Tennessee history

House votes to penalize Memphis $250K for removing Confederate monuments

In approving a state budget on Tuesday, the House voted 56-31 for an amendment that strips $250,000 in state money earmarked for helping finance the City of Memphis bicentennial celebrations next year – effectively penalizing the city’s removal of Confederate monuments from former city parks late last year.

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House votes to return 76 acres of TN land to Cherokees

Press release from Rep. Chuck Fleischmann

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressman Chuck Fleischmann (TN-03) issued the following statement upon his bill H.R. 146, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Historic Lands Reacquisition Act, being voted out of The U.S. House of Representatives:

“Tonight, the House voted to keep a promise to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians by rightfully returning 76 acres of sacred land in Monroe County, putting the land back in tribal hands,” said Congressman Fleischmann.

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U.S. House approves step toward making Polk home part of National Park system

Press release from U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais

WASHINGTON, D.C. —  Today, the House of Representatives passed Congressman Scott DesJarlais’ bill to study the feasibility of placing the President James K. Polk Home and Museum in Columbia, Tennessee, under protection of the National Park Service. An Interior Department study would be a major step towards helping the charity that maintains the property to preserve and expand it.

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House approves relocation of President James K. Polk’s body on second attempt

A resolution giving legislative approval to relocating the bodies of President James K. Polk and his wife, Sarah, from a tomb on the Tennessee state capitol grounds to the grounds of home once owned by Polk’s parents in Columbia was approved 51-37 by the state House Monday night on a second try.

SJR141, previously approved by the Senate 20-6, had fallen one vote short of the 50 votes needed for House passage on an earlier attempt last month.

Legislative approval was a first step toward relocation of the tomb and bodies. Before the move can take place, the Tennessee Historical Commission, the State Capitol Commission and Chancery Court must also agree under relevant state laws.

Note: The roll call vote is HERE.

House sub sinks another bill inspired by Confederate monument flap

The House State Government Subcommittee on Wednesday rejected a bill to expand state law dealing with historic monuments, reports The Tennessean. It’s the third bill inspired by the City of Memphis’ maneuvers on Confederate statues to fail so far this session.

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Legislators face monumental decisions on the unborn, David Crockett

A bill authorizing placement of a “Tennessee Monument to Unborn Children” on the state capitol grounds is scheduled for votes in committees of both the House and Senate next week. Also pending is a Senate decision on a House-passed bill to replace a statue of Edward Carmack that now prominently stands at the Capitol’s southern entrance with one of David Crockett.

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Alvin York’s grandson: ‘Greatest battle’ was in Fentress County, not France

Alvin York’s 70-year-old grandson plans to travel this fall to France for the 100th anniversary of the World War I battle where his grandfather won the Congressional Medal of Honor by single-handedly killing 25 German soldiers and capturing another 132, reports The Tennessean. But Gerald York says Alvin York considered his greatest battle to be over founding a state-supported high school in Fentress County that’s still operating (though Gov. Bill Haslam made a short-lived attempt to end state funding five years ago.)

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In House subs, one bill on Confederate statues moves forward; another sinks

A bill to punish local officials taking actions such as a Memphis City Council decision on Confederate statues was killed by one House subcommittee on Wednesday while another House sub approved a bill intended to block such moves in the future.

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House retreats from approval of resolution honoring Confederate statue critic

On the “blink-and-you’ve-missed-it” motion of House Majority Leader Glen Casada, the state House has recalled from the Senate a resolution honoring Tami Sawyer, a leader of the Black Lives Matter movement and in the successful efforts to remove Confederate statues from Memphis city parks, reports Cari Wade Gervin. The initial House passage with a GOP supermajority is characterized as “this year’s installment of “Hey, maybe you should read what you are voting for.”

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East TN legislator joins in honoring Confederate flag

A state legislator spoke Saturday at a gathering in front of the Sullivan County courthouse to honor the history and heritage of the Confederate flag, reports the Bristol Herald Courier. The event was organized by the Sons of Confederate Veterans as part of the organization’s national Confederate Flag Day and comes with controversy afoot elsewhere over Confederate recognition.

 “You can’t help but have a sense of pride in home and preservation of our history and our story because that’s who we are,” said state Rep. Timothy Hill, R-Blountville, speaking about Blountville’s Civil War history. “When you let go of that, when you start allowing monuments to be defaced and erased, you forget your roots.”

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