History | Nashville Public Radio


Tennessee capitol legislature
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

Tennessee has been getting name-dropped during the recent attention on whether the island of Puerto Rico will become the 51st state — and it’s because of a move that Tennessee forefathers took more than two centuries ago.

Chas Sisk / WPLN

The crowds often numbered in the hundreds — or, on a good night, perhaps a few thousand — sitting right up next to the ice in Nashville’s Municipal Auditorium.

The opponents had names like the Worcester Warriors and the Roanoke Valley Rebels.

And instead of international TV audiences for the Nashville Dixie Flyers, there were only local broadcasts. Fragments survive on the internet.

TN Photo Services (file)

Tennessee lawmakers have taken the first step toward exhuming the remains of President James K. Polk and moving him to a family home in Columbia, Tennessee.

Kellytown Aaittafama
Courtesy of Hodgson Douglas

A new name has been chosen for an archaeological site near the border between Nashville and Brentwood. The prehistoric village that has been referred to as “Kellytown” will now be known by a Native American word.

Col. Tom Parker home
Historic Nashville Inc.

No savior has emerged to buy and preserve the home office where “The Colonel” — Tom Parker — made Elvis Presley a star as his manager and promoter. Now the old stone building in Madison is slated for demolition to make way for a car wash.

Photo courtesy of the Mexican National Institute of Anthropology and History

Historians from Tennessee are at the Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, welcoming home soldiers who died in a war that ended 170 years ago. They've been working to fly home skeletal remains from the Mexican-American War discovered in 2011 — believed to be troops from Middle Tennessee.

Dillon Dodson / WPLN

As he filed through paperwork for his newest spot just west of downtown, Jack Cawthon — namesake of the Jack’s Bar-B-Que chain — noticed something strange about his land deeds: numerous mentions of a prison.

FILE / Yellow Rose Society

A slew of state leaders will be on hand Friday for the unveiling of the Woman Suffrage Monument, a statue in Nashville's Centennial Park that celebrates Tennessee's important role in establishing women's right to vote nationwide.

Although Tennessee wasn't the first state to establish women's suffrage — that honor actually belongs to Wyoming, where women have been able to vote since the 1860s — the state was where ratification of the 19th Amendment was completed.

Tennessee State Library and Archives
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

Long before Tennessee digitized a collection of traditional folk songs and storytelling, a small group of trained researchers had to collect those recordings in the field. That started in earnest in state parks in 1979.

Chas Sisk / WPLN

Eagle-eyed visitors to Nashville's Civil War-era Fort Negley may have noticed something a little bit different about the United States flag that flies near the visitor's center. As Topher Fleming asks:

Why is there a 35 star flag flying over Ft Negley?

The simple answer is the 35 stars represent how many states there were at the time of the Civil War — just as the 50 stars on today's flag stand for the 50 states.

But Krista Castillo, the museum coordinator at Fort Negley, says the flag tells a deeper story about Nashville during the conflict.