The Tennessee State Library and Archives will put all three of the state’s original constitutions on display to the public in commemoration of Statehood Day. The constitutions are typically protected in a vault, but all three versions will be in the Library and Archives’ lobby for public viewing June 1 to 2 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CDT.
“Seeing these wonderful documents makes Tennessee history come alive,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. “Not many Tennesseans can say they’ve seen one of our constitutions up close, much less all three. Hopefully, this exhibition will demonstrate how the Library and Archives works tirelessly to protect and chronicle our great state’s history.”
As part of this celebration, the Library and Archives will also host a free lecture on Tennessee’s first governor John Sevier and Tennessee’s road to statehood. Gordon Belt, Library and Archives Public Services director and author of the book John Sevier: Tennessee’s First Hero, will discuss how Tennessee became a state and the prominent role Sevier played in Tennessee's early history, eventually becoming the state’s first governor.
The lecture will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. CDT Saturday, June 2, in the Library and Archives auditorium. The Library and Archives is located at 403 Seventh Ave. N., directly west of the Tennessee State Capitol in downtown Nashville. Free parking is available around the Library and Archives building.
Although the lecture is free and open to the public, registration is required due to seating limitations in the auditorium. To reserve seats, please visit sevierstatehood.eventbrite.com.
Viewing the state constitutions is free. No reservation is required.