Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Former Tennessee State University Women’s Track Coach Ed Temple Was a Pioneer

By Blake Fontenay

Interviewing successful people isn’t always a lot of fun. Often people who have accomplished a lot in their lives are defensive, bored with answering the same questions many times over or just focused on getting to the next appointment on their calendars.

When we interviewed Ed Temple for the first profile in our Tri-Star Chronicles project in 2015, he was none of those things. The legendary coach of the Tennessee State University Tigerbelles sat for hours, answering every question asked of him forthrightly and often with a wry sense of humor.



The word “legendary” is used loosely, but it really applied to Temple, who passed away Sept. 22. He coached Tennessee State’s women’s track team for more than 40 years, winning 34 national titles. Forty of the women he coached competed in the Olympics, winning 23 medals. And, as he noted with pride during our interview, all of the Olympians earned their college degrees.

Beyond his winning record, though, there were a number of things that stood out about Temple that will become part of his legacy.

One was his unrelenting commitment to discipline. He had many rules that he expected his athletes to follow. They weren’t allowed to cruise around in cars with friends. They were expected to fix their hair and makeup before giving interviews. And being on time for meetings and practices was a given. Wyomia Tyus, an Olympic gold medalist, said in an interview for Tri-Star Chronicles that Temple threatened to send those who disobeyed his rules home on the train “with a comic book and an apple.”

Temple used athletics as a gateway to help African-American women get college education. He hosted summer training camps for high school girls he hoped to recruit to Tennessee State. Since he had no budget for scholarships in the early years of his tenure, he arranged jobs for students on campus. Temple praised those who were doing well in their classes and chastised the ones who weren’t in front of their teammates.

“Athletics opens doors,” Temple liked to say, “education keeps them open.”


Tigerbelle Track Team and Coach Edward S. Temple with medals from a 1958 meet in Moscow
Members of the Tigerbelle Track Team
Image Courtesy of Tennessee State University Special Collections and Archives, Brown-Daniel Library


Temple was more than a coach. Many of his former athletes described him as a father figure who made lasting impressions on their lives. He and his wife doled out life lessons while supplying the young women with barbecue and birthday cakes. Many of those women came back to visit Temple, even more than 20 years after his retirement. Edith McGuire Duvall, another Olympic gold medalist, said she learned to appreciate Temple’s humor during those visits with her former coach.

“He was not funny then (as a coach),” Duvall told Tri-Star Chronicles. “He was all business. We have a different relationship with him now than when we were running.”


Coach Ed Temple and his children are presented 'Keys to the City', 1964.
Image Courtesy of Tennessee State University Special Collections and Archives, Brown-Daniel Library


Temple also played a key role in raising the profile of and increasing the resources provided to women’s sports. When Temple began his career in 1950, he was paid $150 a month and his track team’s budget was only $64. The school’s training facilities consisted of an incomplete cinder “half track” located near the agriculture department’s pig pen and a dump site.

“Running a 440 (meter race) was out of the question,” Temple wrote in his autobiography, “and on hot days down there by those pigs you sort of lost your motivation to run much of anything.”

Lacking resources for fancier transportation, the team traveled to track meets in a station wagon. Since they were living in the segregated South, the team packed its meals and took bathroom breaks by the side of the road.

While Temple and his Tigerbelles earned international acclaim for their achievements at the track, they made do with scant resources for years. As Temple put it: “Fame don’t pay no bills.” Temple achieved a breakthrough when he successfully appealed directly to then-Governor Buford Ellington, who had once supported segregation, for a bigger budget and athletic scholarships for the women’s track program. The program grew from there.


Members of the 1955 Tigerbelle Track Team
Image Courtesy of Tennessee State University Special Collections and Archives, Brown-Daniel Library


Later in life, Temple got recognition for the work he did in near obscurity early in his career. He was inducted into a slew of different sports halls of fame. In 2015, a statue of Temple went up outside First Tennessee Park, a short drive from Tennessee State’s main campus.

Temple used to tell his recruits: “There’s a right way, the wrong way and Coach Temple’s way.” History will probably look kindly on “Coach Temple’s way.”

To read more about Temple’s life story in Tri-Star Chronicles, please visit: http://sos.tn.gov/tsla/tri-star-chronicles-ed-temple.

EDITOR'S NOTE: A memorial service for Temple is scheduled from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Friday at the Kean Hall Gymnasium on Tennessee State University’s campus.


The Tennessee State Library and Archives is a division of the Tennessee Department of State and Tre Hargett, Secretary of State

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Library and Archives Lecture Series: Unfolding Tennessee History in the Tennessee Supreme Court Case Files

Tennessee is famous for many things, but some people may not realize the state once was a hotbed for the marble industry. Tennessee marble, known for its pinkish-gray coloring and ease of polishing, has been used in many buildings across the country.

In the next installment of the Tennessee State Library and Archives lecture series, Susan Knowles, a digital humanities fellow at Middle Tennessee State University's Center for Historic Preservation, will discuss how Supreme Court case records helped her research the marble industry. Dr. Knowles' talk, which is free and open to the public, will be held from 9:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. Sept. 24 in the Library & Archives auditorium.

Dr. Knowles first explored the Supreme Court Case files, which are housed at the Library and Archives,​ while serving as museum consultant for the ​Tennessee Judiciary Museum in 2012. She will illustrate their value in a case study on the Tennessee marble industry that helped her prepare Rock of Ages: East Tennessee's Marble Legacy, an exhibit that will open Nov. 18 at the Museum of East Tennessee History. To search Supreme Court case records at the Library and Archives, please visit http://sos.tn.gov/products/tsla/tennessee-supreme-court-cases

"We are very privileged to have Dr. Knowles share some of the findings of her research with those who want to participate in our lecture series," Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. "She will demonstrate how Supreme Court records can be used to learn more about how marble had a major impact on our state's history."

Dr. Knowles' dissertation topic was Tennessee marble in civic architecture, with a focus on the individuals who built the industry as well as the political, societal and infrastructural forces that shaped it. Over a 20-year career in the museum field, she has organized numerous exhibitions and worked as a project curator for the Customs House Museum and Cultural Center, Fisk University, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Hofstra University, Humanities Tennessee, Nashville International Airport, Nashville Public Library, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Tennessee Arts Commission, the Tennessee Holocaust Commission, the Tennessee Judiciary Museum and the Tennessee State Museum.

The Library and Archives auditorium is located at 403 Seventh Avenue North, directly west of the Tennessee State Capitol in downtown Nashville. Parking is available around the library building. Although the lecture is free, reservations are encouraged due to seating limitations. To sign up for the lecture, please visit: https://courtfilesworkshop.eventbrite.com


The Tennessee State Library and Archives is a division of the Tennessee Department of State and Tre Hargett, Secretary of State

Monday, September 5, 2016

Honoring the Contributions of Tennessee Workers on Labor Day

Today we honor the contribution that workers make to the strength and prosperity of our country. These images from the Department of Conservation Photograph Collection show Tennesseans at work between 1939 and 1950.


The Vultee aircraft assembly line in Nashville. Workers in the foreground are making installations in the forward boom. In the background, the final assembly conveyor line for the wing and center sections is visible, ca. 1941. http://tnsos.org/tsla/imagesearch/citation.php?ImageID=3751




Workers in strawberry packing plant at Portland in Sumner County, 1950. http://tnsos.org/tsla/imagesearch/citation.php?ImageID=5906



Ben Ellis plowing corn with a mule on Coker Creek in Monroe County, 1946. http://tnsos.org/tsla/imagesearch/citation.php?ImageID=14432



Workers stacking clay turpentine cups at the Herty Clay Company at Daisy in Hamilton County, 1939. http://tnsos.org/tsla/imagesearch/citation.php?ImageID=20409



Read more about the history of Labor Day and see last year's Labor Day photo tribute to working Tennesseans on our blog: http://tslablog.blogspot.com/2015/09/an-honest-days-work-photographic.html.


The Tennessee State Library and Archives is a division of the Tennessee Department of State and Tre Hargett, Secretary of State

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Use #GoVoteTN to Celebrate National Voter Registration Month

Secretary of State Tre Hargett is urging Tennesseans to use #GoVoteTN on social media as a way to encourage others to register to vote.

During the month of September, which is National Voter Registration Month, people should have someone take a picture of them holding an "I'm registered to vote. Are you?" sign, then post it using the hashtag #GoVoteTN.

A flurry of posts is expected on Tuesday, September 27 to celebrate National Voter Registration Day. #GoVoteTN is consistently one of the most successful state-led voter registration social media campaigns in the country.

“Tennesseans will be heading to the polls to vote for the next president of the United States before we know it. It’s crucial that people understand the need to get registered now so there won’t be any surprises in November,” Secretary Hargett said.



Voters must be registered at least 30 days before an election to cast a ballot. Tuesday, October 11 is the registration deadline to vote in the November 8 general election.

Anyone can print their own "I'm registered to vote. Are you?" sign at GoVoteTN.com, which can be customized to the colors of many of the state's colleges, universities or professional sports teams. People can also check their registration status, access a voter registration form or download the free GoVoteTN app to access voter specific information, including polling locations, sample ballots and election results.

Civic engagement often starts in the classroom, so we also want to take this opportunity to point out the Library and Archives Education Outreach website, where teachers and students can learn about the history of our state. The site includes links to digital copies of primary source material, such as newspaper records, historic photographs, letters, diaries, maps, political cartoons, broadsides, census records, Governors’ papers, and more that tell the story of Tennesseans and our role in the greater story of American history.

The Secretary of State's Civic Engagement website also offers a variety of links to information and resources to help you become a more informed citizen, and Blue Book lesson plans, created by Tennessee teachers from across the state utilizing the Tennessee Blue Book. These lesson plans link with the current Tennessee social studies curriculum standards using the information provided in the Blue Book to utilize in civics and government classes.


Throughout the month of September, the Secretary of State's office will share posts on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to highlight who is proud to be registered to vote, including many well-known Tennesseans. Snap a photo, use #GoVoteTN and post. It's that easy to show the world Tennesseans care about their right to vote.


The Tennessee State Library and Archives is a division of the Tennessee Department of State and Tre Hargett, Secretary of State

Friday, August 26, 2016

The Yellow Fever Epidemic in Tennessee

By Heather Adkins

Nashville Tennessean Magazine, Jan. 22, 1956, Newspapers on Microfilm Collection.


In the 1870s, a series of yellow fever epidemics ravaged the Mississippi Delta from New Orleans up through West Tennessee. Nowhere was the devastation more apparent than in Memphis. In 1873, the disease claimed the lives of 2,000 Memphians. When it returned to the city in 1878, it killed more than 5,000.


“A Quarantine Wanted at Memphis,” July 26, 1878, Daily American, page 4.


After cases of yellow fever in New Orleans were reported in July of 1878, the board of health in Memphis called for a quarantine of steamboat travelers. Health officials believed that the spread of the disease, carried by river travelers up waterways, could be contained before it reached the city. Beginning around July 27, all northbound boats were stopped at President’s Island, 12 miles south of Memphis.


“Jumping the Quarantine,” circa 1870s, Manuscript Collection.



Journal entry of a Memphis resident quarantined in Arkansas, Oct. 7, 1878, Henry Sieck journal, Trinity Lutheran Church records.


Despite the steamboat quarantine, yellow fever crept into Memphis. The first death in mid-August caused widespread panic. About 25,000 residents fled the city. As a result, local authorities took several precautions to prevent further spread of the disease. They quarantined the city and positioned an armed safety patrol outside of Memphis, not only to prevent travelers from coming into the area, but also to keep in, and at times arrest, people afflicted with yellow fever. A citizens' relief committee organized refugee camps, and nurses and doctors within Memphis were assigned to infected districts, reportedly seeing as many as 100 to 150 patients daily. The city also restricted importation and exportation of goods to lower the risk of the disease spreading. By October, the need for supplies became so dire that the federal war department ordered the steamer J.M. Chambers to carry necessary provisions, medicine and clothing from St. Louis to Memphis.


“Under the Yellow Flag,” Oct. 6, 1878, Daily American, page 3 as reported in the St. Louis Republican.


Memphis clergy played a key role during the 1878 epidemic. The Sisterhood of St. Mary became well known for its aid efforts. St. Mary’s ran a church orphanage and a girls school, and during the fever outbreaks the sisters also provided care at the Canfield Asylum, a home for African-American children. The sisters rotated between supplying food and medicine to homebound patients, bringing children to the Canfield Asylum, and caring for the orphans of St. Mary’s. From September to October, several priests and nuns died of the fever. Among those who died were Sister Constance, Sister Thecla, Sister Ruth, Sister Frances, Rev. Charles Carroll Parsons and Rev. Louis S. Schuyler. These six individuals became known as “Constance and Her Companions,” or the “Martyrs of Memphis.”


“Catholic Sisters of Charity,” circa 1870s, Manuscript Collection.


Sister Hughetta of St. Mary’s writes that Mrs. Shipwith and her baby were killed by the fever. She explains that Mr. Cline was not allowed in the sick room until absolutely necessary, for fear he too would contract the disease. Nov. 20, 1878, Manuscript Collection.


Between August and November of that year, the population of Memphis plummeted. Before the outbreak, the city’s residents numbered 47,000. In addition to the 25,000 who fled upon news of outbreak in August, it is estimated that by September only 19,000 remained and 17,000 of them had the fever. The congregation of Trinity Lutheran Church is one of many examples of how the epidemic affected pocket communities. At the time of the outbreak, Trinity was thought to have had several hundred members in its congregation. That number dropped to 125 members, with church records showing two entries listing the names of about 100 members who died from the fever.

Rev. Henry Sieck, who presided over Trinity at that time, was quarantined in Arkansas, where he had traveled as a guest speaker at another church. His journal provides a detailed firsthand account describing the mass fear of contracting the disease, quarantine procedures for travelers, “yellow fever refugees” meetings, and his reactions as news of his dying congregation made its way to him.



This record includes many individual deaths due to fever from Aug. 1878 to Jan. 1879, and a large section of 38 deaths before Dec. 1878. The title of that section, written in German, loosely translates to “Died in this municipality from 14 Aug. – Dec. 1878 of yellow fever.” Statistics Book 2, 1878, Trinity Church Records.



September 26, 1878 entry of the Henry Sieck journal, Trinity Lutheran Church records.


The disease dwindled during a big freeze in October. The city sent out a message calling its residents back, though fever cases still appeared as late as February 1879. In 1879, Memphis property tax revenues collapsed and the city could not make payments on its debts. As a result, the Tennessee General Assembly revoked the city charter, classifying Memphis as a taxing district until 1893. Despite its losses, Memphis recovered with a new era in sanitation reform and improvements.





This letter from Dr. G.B. Thornton, President of the Office of the Board of Health in Shelby County, to Dr. J.D. Plunket, State Board of Health of Tennessee, details the efforts of disinfecting and sanitary work underway in Memphis to eradicate yellow fever. July 22, 1879, Tennessee Department of Public Health Records.


Perhaps the most significant impact the yellow fever made on Memphis was demographic changes. Most of the upper and middle classes vanished, having either left the city ahead of quarantine or died during the epidemic. The disappearance of these classes deprived the city of its leadership and class structure, and created a unique situation for poorer white and African-American communities. These communities played the largest role in re-establishing Memphis as a city.

For further reading, see “The Saffron Scourge”: http://www.ashleylayhew.com/yellow-fever/

For more primary sources, see Education Outreach: http://sos.tn.gov/tsla/education-outreach-rise-industrial-america

And view our online exhibit, "Epidemic Scourges in Tennessee" at: http://share.tn.gov/tsla/exhibits/disasters/epidemics.htm


The Tennessee State Library and Archives is a division of the Tennessee Department of State and Tre Hargett, Secretary of State

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

From the Tennessee Supreme Court Case Files: The Case of Julius J. DuBose

By Kim Wires

Here at the Tennessee State Library & Archives, we keep more than 10,000 boxes of Supreme Court cases, but not all of these cases involve laypeople who were unschooled about the law. Some of them involve judges as participants in, rather than arbiters of, legal disputes. In this case, a colorful Memphis judge was accused of helping to facilitate an illegal duel - only to be impeached by the General Assembly years later for his behavior. Here is his story:

Julius J. DuBose was born on Dec. 13, 1839 in Shelby County. He enlisted in the 9th Arkansas Regiment in 1861 and went to law school after the Civil War. He went on to become an editor, a state senator, and in 1886, a criminal court judge for Shelby County.

In 1889, state officials and several private citizens accused DuBose of violating the state’s constitution for his alleged role in a duel in Crittenden County, Arkansas 19 years before.


State, ex rel A. J. Harris et al v. J. J. DuBose
Tennessee State Supreme Court Case Files




The pistol duel was fought between two Shelby County residents, George R. Phelan and James Brizzotari. According to the case file, DuBose was accused of “not only aid[ing] and abet[ing] the same by giving encouragement there to by his presence, but in said duel appeared and acted as the second of said James Brizzotari.” Brizzotari was seriously wounded after several shots were exchanged between the two men.

On July 3, 1889, the Shelby County Chancery Court announced that it had no jurisdiction in the matter and that the authority to hear the case resided with the Tennessee General Assembly. Therefore, the case was dismissed. The state was granted an appeal to the the Supreme Court, which held a hearing in Jackson April 1,1890. The Supreme Court ultimately upheld the lower court’s decision and dismissed the case against DuBose.

At the time of the duel, DuBose had been the editor of a daily evening paper called “The Public Ledger” in Memphis. In that newspaper's June 29, 1870 issue, there was an account of the duel covering several columns.


Article from the Daily American, May 16, 1889




After more than 3,000 Shelby County residents petitioned for DuBose's removal, the Tennessee House of Representatives passed a resolution in 1893 allowing impeachment proceedings against the judge. The House issued 25 articles of impeachment.



House Resolution No. 58, from 1893.




The first article said “that, unmindful of the solemn duties of his office, and contrary to the sacred obligations by which he stands bound to discharge them, and to administer justice without respect of person, and impartially to discharge the duties incumbent upon him as a judge, he has acted in an unjudicial, tyrannical, and brutal manner toward attorneys at law practicing in said court whilst he was presiding as judge thereof.”


Articles of Impeachment for Judge Julius DuBose from the Tennessee General Assembly’s Journal, 1893



The impeachment trial lasted one month and on June 2, 1893 the legislature voted DuBose guilty of a misdemeanor while in office and forever barred him from holding any office within the state. DuBose died on March 21, 1912 in Memphis of pneumonia and is buried in Elmwood Cemetery.

You can learn more about this case and other cases in the Tennessee Supreme Court records project on our website at: http://sos.tn.gov/products/tsla/tennessee-supreme-court-cases


The Tennessee State Library and Archives is a division of the Tennessee Department of State and Tre Hargett, Secretary of State

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Students Invited to Participate in Tennessee's First Ever Student Mock Election

Governor Frank Clement giving a speech,
possibly at a re-election rally in Lebanon.
This fall students across Tennessee will be able to do something most kids can't: vote for president of the United States.

The Secretary of State's office is pleased to announce Tennessee's first ever Student Mock Election. Students in preschool through high school from all public and private schools as well as home school associations in Tennessee can participate.

Paper ballots letting students choose between Democratic and Republican presidential nominees will be provided, but schools may elect to include additional candidates or conduct elections locally in different ways.

Early voting for the mock election opens October 17 and results must be submitted by Mock Election Day, November 1. Mock presidential election results will be revealed on November 2, less than a week before the real general election.

The program also offers lesson plans created by Tennessee teachers. The goal is offer an easy way for teachers to incorporate civic engagement and citizenship into their curriculum leading up to the Student Mock Election.

The Library and Archives also offers several resources for students and teachers interested in learning more about civic education and our government at the state level, including...


For more information go visit: sos.tn.gov/civics. Read more from our press release at: http://sos.tn.gov/news/students-invited-participate-tennessees-first-ever-student-mock-election.

The Tennessee State Library and Archives is a division of the Tennessee Department of State and Tre Hargett, Secretary of State