of pop music.

Special guest artist, seventies rock icon, Michael McDonald, opened the evenings second hour with “Love Letters,” a 1960 ‘era orchestra ballad. Although McDonald is a five time Grammy winning songwriter, his performance tonight included many tunes composed by other writers. He said the songs he chose are “the ones I can remember where I was when I first heard them.” Not only were the songs meaningful to McDonald, they also showcased his wide range of vocal styles and he easily adapted his soulful baritone to suit the various genres. He romantically crooned Brenda Lee’s “Someday”, powerfully belted out Aretha Franklin’s “Aint No Way” and rocked his way through The Band’s “Rag Mama Rag.” In answer to the crowds resounding cry of encore he delighted the audience with a rocking rendition of Chuck Berry’s “You Never Can Tell.” Following tonight’s performance one fan said that “his voice is as smooth and rich as it ever was.”

The Schermerhorn Symphony Center suffered serious damage during the flood in early May. Repairs on the building are expected to continue through December and the Bank of America Pop Series concerts will be held inside the Allen Arena at David Libscomb University until the Schermerhorn reopens. Upcoming performances of this season eight-part Pop Series include Gershwin “Here to Stay” (October 14-16, 2010), an evening highlighting George Gershwin’s most popular tunes, including his song collaborations with brother Ira; Jewel (November 11-13, 2010), featuring the singer-songwriter performing her pop and country hits of the past two decades; Peter Cetera (January 13-15, 2011), presenting the legendary lead-singer of the group Chicago and successful solo artist; Broadway Rocks! (February 24-26, 2011), a collection of high-energy rock and pop songs originally featured on the Broadway stage; The Sound of Philadelphia (March 31, April 1-2, 2011), featuring the dynamic group Spectrum in a look back at the signature sound of Philadelphia soul as created during the 1970s; Michael Cavanaugh Sings the Music of Bill Joel (May 5-7, 2011), an evening with the GRAMMY-nominated star of Billy Joel’s Broadway musical Movin’ Out; and Lorrie Morgan (May 26-28.

Volunteer Spirit Of Nashville Is Evident In Disaster

Volunteers Serve A Hot Meal Provided By Wendell Smith’s To Flood Victims At St. Luke’s Y.E.S Center

The overriding story that emerged in the aftermath of last week’s devastating flood, was of the volunteer spirit that swept across the city like a cloud of hope. Reporting on the generous outpouring of service and donations offered by both local individuals and corporations, Nashville attorney, David Ewing stated that “We are lucky to live in a town with great people and businesses who care about our community and its citizens.” Sue Spence of Bellevue who lost everything she owned in the disaster said “it’s not what I lost that I want to talk about, I want to talk about the people, not just friends and my church, but strangers too. You might expect help from your family, but so many people offered to do whatever was needed, I’ve never seen anything like it.”

More than two hundred homes were damaged or destroyed when the flood waters overtook West Nashville’s Nations neighborhood, leaving hundreds of local residents without cooking facilities and sanitation. Responding to the community’s need for hot meals, Wendell Smith’s worked with Saint Luke’s Community House, and the West Nashville branch of Youth Encouragement Services to provide lunch and dinner for flood victims all last week.

Following a visit to Saint Luke’s on Thursday, Metro Councilman Jason Holleman said “The organized effort to address the needs of flood victims has been impressive, but what has been even more impressive is the way that area non-profits, like St. Luke’s Community House, have risen to the occasion to be a real force in responding to the needs on the ground.” Throughout Holleman’s visit numerous donations of food and cleaning supplies were delivered to the center and he later stated that “This disaster has demonstrated that we, in Tennessee, continue to deserve the title of “The Volunteer State. The dedication that people in this community have shown to their friends, to their neighbors, and to complete strangers has been inspiring.”

It is unknown the long term affect the flood will have on the city’s commerce and industry or how it will impact the future of the individual victims who all suffered great personal loss, but the disaster’s lasting legacy of community service and compassion is already established and will be long remembered. And for that we can all take pride.