Displaying items by tag: knoxville history project
Earth Day is every day, but especially this Saturday
Earth Day activities have cooled in Knoxville over the decades. The planet has not.
KNOXVILLE — It’s been 52 years since the modern environmental movement was born on what is now known around the world as Earth Day.
Now reckoned to be the world’s largest secular observance, Earth Day is the climax of Earth Week (April 16 to 22), which brings together an estimated billion people around the globe working to change human behavior and push for pro-environment economic and legislative action. This year’s theme is “Invest in the planet.”
Events marking Earth Day in Knoxville tend to vary in size and tone from year-to-year, with 2023 providing environmentally minded residents with a number of ways to celebrate Mother Earth.
Perhaps the most memorable of those years was the very first one, when one of the most important voices in the burgeoning environmental movement spoke on the University of Tennessee campus.
Jane Jacobs, who is now recognized as “the godmother of the New Urbanism movement,” gave a lecture to a crowd of nearly 200 people on the topic of “Man and His Environment” at the Alumni Memorial Hall, according to Jack Neely, who heads the Knoxville History Project.
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Updated with image — From Knoxville paper boy to owner of the NYT: Panel and plaque to highlight local roots of Adolph Ochs
KNOXVILLE — Adolph Ochs’s path to running The New York Times started in downtown Knoxville, and local organizations and educators will recognize the historical significance with a panel discussion and dedication of a historic plaque.
The East Tennessee chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (ETSPJ); University of Tennessee School of Journalism and Electronic Media (UTJEM); Knoxville History Project; and Front Page Foundation (FPF) have teamed up for two events that are free and open to the public.
Sam Adams raises trees like healthy children at the University of Tennessee
First campus arborist continues climb up Utree Knoxville
KNOXVILLE — Students at the University of Tennessee walk by hundreds of trees every day without thinking about them.
Sam Adams was thinking about them even before he became UT’s first arborist.
Adams, 58, has cared for trees in the field of arboriculture for decades. He’s worked privately and publicly, including as arborist supervisor for Sarasota County, Florida. He graduated with a degree in environmental studies at Warren Wilson College in North Carolina, where he initially pursued a degree in English.
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Requiem for the Lord God Bird
The ivory-billed woodpecker is officially extinct, and it strikes a chord in Knoxville
Clinging to a maple in the bayou, Jim Tanner finally had the rare nestling in his grasp.
He fitted it with a numbered leg band and placed the bird back in its hole high off the ground.
But true to its seldom-seen self, the juvenile ivory-billed woodpecker squirmed free and fluttered to the base of a giant maple tree in a southern Louisiana swamp owned at the time by the Singer Sewing Machine Co.
The year was 1936, and Jim Tanner was in the midst of doctorate research at Cornell University funded by the Audubon Society as part of a push to prevent the pending extinctions of multiple bird species, including the California condor, roseate spoonbill, whooping crane and ivory-billed woodpecker. Eighty-five years later, the regal woodpecker would be the only one grounded for eternity.
In the heat and rain of mucky, gassy bayous, Tanner compiled data on the range, population, habitat and prevalence of ivory-billed woodpeckers. He camped for weeks at a time in the swamps of the birds’ original range.
On this day, his only goal was to band the bird but he rushed down the tree and picked up the agitated but uninjured woodpecker.
He also wanted photographs.
Tanner took advantage of the moment.
He placed the bird upon the shoulder of an accompanying and accommodating game warden for 14 shots from his Leica.
They were probably the first, and perhaps the last, photographs of a juvenile ivory-billed woodpecker photographed by Tanner in its natural habitat. He named the bird Sonny, and he was the only known member of the species to be banded with a number.
The regal, smart, athletic bird, which peaceably flew over its small slice of Earth for some 10,000 years, was declared extinct last month by the Fish and Wildlife Service. Twenty-two other species also qualified for removal from the Endangered Species List — in the worst possible way.
The ivory bill inhabited the swamps of the Deep South, far removed from Rocky Top, but old visages of the departed were found in Little Switzerland in South Knoxville. The work of Tanner, who would go on to complete a rich ecological research career at the University of Tennessee, has been memorialized by a talented East Tennessee science writer.
And the Southern Appalachian region has other long-gone kinships with species that vanished from the Earth a long time ago.
Technical Society of Knoxville Centennial Celebration
Jun 14 6:30 p.m. EST
The Turning Point: Things were never the same after 1921, when technology was changing the city in several surprising ways
Jack Neely, Executive Director of the Knoxville History Project
Technical Society of Knoxville (TSK)
Charity Banquet at Crowne Plaza for the Charles Edward Ferris Engineering Endowments at University of Tennessee, Knoxville - the public is invited - RSVP by June 8
Ferris was the first Dean of UTK’s College of Engineering.
More details on the event, sponsorships, and reservations
The Technical Society of Knoxville was founded in 1921. It has met over 4,000 times to discuss the application of technology from early Knoxville’s coal smoke and traffic problems to present Knoxville’s transportation air pollution and the impact of electric car technologies.
Still no glimpses of the ghost bird
‘Lord God Bird’ of lore, a sad reminder of what we have lost
We stood agape. Before us, on a white countertop as big as a ping pong table, lay 17 dead ivory-billed woodpeckers. They were museum specimens neatly arranged in two groups: nine males and eight females, all lined up like ears of corn in separate wooden trays. Each had a paper label attached to a leg with handwritten notation of when and where it had been collected; most seemed to date from the late 1800s. Being in the presence of so many rendered us reverently speechless.