Glimpse into Christmas past through film, print and photos


The Knoxville History Project and Knox County Public Library’s Tennessee Archive of Moving Image and Sound (TAMIS) are teaming up for a look back at how Knoxville and its residents have celebrated the Christmas holiday through the years.

WHEN: 2:00 - 4:00 on Sunday, December 10

WHERE: East Tennessee History Center

HOW MUCH: Free. Donations welcome

Historian and Knoxville History Project Executive Director Jack Neely will recount Dickens-inspired local stories from the 1800’s, Christmas Eve shenanigans from the 1920’s and 1930’s, the raising of the city’s first municipal Christmas tree, and the long-running Christmas Parade.

TAMIS will show vintage photos and video footage to enrich these festive stories. Screenings will include vintage black-and-white home movies and rare color footage of the Christmas Parade in the early 1950’s. Attendees will also be able to purchase Jack Neely’s new book, A Knoxville Christmas, which collects two centuries of Knoxville’s rich – and often surprising – holiday stories. Mr. Neely will be available to sign copies

About the Knoxville History Project:

The Knoxville History Project (KHP) is an educational nonprofit with a mission to research and promote the history and culture of Knoxville. KHP is the only city-centered historical organization covering downtown and all points north, south, east, and west throughout the suburbs. KHP’s work features colorful characters, bizarre tales, interesting buildings, curious traditions, as well as seriously influential local events. KHP provides history talks and tours, conducts research for fee-for-service clients; and engages in community-wide history projects.

About Tennessee Archive of Moving Image and Sound:

Part of Knox County Public Library, TAMIS’ moving image collection currently contains more than 5,000 reels and videotapes of home movies, documentaries, advertisements, industrial and training films, commercial films, television programming, and newsreels, all with local or regional connections. Its audio collection includes vintage radio programming, sound recordings, and oral histories and field recordings from the region, some dating back more than one hundred years.

Program contacts:

Paul James, Development Director
Knoxville History Project 516 West Vine Avenue, #8
Knoxville, TN 37902
Telephone: 865-300-4559

Eric Dawson, TAMIS Manager
601 S. Gay Street Knoxville, TN 37901
Telephone: 865-215-8856