The Tennessee State Library & Archives’ TN225 Lunchtime Speaker Series Takes a Look Back at Tennessee’s Centennial Celebration

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The first Tennessee State Library & Archives Lunchtime Speaker Series event, a look back at Tennessee’s Centennial Celebration led by the preeminent expert on the subject, Historian David E. Ewing, will be Friday, Sept. 10, from noon to 1 p.m.

“As Tennessee celebrates its 225th anniversary of statehood, this presentation will give attendees a glimpse into the remarkable celebration our great state held to recognize its first 100 years,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. “I encourage anyone interested in Tennessee history to join us on their lunch break either virtually or in-person.”

The lecture will explore the stories behind Tennessee’s Centennial Celebration of statehood in 1896 and the Tennessee Centennial Exposition in 1897. The Tennessee Centennial Exposition, a six-month celebration in Nashville, was among the largest in a series of industrial expositions that became hallmarks of the era.

The speaker, Ewing, a ninth-generation Nashville native, has the largest private collection of historic memorabilia related to the Tennessee Centennial Exposition. He has served on the board of the Parthenon, the Hermitage, Traveller’s Rest and Cheekwood. He is a graduate of Vanderbilt Law School, Leadership Nashville and is a past president of the Young Leaders Council. In 2009, Ewing created The Nashville I Wish I Knew, Facebook and Instagram accounts which have more than 14,000 followers. He also founded Nashville History On Tour, which offers classic and custom historic tours.

“We are excited to welcome guests to the Library & Archives and to have David Ewing, the foremost expert on Tennessee’s Centennial Celebration, kick off our Lunchtime Speaker Series,” said Chuck Sherrill, Tennessee State Librarian and Archivist.

This Lunchtime Speaker Series event will be in-person and livestreamed on the Library & Archives’ Facebook page and the Secretary of State’s YouTube channel. In-person attendees are welcome to bring their lunch. This event is free to the public. To make a reservation to attend in person, visit Seating is limited.

After the presentation, in-person attendees can view items related to Tennessee’s Centennial Celebration from Ewing’s and the Library & Archives’ collections. In-person attendees can also take a guided tour of the new facility.

The Library & Archives is located at 1001 Rep. John Lewis Way North on Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, across from the Tennessee State Museum. Parking is available for guests in the Library & Archives garage on Jackson Street/Junior Gilliam Way.

The Library & Archives’ other Lunchtime Speaker Series events will take place on Nov. 5, Feb. 11 and May 6. Topics for these events include Native American life and culture in early Tennessee, how Tennessee earned the Volunteer State nickname through service in military conflicts and how Tennessee’s topography and geology impacted where pioneers settled.

For the latest information about the Lunchtime Speaker Series, follow the Library and Archives social media channels, Facebook: Tennessee State Library and Archives and Instagram: @tnlibarchives.

To make a reservation to attend the Lunchtime Speaker Series in person, visit To learn more about the Library and Archives or schedule a research visit, call 615-741-2764, email or visit