C-SPAN Spotlights Chattanooga This Weekend with Special Segments

C-SPAN’s coverage of Chattanooga airs this weekend.  Filmed on location in the Scenic City last month… pieces range from the T-V-A and Trail of Tears to Legendary Locals like Bessie Smith and Benjamin Franklin Thomas.




·         Learn about the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA).  During the 1930s, the Tennessee Valley and the people that called it home were suffering.  Much of the land had been farmed too hard for too long, eroding and depleting the soil.  The Tennessee Valley Authority built dams to harness the region’s rivers, at once controlling floods and generating electricity for the region.  Hear Daryl Black, Director of the Chattanooga History Center, talk about the TVA and how it transformed the region and improved the lives of the people living there.


·         Visit the National Medal of Honor Museum of Military History. Learn about the origins and history of the prestigious “Medal of Honor”.  The first Medals of Honor were presented to six surviving members of Andrews Raiders, on March 25, 1863.  This action took place just outside of Chattanooga.  Hear Jim Wade, the museum’s director; provide an inside look into this piece of Chattanooga and U.S. history.


·         Learn about Chattanooga’s importance in the Civil War. In 1863, Union and Confederate forces fought for control of Chattanooga, known as the "Gateway to the Deep South." The Confederates were victorious at nearby Chickamauga in September. However, fighting in Chattanooga that November provided Union troops with a victory and control of the city. After the battle, a Confederate soldier ominously wrote, "This…is the death-knell of the Confederacy."  Hear Jim Ogden, with the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, talk about why control of Chattanooga was so important to both the North and the South. 


·         Learn about the Trail of Tears. In 1838, the United States government forcibly removed more than 16,000 Cherokee Indian people from their homelands in Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina, and Georgia, and sent them to Indian Territory (today known as Oklahoma).  Hundreds of Cherokee died during their trip west, and thousands more perished from the consequences of relocation. The journey itself became known as the Trail of Tears.  Hear Daryl Black, Director of the Chattanooga History Center; tell this story through two important locations. Visit Ross’ Landing, a trading post along the Tennessee River, where the forced removal of the Cherokee people began and a piece of the Federal Road where archaeologists believe the Cherokee people would have walked during their removal from the area. 


·         Hear about Chattanooga’s Rail Road History. Learn about the East Tennessee-Georgia Rail Road that passed through in 1858.  Hear Mark Brainard, a volunteer at the Tennessee Valley Rail Road Museum talk about how a tunnel through a barrier known as Missionary Ridge helped connect the Northeastern U.S. to the Deep South.


·         Visit the Bluff Furnace, Chattanooga’s first heavy industrial site. This blast furnace was built in the 1850s by ironmaster Robert Cravens. The furnace produced raw iron from local iron ore and was originally fueled with charcoal. In May 1860, it was converted to a coke fueled furnace—the first in the South.  Hear Nick Honerkamp, a professor of anthropology at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC); tell the story of the Bluff Furnace and its impact on Chattanooga’s industrial history, from its early years to being named the United States’ most polluted city in 1969.




·         Tour the Civil War Papers of John T Wilder.  General John T. Wilder was one of Chattanooga’s most distinguished citizens in the last half of the 19th century.  He was not a native, but a northerner, who relocated to the city after he attacked it as a Union officer during the Civil War. Hear Steven Cox, Head of Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga; talk about the impact the Civil War had on Wilder as expressed in the correspondence between Wilder and his wife.


·         Learn about “Isham G Harris of Tennessee: Confederate Governor and United States Senator” from author Sam Elliott. Elliott talks about Isham G. Harris as one of the most prominent Tennessean in the Confederacy and a dominating participant in nineteenth-century Tennessee politics. Harris served as Governor of Tennessee from 1857 to 1862, and as a U.S. Senator from 1877 until his death. A pivotal figure in the state’s history, Harris was considered by his contemporaries the person most responsible for leading Tennessee out of the Union and aligning it with the Confederacy during the Civil War


·         Hear author Deborah Lavine talk about her book “Going Southern: The No-Mess Guide to Success in the South”.  Lavine tells the story of Southern geography and history of its people past and present, and provides an inside look into the region’s distinctive culture.


·         Learn about “Sensationalism: Murder, Mayhem, Mudslinging, Scandals, and Disasters in 19th Century Reporting” from co-editor, David Sachsman.


·         Hear author John Wheeler talk about his book “The Chronicles of Cadillac Dave: True Confessions of a Drug Kingpin”.  The book is based on Wheeler’s true-life story of a large-scale drug dealer in the 1970s. Hear Wheeler tell his story and explain why he wrote the book.


·         Learn about the “Legendary Locals of Chattanooga, Tennessee” from author Bill Hull.  Hear about Chattanooga’s Benjamin Franklin Thomas, who established the nation’s first Coca-Cola bottling plant; and Adolph Ochs, a successful newspaperman who went on to purchase the New York Times and the story of Bessie Smith, nick-named the “Empress of Blues”, who sang her first blues in Chattanooga. 


Special note:  airing only during the AHTV and BTV special programming blocks

·         Chattanooga Bakery’s Moon Pie –

Tory Johnston, Vice President, Marketing and New Business Development, Chattanooga Bakery, Inc. Takes us through the history and making of the Moon Pie.  We see step by step how the famous moon pie is made. The Moon Pie has been in production since 1917.



For more information on the C-SPAN Cities Tour of U.S. cities, go to www.c-span.org/localcontent

Categories: Hamilton County, Local News

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