Feb-March Inservices: Civil War, Road history, Brown v. Board


We will resume after-school inservices on Thursday, January 12. From then until March 7, we will have a weekly training session devoted to some aspect of Tennessee and U.S. history.

As always, attending teachers will receive a certificate showing two hours of professional development.

Here’s the remaining lineup:

TN State Library and Archives photo

Wednesday, Feb. 8: Civil War in Tennessee: An Overview

No one expects teachers to know as much as history buffs. But social studies and history teachers DO have to know a lot about the Civil War in Tennessee, and it is important that

they not be wrong about major points. In this presentation, History Bill starts with the causes of the war and the election of 1860, then works his way through Fort Donelson, the Fall of Nashville, Shiloh, Stone’s River, the Battles of Chattanooga, the Battle of Franklin and the Battle of Nashville. Along the way we will learn about how slavery really ended – a story that is far more interesting than the Juneteenth version now emerging in the collective conscious. Standards 4.28-4.27; 5.41-5.42; 8.61-8.65.

This event will begin at 4 p.m. Central and end about 5:45 pm Central.

Click here to register for the Feb. 8 event on the Civil War in Tennessee.

Wednesday, Feb. 15: From the Natchez Trace to Interstate 40: How Roads Changed EVERYTHING about Tennessee

When Tennesseans first migrated west, they did so on a “road” (called the Fort Blount Road) that would look more to us like a muddy trail. These early roads determined where all the early towns were. Starting about 1840, the railroads took over, and caused us to abandon many of these original towns. Then, around 1920, better, paved roads caused us to abandon many of the towns that we built for the railroads. And then, around 1960, interstate highways caused us to abandon many of the towns that had grown around those improved roads. Confused? This is a detailed and fascinating picture of how roads, paved roads and interstates determine where almost all of us live today.

Interstate 40 being built in the 1940s (TN State Library and Archives)

This event will begin at 4 p.m. Central and end about 5:45 pm Central.

Click here to register for the Feb. 15 event on “From the Natchez Trace to Interstate 40.”

Johnny Cash sings “The Man In Black”

Wednesday, Feb. 22: Music the Way It Should be Taught: With LIVE Music!

In Tennessee, teachers aren’t just ALLOWED to include music as part of their social studies curriculum, they are REQUIRED to do so. That being the case, you SHOULD (occasionally) show your students some of the great videos of legendary Tennessee performers such as the Carter Family, B.B. King, Johnny Cash, Isaac Hayes, Waylon Jennings, Aretha Franklin and Dolly Parton.

Aretha Franklin in the movie “The Blues Brothers”

In this presentation, “History Bill” shows you some of the great live performances that your students will love and tells you some amazing facts about these performers. (For instance, Elvis’ first record was made for his mother; B,B. King could sing, and he could play guitar, but he couldn’t go both at the same time!)

Click here to register for the Feb. 22 event.

Tuesday, Feb. 28: Brown v. Board of Education: The Impacts We Talk About, and the Impacts We Don’t Talk About.  

History Bill talks to Bill Ligon, a one-time graduate of Union High School in Gallatin

Brown v Board of Education changed everything about public education in the South. This inservice will go over of its obvious impacts (the eventual integration of all public school systems) and some of its less obvious impacts. For instance, a wave of private schools were organized in Nashville at the exact moment integration went into effect. To this day, those private schools do not concede that they were started because of Brown v Board. Also, there was an entire wave of institutions known as “negro” or “colored” high schools that existed before Brown v Board. What happened to those institutions? Were they integrated, or did they simply cease to exist, and their faculty laid off? Guest presenter: Calvin Sneed, long time news anchor in the Knoxville and Chattanooga markets, and organizer of a coalition of former African-American high schools in upper East Tennessee and southwest Virginia.

Click here for the Feb. 28 event on Brown v Board.