KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Organizations and state officials are commemorating Tennessee’s statehood anniversary Thursday through the weekend across the Volunteer State.
On June 1, 1796, the United States Congress approved the admission of Tennessee as the 16th state of the Union. Celebrations are happening this year in Nashville and in East Tennessee.
The Sequoyah Birthplace Museum in Vonore, Tenn. is hosting a free event funded in part by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. The museum in Monroe County is hosting its Tennessee Statehood Day celebration on Sunday, June 4 from noon to 4 p.m. with blacksmith demonstrations, Otis Tufts Acorn Gap Printing Press demos, and living history demos at its Dog-trot log cabin.
The Sequoyah Birthplace Museum is named for Sequoyah, a Cherokee who gave his people their own written language – the Cherokee Syllabary – around 200 years ago. The museum is located at 576 Hwy. 360, Vonore, TN, 37885, about one mile from the Highway 411 intersection.
In Nashville, the Tennessee State Library & Archives is hosting two free events for the public. The first event is Thursday, June 1 and the other is happening Saturday, June 3.
“The mission of the Library & Archives is to preserve Tennessee’s history and make it accessible to our fellow Tennesseans,” Tre Hargett, Tennessee Secretary of State, said in a news release. “It’s a rare opportunity to see our state’s original founding documents. I encourage my fellow Tennesseans not to miss this chance to have history come alive by viewing these irreplaceable documents up close during our Statehood Day Celebration.”
On Statehood Day, June 1, at 8 a.m. Debbie Mathis Watts will perform her song, “The Tennessee in Me,” an official state song of Tennessee.
Tennessee’s three priceless original constitutions, first written in 1796 and revised in 1843 and 1870, will be on display in the Library & Archives lobby, guarded by the Tennessee Highway Patrol Honor Guard from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The Library & Archives will also feature rarely seen historical documents, including the Cumberland Compact, Governor John Sevier’s Address to the first Tennessee General Assembly, the Cherokee Nation 1827 Constitution and the founding documents of the State of Franklin.
Then, on Saturday Library & Archives will host a family-friendly Statehood Day Celebration from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Statehood Day Celebration will have a children’s scavenger hunt, games, crafts and living history interpreters. Guests can also see Tennessee’s three original constitutions and the new exhibit showcasing rarely-seen historical documents in the Library & Archives lobby from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The Library & Archives is also joining Bicentennial Mall State Park and the Tennessee State Museum for a variety of events to celebrate Statehood Day. Park Rangers will offer a free guided tour of Bicentennial Mall State Park starting outside the Tennessee State Library & Archives at 9 a.m. on June 1. For more information, visit tnstateparks.com.
The State Museum is celebrating Statehood Day with a children’s story time, statehood artifacts on display, family crafts and a Statehood Anniversary Commemoration at noon on June 1.
For the Tennessee State Museum’s full schedule of Statehood Day activities visit TNMuseum.org/Statehood