Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Complete Set of Tennessee Gold Star Records Available Online as World War I Anniversary Approaches

Group of soldiers at Camp Sevier in Greenville, S.C. on November 7, 1917 in the gold star record of Corp. Joseph Warren Kyle, Co. C, 105th Fld. Sig. Bn.
Pictured (left to right): Hurst (Sevierville, Tenn.); Kyle (Hollow Rock, Tenn.); Creson (Fayetteville, Tenn.); Lamox (Winchester, Tenn.); Marshall (Ky.)
Tennessee World War I Gold Star Records: Tennessee Virtual Archive (TeVA)


The United States’ entry into World War I led to tragedy for the West family from the East Tennessee community of Oliver Springs. Newspapers of the time reported that infantryman and Oliver Springs resident George Edward West carried his dying 17-year-old brother Thomas from a battlefield in France, only to be killed himself a little more than a month later.

The stories of the West brothers – and hundreds of others like them – are immortalized in the records of Tennessee’s Gold Star collection. As the United States prepares to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the date the country joined the conflict known as “the Great War,” the Tennessee State Library and Archives is pleased to announce that a complete set of those records is now available online.

“The U.S. entry into World War I was a somber time in our country’s history,” Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. “As we near the 100th anniversary of that date, many people may wish to learn more about the brave soldiers from Tennessee who lost their lives while serving overseas. This online collection should make it easier for people who may not be able to visit the Library and Archives building in person to review these records and discover the heroic stories they document.”

The United States officially entered World War I April 6, 1917. About 130,000 soldiers from Tennessee went off to battle – many of whom did not return. During the war, families of soldiers hung small flags with blue stars on them to signify that they were contributing to the war effort. The families of soldiers who were killed in action changed their blue stars to gold.

Two months after the armistice was signed to end the war, Tennessee began collecting data about the state’s gold star honorees. Spearheaded by then-State Librarian and Archivist John Trotwood Moore, people throughout the state began sending information about deceased World War I veterans, including photographs, letters, service records, obituaries and mementos.

Those records, which have been stored at the Library and Archives, are now available through the Tennessee Virtual Archive. The files, documenting the service of 1,169 Tennessee soldiers, can be viewed at: http://bit.ly/TNGoldStar.

Visitors to the site can look up soldiers by their names, home cities or counties, or the branch of the service in which they served. These records may be of particular interest to genealogists since they contain information about soldiers, their parents and other family members that may have been destroyed in a 1921 fire that obliterated records from the 1890 U.S. Census.


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

Friday, March 24, 2017

Nannie Hereford: Missionary and Prisoner of War

By Ellen Robison

The Tennessee State Library & Archives’ collection of Tennessee newspapers on microfilm is an excellent source for researchers to get an overview of events in Tennessee history. Among the stories found within these records is that of Nannie Hereford, a former missionary in Japan who was held as a prisoner of war in the Philippines during World War II. She later returned to Japan to work for 33 more years serving the people by whom she was held hostage.

Nashville Tennessean article, dated May 3, 1945, entitled “Local Woman, Free of Japs, Returns to U. S.”



Hereford was born in 1908, in Osaka, Japan to Presbyterian missionaries, Dr. and Mrs. W. F. Hereford of Lebanon, Tennessee. She grew up in Hiroshima, Japan, but returned to Tennessee during her high school and college years. In 1932, she followed in her parents’ footsteps and accepted her own appointment for missionary work in Japan. There she worked as a teacher in Hokkaido until 1941, when tensions between Japan and the United States forced her to transfer to the Philippines. She was still working there when war broke out in the Pacific.



Nashville Tennessean article, dated April 11, 1942, entitled, “25 More State Servicemen, Civilians Believed in Philippines.” Pages 1 and 2.


An article on the April 11, 1942, front page of the Nashville Tennessean reported that 25 more individuals were added to the list of Tennesseans last known to be in the Philippines when the Japanese took control of the islands, bringing the total to 55. Among these was Hereford. Those who remained in the Philippines were taken as prisoners by the Japanese. In March of 1943, the prisoners were transferred to Santo Tomas Internment Camp in Manila, which held more than 4,000 civilians from several countries. Additionally, more than 60 U. S. Army nurses were also interned at Santo Tomas. In July of 1944, The Nashville Tennessean reported that Hereford’s parents had received a cablegram from her, which read: “Family welfare? Disappointed no recent mail. Nt [No] loss weight during internment. Love, Nannie Hereford.”

Nashville Tennessean article, dated July 21, 1944, entitled “Daughter Writes Parents From Jap Prison Camp.”



On Feb. 3, 1945, American troops liberated Santo Tomas Internment Camp during the month-long battle for the city of Manila. In an interview decades later, Hereford recounted that the camp was caught in the middle of the battle for about a week. At one point, she took shelter in her cooking shed, putting her cooking pan over her head. Upon emerging, she found a piece of shrapnel that had fallen on the counter quite close to where she had been. In late February of 1945, the Nashville Tennessean reported that the Hereford's family received a telegram from the war department informing them that she had been among the survivors of the camp and was in good health. She returned to the United States in May of that same year and was in Lebanon with her family when the U. S. dropped the first atomic bomb that decimated her childhood home of Hiroshima.


Nashville Tennessean article, dated Feb. 25, 1945, entitled “State Woman Freed From Manila Prison.”


Only a year passed before Hereford returned to the Philippines to continue her mission work. Several years later, she transferred back to Japan where she worked until her retirement in 1973. After retirement, Hereford kept herself busy by volunteering with various organizations including the Nashville Peace Links, where she worked as an anti-nuclear activist, and the Nashville Crisis Center, where she served as a telephone helpline operator. She was a chairperson of the legislative committee for the American Association of University Women, where she worked on important issues such as food taxation.

Tennessean article, dated May 19, 1985, entitled “77-Year-Old Promotes Peace.”



In 1985, Nashville Peace Links awarded to Hereford its annual Peace Award for her activism against nuclear weapons. In an interview with the Nashville Tennessean, she said that she had visited Hiroshima after World War II and toured the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. The article quoted her as saying: “I’ve seen the museum with their horrid pictures… I don’t believe in more and more munitions. If you prepare for war, you’ll use it.”

Until her death in 1999, Hereford continued to speak out to support peace - in hopes for a world with “No more Hiroshimas, ever.”

"If you prepare for war, you'll use it." -- Nannie Hereford


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

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Making the case for a new Library & Archives building...

In case you missed "Inside Politics" on NewsChannel 5 over the weekend, Secretary of State Tre Hargett outlined the case for a new Library & Archives building and Archivist Dr. Tom Kanon offered a presentation about a few of the many historical treasures the Library & Archives houses.



To view the program online, please visit: http://www.newschannel5.com/plus/inside-politics/inside-politics-tennessee-secretary-of-state-tre-hargett

#saveourpast #buildourfuture #tnlibarchives #archives


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

Monday, March 20, 2017

Effort to Digitize World War I Artifacts Heads to Williamson County

Over a five-year period, World War I ravaged Europe, the Middle East and parts of North Africa, overturning governments and costing millions of lives. The United States joined the battle on April 6, 1917, eventually mobilizing 130,000 soldiers from Tennessee. Countless other Tennesseans helped relief organizations like the Red Cross, organized scrap metal drives, manufactured war materials and provided other support for the war effort on the homefront.



The Tennessee State Library and Archives has launched a major effort to collect digital records of how World War I affected Tennesseans. Archivists will be traveling throughout the state to digitally scan and photograph documents, maps, photographs, uniforms and other artifacts related to World War I that are owned by private citizens.

The project, called “Over Here, Over There: Tennesseans in the First World War,” is similar to one the Library & Archives has conducted to digitally record Civil War memorabilia.

“We were overwhelmed by the response to our request for Civil War items, so we hope this project will help us create a rich record of World War I history as well,” Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. “Creating digital records of historical artifacts makes them easily available to anyone with internet access. It’s important that we do this now, before more of these century-old items are lost or damaged beyond repair.”

The next event will be held at the Williamson County Archives, located at 611 W. Main St. in Franklin, on the 100th anniversary of the U. S. entry into the war. Items will be digitally recorded from 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 6. During the event, the archivists will not actually take possession of the items from the owners, but will provide tips on how to care for these rare treasures.

People living in Middle Tennessee are encouraged to bring in letters, photographs, diaries, military records, maps, sketches, weapons, uniforms and other items related to the war. All items must be original – no photocopies or reproductions – and owned by the people bringing them to the event.

Reservations are strongly encouraged. To reserve time with an archivist on one of those dates, email WorldWarI.tsla@tn.gov or call (615) 741-1883.

This is the fourth of several digitization events being held around the state and the second in Middle Tennessee. The schedule of upcoming digitization events and other information about the project will be available at http://sos.tn.gov/tsla/OverHere_WWI.


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

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Public Service Announcement Featuring Former Governor Winfield Dunn

When Winfield Dunn took office as governor in 1971, the current Tennessee State Library & Archives building was almost 20 years old. Now the building is 65 years old - and Gov. Dunn believes it is time for a replacement to be constructed. The existing building has reached its storage capacity and has a number of other issues that make both preservation of records and public access to those records very difficult. The Tennessee General Assembly may soon decide whether or not to include funding for a new building in next year's budget.




We hope you'll consider joining us in supporting this important project.


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

Friday, March 10, 2017

LBJ visits Tennessee to celebrate Andrew Jackson's 200th birthday

By Heather Adkins

On March 15, 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson made a day-long trip to Nashville. The Tennessee General Assembly invited him to speak at a joint session to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of President Andrew Jackson. His one-day tour resulted in trips to the Hermitage and the Polk House, as well as the Tennessee State Capitol, where he gave a stirring speech about America’s involvement in Vietnam.

video

Audio 1 – A house joint resolution is read, inviting LBJ to speak.


“We Heard You Were Coming…” by Jack Knox, Nashville Banner, March 15, 1967.



President Johnson’s first appearance that day was at the Hermitage. He remarked on the contributions of Andrew Jackson, noting that “his greatest contribution to the life of the young Republic was the political transformation of our democracy….” President Johnson observed that Jackson believed in the ideal of the citizen-participant. At the time, the country was in the middle of the Civil Rights Movement, a social movement constructed around the right to participate. President Johnson said in his speech, “We are still attempting to eliminate all the discriminatory barriers that deny any citizen a part in the process of [t]his government…We are still striving to involve the poor, the deprived, the forgotten American, white and Negro, in the future of their society.”

Speech at the Hermitage, March 15, 1967, Lyndon B. Johnson Visit to Nashville Photograph Collection.


“Welcome to the Hermitage, Lyndon” by T. Little, Nashville Tennessean, March 15, 1967.


At noon in the Tennessee House of Representatives chamber, President Johnson gave a 32-minute address to a joint session of the Tennessee General Assembly, which was broadcast live on television. The president remarked on Texas’ historical connection to Tennessee and praised the qualities of leadership Andrew Jackson possessed. However, the bulk of the speech detailed President Johnson's policies regarding Vietnam, including concerns raised about financing, leadership and civilian casualties as a result of bombings. The speech itself served to address the questions of general public and to put at ease any confusion during that turbulent time. He acknowledged that hard decisions must be made in war and expressed his belief that “Andrew Jackson would never have been surprised at the choice we made.”

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Audio 2 – In this segment, LBJ explains America’s purpose in Vietnam.


“LBJ Message” by Jack Knox, Nashville Banner, March 16, 1967.


President Johnson spent the afternoon in Columbia, where he made remarks at the dedication of Columbia State Community College. This engagement was part of his wife's tour of education facilities in Tennessee, West Virginia and North Carolina. The President remarked on the education revolution in America, where “education cannot be only for a few, any more than health can be only for those who can afford it or national parks only for those able to travel great distance to reach them.” This one statement spoke volumes about his political agenda designed around his “Great Society” legislation. First Lady Lady Bird Johnson spoke as well, describing education as a territory for a new age of national expansion. After the dedication, the president and first lady toured the Polk home and then returned to Nashville.

Lady Bird Johnson at Columbia State Community College, March 15, 1967, Lyndon B. Johnson Visit to Nashville Photograph Collection.

Polk house, March 15, 1967, Photographer Vic Cooley, Lyndon B. Johnson Visit to Nashville Photograph Collection.


Governor Buford Ellington and his wife hosted an education forum and reception honoring the president and first lady that night at the governor’s mansion. President Johnson spoke before 100 educators from seven southern states. He mused about how many geniuses had been lost because of a lack of educational opportunities, stating his goal of making possible for every child “as much education as she or he can take, regardless of church, wealth or skin.” This again spoke to his ambition to form America into an equitable “Great Society.” Afterward, he answered questions from several publishers, principally concerning Vietnam. He then ate dinner with the governor and guests before leaving to board Air Force One.

Mrs. Ellington, Governor Ellington, First Lady Johnson, President Johnson, March 15, 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson Visit to Middle Tennessee Photograph Collection.



The trip to Tennessee, while largely successful, was not without some commotion. In particular, while President Johnson was in the capitol building, there was a peaceful anti-bombing demonstration on the front lawn of the Library & Archives. Several demonstrators scaled the hill and wall separating Seventh Ave and the capitol building. When the presidential motorcade was leaving Capitol Hill, it reportedly had to swerve around several youths who were squatting in the road in protest. The youths were removed by Tennessee state troopers.

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Audio 3 – In this segment, LBJ addresses the issue of bombing.


“Whenever North Vietnam is Ready” Nashville Tennessean, March 16, 1967.


President Johnson’s administration was rife with social struggle, as evidenced in policies comprising his “Great Society” legislation. His speech before the Tennessee General Assembly in 1967 further codified his stance on the war and his response to the atrocities happening as a result of bombings. His speeches that day also solidified his stance on the issues of race, education, poverty and health care. President Johnson’s visit coincided with the release of the Andrew Jackson postal stamp, commemorating Jackson’s 200th birthday. Both Johnson and Jackson put their stamp on American history.

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Audio 4 – LBJ reaffirms the national stance that America would stay in Vietnam until peace is negotiated.


Full transcripts of President Johnson’s speeches can be found in the Nashville Tennessean, March 16, 1967 issue.

His full recorded speech before the General Assembly is available at the Library & Archives.


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

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

In Memoriam: Dr. Edwin S. Gleaves

By Chuck Sherrill

Dr. Edwin Sheffield Gleaves, who served as our State Librarian and Archivist for 18 years, passed away Tuesday following a long illness. He had just marked his 81st birthday. We mourn the passing of a gentleman and scholar who provided leadership for Tennessee libraries and librarians during a long and productive career.

Dr. Edwin S. Gleaves
1936 - 2017

Dr. Gleaves grew up in West Nashville and descended from Tennessee pioneer stock. His father died when he was a teenager, and Ed was raised by his mother and his Gleaves grandparents. As a boy, he took delight in studying birds, which became a lifelong pursuit. Because he was color-blind, he learned to identify birds by their calls and habits and became a local expert on the subject. Another early passion was tennis, which he continued to enjoy well into retirement.

But, most of all, Eddie Gleaves was a boy who loved books and reading. It was that love that led him to pursue a career in libraries, and to become the talented speaker and writer that we remember so well. Always ready with an apt quotation or clever turn of phrase, he was erudite but gracious, brilliant but approachable, a man of both lofty ideas and practical action.

Following a bachelor’s degree in English from David Lipscomb College, Ed Gleaves earned his M.A. in Library Science and his Ph.D. in English Literature from Emory University in Atlanta. Once, when I was at a low point, he told me that he had been fired from his first library directorship. I was astonished, and listened to his story with growing admiration. He helped me to accept that success is always balanced by setbacks, and overcoming adversity makes us stronger.

For 20 years he taught Library School students at Peabody College in Nashville, and was serving as Dean of the program when it became part of Vanderbilt University. Through these years he guided and encouraged many up-and-coming librarians. He was greatly admired, and in later years it was rare to go anywhere with Dr. Gleaves without some former student coming up to greet him.

As Ed himself once wrote, in 1987 he “left the ivory tower of higher education for the bullring of state government,” becoming Tennessee’s State Librarian and Archivist. He soon became the foremost champion for the use of technology in libraries and one of the earliest adopters of email, databases and the Internet. The Tennessee Electronic Library, an indispensable resource in libraries today, was his conception and he worked with state and federal officials to make it a reality.

I first met Dr. Gleaves when he led a seminar about computers in libraries in 1986; the concepts were brand new to me and most of the seminar went right over my head. But I admired his intellect and enthusiasm, and he inspired me to learn more. In subsequent years he became my boss, my mentor and my friend. He and his beloved wife Janey befriended me and my family, and he encouraged me at every step of my career. Tennessee was blessed to have such a fine librarian and leader; knowing and working with him enriched my life, and I know many others can say the same.

Chuck Sherrill
State Librarian and Archivist
Tennessee State Library & Archives
March 8, 2017



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

LBPH honors Women's History Month

By Ruth Hemphill

The National Women’s History Project designates March as Women’s History Month. Once treated as second class citizens, women are now widely recognized for their contributions to the advancement of civilization. Joining in this annual recognition, the Tennessee Library for the Blind & Physically Handicapped (TLBPH) is pleased to offer these audio titles recommended by the National Women’s History Museum as a tribute to the accomplishments of women throughout history:



Hedy’s Folly: The Life and Breakthrough Inventions of Hedy Lamarr, the Most Beautiful Woman in the World, by Richard Rhodes. Best as a Hollywood movie star, Lamarr was also an inventor who worked with avant garde composer George Antheil to invent spread-spectrum radio, the technology behind wireless phones and GPS devices.

Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War, by Karen Abbott. This book profiles the contributions of four women living during the Civil War - two supporting the Union side and two supporting the Confederate side - who made secret contributions to their chosen causes. The featured women are: Elizabeth Van Lew, a southern lady who was an abolitionist and spy for the Union cause; Rosie O’Neal Greenhow, a well-known Washington, D.C. socialite and spy for the Confederacy; Emma Edmonds, a native Canadian who dressed as a man and enlisted in the Union Army as Frank Thompson; and Belle Boyd, known as “Cleopatra of the Secession.”

Martha Washington: An American Life, by Patricia Brady is a biography of the wealthy widow and plantation owner, Martha “Patsy” Custis, who married the young soldier in the colonial British forces and Virginia plantation owner who eventually became the first president of the United States. Martha Washington’s wealth from her first marriage enabled her husband to greatly enlarge his Mount Vernon estate. Martha Washington managed Mount Vernon as well as the five plantations she brought to the marriage for her husband during his many absences from home, first as commander of the Continental army and then as president.

Book discussion questions for these three titles are available on the National Women’s History Museum’s website: https://www.nwhm.org/education-resources/resources/book-discussions

These titles and others about famous women and their contributions to history are also available from public libraries across the state of Tennessee. TLBPH is a division of the Tennessee State Library & Archives, which is part of Secretary of State Tre Hargett’s office. For more information about TLBPH, see http://www.sos.tn.gov/tsla/lbph.


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

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Library & Archives Hosts Free Workshop on Andrew Jackson

Born 250 years ago this month, Andrew Jackson remains one of Tennessee's most iconic and controversial political figures. The former United States president is celebrated for his popularity with common folk and his military skills, but reviled for his headstrong temperament and his troubling relations with Native Americans.

To commemorate his birthday, the Tennessee State Library and Archives will soon be launching a new online exhibit highlighting documents from Jackson's life and career. On April 1, the two Library and Archives staff members who curated the exhibit will host a free workshop.

A hand-colored lithograph of the Hermitage published shortly after Jackson's death. Jackson and Rachel's tomb, overhung by the symbol of mourning, a willow, is depicted to the right of the main house. THS Collection.


The workshop, titled "Andrew Jackson and his Legacy," will run from 9:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. on that day in the auditorium of the Library and Archives building, which is located at 403 7th Ave. North in downtown Nashville.

"Andrew Jackson is one of Tennessee's most important historical figures so it is very helpful for researchers to have more information about him available online," Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. "This presentation will be a useful primer on the materials that will be included in the Tennessee Virtual Archive exhibit."

Assistant State Archivist Wayne Moore and Archival Assistant Zachary Keith will talk about the collections of Jackson's papers available at the Library and Archives, which include a version of the only known photograph of Jackson, personal letters, original maps from the War of 1812, political cartoons, campaign broadsides, engravings and lithographs. The Library and Archives also has papers from some of Jackson's chief associates, including John Overton, John Coffee, James Winchester, William Carroll and William B. Lewis.

During their presentation, Moore and Keith will discuss topics ranging from Jackson's family life with his wife Rachel and their adopted children, to Jackson's duels with rivals, to his management of his plantation and his military and political exploits.

Although the event is free and open to the public, reservations are required because of seating limitations in the Library and Archives auditorium. To register for the event, please use this online link: https://andrewjackson250.eventbrite.com

The Library and Archives building is located directly west of the Tennessee State Capitol building. Free parking is available around the building on Saturdays.


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

Monday, March 6, 2017

Honoring a "Tennessee Statesman"

The staff of the Tennessee State Library & Archives share in the grief felt across our state as we learned of Senator Henry's passing. Sen. Douglas Henry was one of the most distinguished as well as the longest serving member of Tennessee General Assembly. There was simply no one else like him. Today our thoughts and prayers are with his family and all who knew him.

To honor Senator Henry, we're honored to share this video produced by the Tennessee State Library and Archives in 2014 on his extraordinary career serving Tennesseans...




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