Downtown Walking Tour Of African-American Historical Sites Is Wednesday

Thursday, August 9, 2018

National Park Partners will host a guided tour of African-American historical sites around downtown Chattanooga beginning at 9 a.m. on Wednesday. The walking tour project is part of a “Centennial and Beyond” grant received by National Park Partners from the National Environmental Education Foundation, designed to bring National Park Service programming into underserved communities following the 100th Anniversary of the Park Service in 2016. The Centennial and Beyond grants, made possible by The Kendeda Fund, support projects that build the capacity of organizations such as National Park Partners to engage and steward diverse audiences that are reflective of their park units’ surrounding communities.

The tour will begin at 9 a.m. at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center and proceed through Miller Plaza and along Georgia Avenue, with the final destination being the Walnut Street Bridge and the future site of the Ed Johnson Memorial. Through a donation from Chattanooga Casino Shuttles, participants will receive a complimentary shuttle ride back to the Bessie Smith Cultural Center at the conclusion of the tour.

"The research for this project has uncovered many layers of African-American history in Chattanooga’s downtown, history that is deeply woven into the fabric of our city,” said Tricia Mims, executive director of National Park Partners. “It’s been a challenge to narrow down the multiple stories that could be told into a manageable walking tour program.” 

Former history teacher and project researcher Andy Mims will lead the tour, along with Ranger Chris Barr from Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park. The tour is expected to last approximately two hours and will be held rain or shine. Participants are encouraged to dress appropriately for the weather, with casual attire and comfortable walking shoes recommended. There is no charge for the event.

National Park Partners is currently looking into producing an online map and a bicycle or driving tour option that would allow exploration of sites that are in the downtown vicinity but not easily included on a walking tour. While the guided tour on Wednesday is the only one of its kind planned at this time, the group is also looking into funding options to make this a recurring event. In the meantime, hard copy maps of the basic tour will be made available at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center by Aug. 31 for anyone wishing to do a self-guided tour. 


U.S. Congressional District 3 Forum Scheduled For Monday Is Canceled

The candidate forum for U.S. Congressional District 3 scheduled for Monday, Oct. 22, has been canceled. Congressman Chuck Fleischmann and Dr. Danielle Mitchell were invited to participate and give input on possible dates back in September. Dr. Mitchell responded, but Rep. Fleischmann did not. After a month without a commitment, a date was announced last week. Rep. Fleischmann’s ... (click for more)

Rotary Club of Chattanooga Hamilton Place Hosts 2018 Miss TN Outstanding Teen And Helps With Local Service Project At HES

The Rotary Club of Chattanooga Hamilton Place recently hosted Mary Humphrey, the 2018 Miss Tennessee Outstanding Teen.  Ms. Humphrey spoke about the pageants she has participated in and the inspiration she received from her grandmother.  "Her passion and platform, Pages with a Purpose, helps promote literacy among children similar to the literacy program sponsored ... (click for more)

Soddy Daisy High ROTC Instructor Denies He Had Gun In Road Rage Incident, But Judge Sends Case To Grand Jury

A Soddy Daisy ROTC instructor has denied having a gun in a road rage incident with a 17-year-old girl at Northgate Mall, but General Sessions Court Judge Gary Starnes bound the case to the Grand Jury. The judge said,"It's a very close issue. It's he said, she said. I don't think it's going to get out of the Grand Jury, but I am going to find there is probable cause." The girl ... (click for more)

Federal Judge In Nashville Tells State To Halt Suspension Of Drivers Licenses Of Those Who Cannot Pay

 A Nashville federal judge has directed that the state halt suspension of the drivers licenses of people who cannot afford to pay fines and court costs. The ruling was from District Judge Aleta Trauger. Officials of the Department of Safety and Homeland Security said, "The department has received the order.  It will stop suspensions of licenses, as the Court requires, ... (click for more)

Drink Up, Chattanooga

I attended the meeting to discuss the placement of the sewage treatment plant at the Cambridge Center in Ooltewah today. My problem with the meeting (aka) dog and pony show, is that the meeting started out with the agenda of the Ooltewah Community Council.  After living in this area for 45+ years I have never heard of this group.  I would like for someone to answer ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Dear Faux Pelini

It has been my experience that of all the tribes and herds of different people on earth, sports writers are among the funniest people of all. Oh, there isn’t anything real sexy about Villanova beating Georgetown or a baseball player hitting for the cycle. Now, if a player hits a single, double, triple and homer in that order, that’s “a natural cycle,” and that is kind of fun to ... (click for more)