Tennessee history

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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Bill pending in Congress would return 76 acres of TN land to Cherokees

U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann says he expects a House floor vote “very soon” on legislation that would effectively make 76 acres of land in Monroe County a part of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians reservation, reports the Times Free Press.

The property includes land that is currently home to the Sequoyah Birthplace Museum in Vonore and tracts once part of two major Cherokee towns that were tribal centers before the forced removal of Cherokees to Oklahoma 180 years ago. Much of the Cherokee homeland in the area was covered with water when the 129-foot-high Tellico Dam became operational in 1979.

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Legal actions launched against removal of Confederate statutes in Memphis

The Sons of Confederate Veterans and descendants of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest have filed two legal actions against the City of Memphis over removal of Confederate statutes from two former city parks last month, reports the Commercial Appeal.

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Trump hails TN and its politicians — including Corker and Andrew Jackson

Tennessee Republican officials stood by President Donald Trump on stage Monday and much of the party’s congressional delegation rode Air Force One into Nashville for his speech to America’s farmers, according to the Associated Press. He also praised President Andrew Jackson, a Democrat.

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Andrew Jackson magnolia dying at age of around 180 years

An enormous magnolia tree, said to have been planted on the White House grounds by President Andrew Jackson in honor of his wife, has become so damaged and decayed that it will be taken down, according to CNN.

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TN officials on retirement of Ed Cromer as Tennessee Journal editor

Sharing some comments received from public officials on the retirement of Ed Cromer as editor of Tennessee Journal for two decades:

Gov. Bill Haslam: “For 20 years, if you wanted the full story of what was happening at the State Capitol or Legislative Plaza, you turned to the Tennessee Journal. Ed Cromer has a depth of knowledge and understanding of how state government works that is matched by few in his industry. His knack for explaining the most complicated and important political issues in witty and simple ways will be sorely missed. I will personally miss Ed’s thoughtfulness and kindness and I wish him much happiness in this well-deserved retirement.”

Lt. Gov. Randy McNally: “Ed Cromer’s Tennessee Journal is read each week cover-to-cover, word-for-word by anyone and everyone involved in Tennessee politics and state government. For Tennessee politicos, it is as essential as food and water. A highly-skilled reporter and an excellent writer, he has reported the news thoroughly, accurately and with integrity throughout his career. Ed’s professionalism is the gold standard for political journalism. I offer my sincere congratulations on his retirement and mourn this significant loss of institutional knowledge in the Tennessee press corps.”

Attorney General Herbert Slatery: “It is very difficult to express how much I will miss the weekly writings of Ed Cromer – he is one of a kind. Ed combined a deep knowledge of state government and politics with a sharp wit and unmatched journalistic integrity. The Journal has been a must read for decades thanks to Ed. I have often said “we need more like Ed Cromer” knowing full well that finding someone who could teach you and make you chuckle at the same time is virtually impossible. While much deserved, Ed’s retirement is a big loss for the media industry and an even bigger loss for our State.”

Alexander hails passage of bill to preserve civil rights history sites

Press release from Sen. Lamar Alexander

NASHVILLE, December 22, 2017 – U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today said the Senate has sent President Trump legislation to be signed into law that will recognize and connect important landmarks of the Civil Rights Movement, including two potential sites in Memphis. Alexander said the legislation will preserve history for the next generation.

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