From the day its cornerstone was laid through the present, the Tennessee State Capitol has been the site of some of the Volunteer State’s most momentous historical events. Now the Capitol’s story has been captured on a video documentary that will soon be appearing in classrooms throughout Shelby County.
At a news conference Wednesday, Secretary of State Tre Hargett was joined by Representative Jim Coley, sponsor of the legislation that led to the creation of the documentary, and other state and local officials in announcing that DVDs of the documentary will be distributed to every school in Shelby County Schools.
The General Assembly requested that the Secretary of State’s Office produce the documentary. It premiered in an event at the Nashville Public Library earlier this year. Copies of the DVD are being distributed to school districts in all 95 of Tennessee’s counties.
“The study of history is extremely important for our students,” Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. “And the Tennessee State Capitol is arguably the most historic building in our state. To better understand the state in which they live, students need to learn about the Capitol building. I am pleased that the General Assembly provided us with the funding we needed to produce this documentary and provide copies for use in classrooms around the state.”
“No matter where you live in Tennessee, the history of the State Capitol matters,” Representative Coley said. “That building belongs to every Tennessean. And as the documentary shows, it was assembled using materials and resources gathered throughout the state. I hope all Tennesseans, especially our young people, will take the opportunity to watch this documentary and learn about a place that has been the site of so many major historical events.”
The documentary covers the building’s history from the time the original cornerstone was laid in 1845 through the present day.
It covers serious events - including the Union Army’s occupation of the Capitol - and whimsical ones - like the time a car drove through the building’s lobby as a publicity stunt.
The documentary can be viewed online from the Secretary of State’s web site at www.capitol.tnsos.net. There are plans to add other online resources to the site, including a virtual tour of the Capitol, as well as features and fun stories about the building’s history.