The most pleasant surprise of the Haslam administration continues to be the support for new history things around the state. This time it's Civil War exhibits in our Welcome Centers. The Columbia Daily Herald reports
Permanent Civil War exhibits were recently installed in Tennessee Welcome Centers. The purpose of the Civil War exhibits is to educate visitors and Tennesseans as to the important role Tennessee played in the Civil War. Each Tennessee Civil War Exhibit features an overview of Tennessee’s role in the Civil War, as well as the regional impact of the Civil War and will also promote rural tourism development through the Tennessee Civil War Trail and Discover Tennessee Trails & Byways programs.
“Tennesseans are proud of our commitment to tell the whole story of the Civil War through our statewide auto trail system, our many historic sites and national battlefields,” said Dr. Carroll Van West, director of the MTSU Center for Historic Preservation and Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area and co-chair of the Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission. “The new Welcome Center exhibits not only introduce our story and approach to any and all visitors; they are also part of the commitment that Tennesseans today make to the future: to tell the whole story of the Civil War and to remind everyone that the Civil War era issues of national unity and citizenship still shape our world.”
First, I told you Carroll Van West was awesome. Second, I really like the idea of using our Welcome Centers not just as a place to pee and look at the map, but as a place to introduce visitors to our contributions to U.S. history and to encourage them to explore Tennessee beyond our cities.