Education News for February 2023

Letter from Tennessee Valley Authority to Mr. W.S. Rosenbalm regarding compensation for the building of the Norris Dam

This primary source is a 1936 letter from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to W.S. Rosenbalm, a citizen of Tazewell, Tennessee. In the letter, TVA refuses to reimburse Mr. Rosenbalm for damages he claims his business sustained due to the construction of the Norris Dam. Norris Dam was one of the first projects completed by the newly-formed Tennessee Valley Authority, a result of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal legislation. 

The Tennessee Valley Authority and its projects, such as Norris Dam, brought positive and negative changes to the people of Tennessee. Norris Dam was constructed on the Clinch River in Anderson County, Tennessee, from October 1, 1933, to March 4, 1936. While the construction provided jobs and power to the region, 
TVA projects like this often displaced the local inhabitants and changed local economic structures. 

This source meets the 5.48, US.43, and TN.51 Tennessee social studies standards.

Visit our website for more primary sources about this era of history, the 1920s and the Great Depression. 

Tennessee Talks:  Piecing Together Tennessee History

Tennessee Talks: Piecing Together Tennessee History is a webinar series presented by the Tennessee State Library & Archives.
Each month, beginning in November 2022 and running through April 2023, teachers will have an opportunity to listen and engage with Library & Archives staff and history teachers from across the state.
Teachers can expect to explore innovative ways to teach primary sources that keep students engaged with the Tennessee Social Studies Curriculum Standards. These hour-long sessions will be at 4 p.m. Central, 5 p.m. Eastern.

Participants must register for each webinar individually.

Click here for a description of each webinar and to register.               

Questions? Email

This webinar series is funded in part by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), a division of the National Archives. Learn more about NHPRC at

A Tennessee Moment to Remember During Black History Month: Diane J. Nash

Diane J. Nash was born on May 15, 1938, in Chicago, Illinois and educated in Chicago's parochial and public schools. She began her college career at Howard University in Washington, D.C., and later transferred to Fisk University in Nashville. It was in Nashville that Diane Nash first experienced the segregated South.

As a student at Fisk University, Nash participated in the 1960s-era sit-ins to desegregate downtown lunch counters. Prior to participating in lunch counter sit-ins, Nash attended workshops on nonviolence and became a strong supporter of the direct nonviolent protest method of demonstrations. In 1960, her leadership skills qualified her to be appointed to represent the Nashville Student Movement in negotiations to desegregate lunch counters. Nash also helped organize boycotts of downtown stores. 

During the spring of 1960, Nash and other members of the Nashville Student Movement participated in sit-ins that ultimately led to the desegregation of lunch counters. Nash and other nonviolent protesters were successful in making Nashville the first southern city to desegregate lunch counters. 

Diane Nash’s work did not end in Nashville. She became one of the founders of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). She was also a Freedom Rider and continues to be an advocate for civil rights and equal justice for all.

Click here for more information on Diane Nash and her role in the Nashville sit-ins.

Trailblazing Tennesseans:  People Who Made a Difference in the Volunteer State 

Please join us for our 2022-2023 teacher workshop series, Trailblazing Tennesseans: People Who Made History in the Volunteer State. This workshop series will feature activities and primary sources corresponding to the Tennessee Social Studies Standards.

Visit our website for registration information.

Discover Tennessee History Webinar Series

The Discover Tennessee History Consortium is offering a seven-part webinar series for the 2022-2023 school year. Each month from September 2022 through March 2023, one of our partner organizations will offer a one-hour session exploring topics in Tennessee history with related primary sources and educational resources you can use with your students. 

Recordings of this series and last year's are available. Attendees can earn PD credit for each session.

Click here to register for the 2022-2023 webinars.

Session 6 - February 14, 2023, at 4:00 p.m. Central/5:00 p.m. Eastern

Webinar title: Accessing Tennessee’s History Through State Parks 

Presenting Organization: Tennessee State Parks 

2023 Tennessee Council for the Social Studies (TCSS) Conference

The Tennessee Council for the Social Studies (TCSS) will host their annual conference as an in-person event on March 3, 2023. Virtual sessions will also take place on the evenings of Feb. 27, 28 and March 1.

“Fostering Civic Engagement & Participation,” an in-person clinic presented by the Smithsonian’s Museum of American History, will take place on March 2, 2023, from 1-4 p.m. A President's Reception will also be held later that evening. 

The conference will take place at the Embassy Suites by Hilton (Cool Springs) in Franklin, TN. 

Click here for registration and hotel information

Lesson Plans 

Lesson plans created by Tennessee teachers utilizing primary sources are available at the Tennessee State Library & Archives website. These lesson plans link to the current Tennessee curriculum standards and are organized according to grade level (4th, 5th, 8th, and High School).

We also have various  book-based lesson plans that provide activities linking a specific children's or young adult book to the primary sources in our collection at the Tennessee State Library & Archives.

Click here to access these lesson plans.

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