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.