Tennessee history

In House subs, one bill on Confederate statues moves forward; another sinks

A bill to punish local officials taking actions such as a Memphis City Council decision on Confederate statues was killed by one House subcommittee on Wednesday while another House sub approved a bill intended to block such moves in the future.

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House retreats from approval of resolution honoring Confederate statue critic

On the “blink-and-you’ve-missed-it” motion of House Majority Leader Glen Casada, the state House has recalled from the Senate a resolution honoring Tami Sawyer, a leader of the Black Lives Matter movement and in the successful efforts to remove Confederate statues from Memphis city parks, reports Cari Wade Gervin. The initial House passage with a GOP supermajority is characterized as “this year’s installment of “Hey, maybe you should read what you are voting for.”

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East TN legislator joins in honoring Confederate flag

A state legislator spoke Saturday at a gathering in front of the Sullivan County courthouse to honor the history and heritage of the Confederate flag, reports the Bristol Herald Courier. The event was organized by the Sons of Confederate Veterans as part of the organization’s national Confederate Flag Day and comes with controversy afoot elsewhere over Confederate recognition.

 “You can’t help but have a sense of pride in home and preservation of our history and our story because that’s who we are,” said state Rep. Timothy Hill, R-Blountville, speaking about Blountville’s Civil War history. “When you let go of that, when you start allowing monuments to be defaced and erased, you forget your roots.”

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Politicians pray and sing at Memphis stop on congressional civil rights ‘pilgrimage’

About a dozen Democrats and Republicans prayed and sang “Amazing Grace” during a solemn ceremony Friday at the site where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated nearly 50 years ago, marking the start of a three-day congressional “pilgrimage” to sites with ties to the civil rights era in the South, reports the Associated Press.

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New U.S. Civil Rights Trail includes 10 Tennessee locations

Press release from Tennessee Department of Tourist Development

Memphis, Tenn. – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander and Department of Tourist Development Commissioner Kevin Triplett, today (Wednesday) officially dedicated 10 sites in Tennessee as part of the newly-launched U.S. Civil Rights Trail. The announcement was made during a press conference at the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis.

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Blackburn tries bucking historic TN trend against U.S. Reps. winning U.S. Senate elections

Press release from Smart Politics:

With Stephen Fincher ending his candidacy in Tennessee’s 2018 U.S. Senate race, a new Smart Politics report examines how sitting and former U.S. Representatives from the Volunteer State have fared in primary and general elections for the state’s upper legislative chamber over the last century:

● A Smart Politics analysis finds that prior to 2018, sitting and ex-Tennessee U.S. Representatives have been victorious in eight of 22 U.S. Senate bids in the direct election era (36.4 percent) with Democrats winning seven of 15 and the GOP one of seven.

● William Brock is the only Republican U.S. Representative from Tennessee to win a U.S. Senate seat since 1913, with failed attempts by Henry Evans (1918), B. Carroll Reece (1948), Robin Beard (1970), Ed Bryant (2002, 2006), and Van Hilleary (2006).

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House sub blocks push to disinter and relocate President James K. Polk’s body

The House State Government Subcommittee has rejected a legislative resolution authorizing disinterment of the bodies of President James K. Polk and his wife from a tomb on the state capitol grounds and moving them to Columbia.

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David Kernell, who as UT student hacked Sarah Palin’s email account, dead at age 30

David Kernell,  the son of a former Tennessee legislator from Memphis who guessed his way into Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin’s personal email account in 2008, has died in California at age 30, reports the Commercial Appeal.

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Memphis Confederate statue move brings retaliation legislation

At least four bills have been filed by Republican state legislators in response to removal of Confederate statues from former Memphis city parks, including a measure that would allow the state to seize designated historic monuments from private owners, reports the Commercial Appeal.

The bill, dubbed the Tennessee Historic Properties Act and sponsored by Rep. Matthew Hill of Jonesboro and Sen. Frank Niceley of Strawberry Plains (HB2146), would greatly expand the state’s eminent domain powers, allowing the state to seize and take part ownership of any privately owned monuments once under a 2013 state historic preservation law.

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Judge issues temporary injunction in Confederate statues lawsuit

An injunction issued by a judge Monday was “a partial, if unsurprising, win for the Sons of Confederate Veterans” in a lawsuit filed against Memphis Greenspace Inc., the nonprofit that recently removed Confederate statues from two former city parks, reports the Commercial Appeal.

 Davidson County Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle barred the nonprofit from selling, gifting or moving the statues of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, President Jefferson Davis, and Capt. J. Harvey Mathes pending a “contested case hearing” before the Tennessee Historical Commission sometime within the next 60 days.

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