History buffs who want to know more about the history of Tennessee will have their chance Saturday, when the Tennessee State Library and Archives holds a “Tennessee Celebrates Statehood” birthday celebration.
“Part of our mission is to make our state’s history accessible to a wider audience beyond scholars and researchers,” Secretary of State Tre Hargett said in a news release. “This event will be fun and educational for the whole family.”
The Library and Archives building is located in downtown Nashville near the Capitol.
Tennessee became a state on June 1, 1796, when only about 77,000 people lived here. The country’s 16th state, Tennessee was the first to be created from territory that had been under federal jurisdiction.
Visitors at Saturday’s event will be able to view all three of the state’s original constitutions, hear presentations by historians in period clothing and listen to music from the 1700s. Activities for children will include early American games on the lawn and also stations where kids can get temporary tattoos of the state flag or make birthday cards for Tennessee. And since it’s a birthday celebration, cake will be served.
The Library and Archives will be open for normal business from 8 a.m. until noon on Saturday. Then the building will temporarily close while the staff gets ready for the “Tennessee Celebrates Statehood” event, which will be from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
For those who cannot attend Saturday, the Library and Archives will publicly display the three original constitutions Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Library and Archives building. They also will be on display from 9 a.m. until noon Saturday before the special event. The constitutions are typically stored in a vault.
The constitutions on display will include the first one adopted in 1796 and revisions adopted in 1834 and 1870.
Saturday’s event is free and open to the public, but reservations are required due to space limitations in the building and on the grounds. To make a reservation, go to tnstatehood2017.eventbrite.com.