Why is Tennessee the Volunteer State? Learn the Story Behind the Nickname at the Tennessee State Library & Archives’ TN225 Lunchtime Speaker Series

225 Speaker Series_Website Story Volunteer State Nov 5 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee State Library & Archives is inviting guests to learn how Tennessee became known as the Volunteer State at their Lunchtime Speaker Series event with special guest speaker Dr. Timothy Johnson on Friday, Nov. 5, from noon to 1 p.m.

“This year the Volunteer State is celebrating our 225th anniversary of statehood, so this is the perfect time to learn how we earned our unique nickname,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. “I encourage anyone who wants to know more about the history of our great state to join us on your lunch break for this TN225 Lunchtime Speaker Series event.”

The lecture will explore how over the course of several decades, Tennessee earned the Volunteer State nickname because of Tennessean’s eagerness to step forward to serve in times of war.

The speaker, Johnson, has authored or edited two dozen articles and eight books that deal primarily with the Mexican-American War and other military conflicts that occurred before the U.S. Civil War. He is on the history faculty at Lipscomb University, where he received the Outstanding Teacher Award and was designated as a University Research Professor. He has been a research fellow at Yale University and the Virginia Historical Society and has appeared on C-SPAN, The History Channel and Public Television. A native of Chattanooga, Johnson, received his Ph.D. from The University of Alabama.

“We are excited to host our second Lunchtime Speaker Series event with our distinguished speaker, Dr. Timothy Johnson, and learn the history of the Volunteer State nickname of which many are so proud,” said Chuck Sherrill, Tennessee State Librarian and Archivist.

This Lunchtime Speaker Series event will be in person and live-streamed 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 bit.ly/TN225VS. Seating is limited.

After the presentation, in-person attendees can view items related to Tennessee’s military service from the Library & Archives’ collections. Guided tours of the new state-of-the-art facility will also be available at the conclusion of the presentation.

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 Feb. 11 and May 6. Topics for these events include how Tennessee’s topography and geology impacted where pioneers settled and Native American life and culture in early Tennessee.

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 attend the Lunchtime Speaker Series in person, reserve your spot at visit bit.ly/TN225VS. To learn more about the Library and Archives or schedule a research visit, call 615-741-2764, email ask@tsla.libanswers.com or visit sos.tn.gov/tsla/plan-your-visit.