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Many people may not know that President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation did not apply to enslaved people in the state of Tennessee. Despite this, then-Military Governor, Andrew Johnson emancipated his own slaves on the 8th of August, 1863. This event set off a century and a half long tradition of freedom celebrations that continues today in East Tennessee.

8th of August: Tennessee's Celebration of Emancipation, exhibits the story of "the other Johnson family", the geographic and social ripples that emanated from this important date. With newly cataloged documents, photographs, footage and interviews with residents and academics, the 8th of August tells the story of a people's survival and the importance of celebration to the ideals of freedom in the United States.

Additional 8th of August Content

Knoxville  |  Greeneville  |  Newport



Suggested Books:

  • Andrew Johnson and the Negro by David Warren Brown - The University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, 1989 - ISBN: 0-87049-584-4

  • Blacks in Tennessee: 1791 - 1970 by Lester C. Lamon - The University of Tennessee Press, 1981 - ISBN: 0-87049-323-X

  • O Freedom! Afro-American Emancipation Celebrations by William H. Wiggens Jr - The University of Tennessee Press, 1987 - ISBN: 0-87049-520-8

  • Slavery's End in Tennessee: 1861-1865 by John Cimprich - University of Alabama Press, 1985 - ISBN: 0-8173-0257-3

  • Festivals of Freedom: Memory & Meaning in African American Emancipation Celebrations, 1808 - 1915 by Mitch Kachun - University of Massachusets Press, 2006 - ISBN: 978-1558495289

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