Tennessee Preservation Trust

Ed Bearss to Speak During NPS Centennial Celebration

Posted: 08/17/2016

Nashville is honored to have an icon of the National Park Service in town while the Centennial celebration of the National Park Service (1916 – 2016) is taking place across the country the week of August 21st. Ed Bearss, Chief Historian Emeritus of the National Park Service and one of America’s preeminent Civil War historians, will give a talk on the history of the NPS and screen a documentary on his life produced by local filmmaker, David Currey. In 2005, Smithsonian Magazine recognized him as one of the top 35 remarkable people every American should meet.
He will also lead battlefield tours of Stones River, Tullahoma, Chickamauga and Chattanooga during the week.

The week kicks off on Sunday, August 21st at Timberland Park in Williamson County with the Friends of Natchez Trace. Ed will speak about the NPS and his long history with the agency where he rose from battlefield historian at Vicksburg National Military Park to Chief Historian. He will also receive a life achievement award from the Tennessee Preservation Trust. The event runs from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Ed will be available to autograph books.

That evening, from 6 to 8 p.m., a special screening of the documentary on Ed’s life will be screen at Dyer Observatory. From the rural plains of south central Montana, to the Pacific Theater in World War Two, to Chief Historian Emeritus of the National Park Service, Bearss has lead an extraordinary life. Not only is he one of the nation‘s authorities on Civil War history and battlefield preservation, he is also the most recognizable face and a living legend in the 100 year history of the National Park Service. In 2014, David Currey, Principal at Encore Interpretive Design and Road Films, and Jim Kay, one of Nashville’s leading battlefield preservationists, produced a one-hour documentary on extraordinary life of an extraordinary man. The film takes us on a journey from growing up in 1920s Montana, to his wounding by the Japanese in World War Two, to his vaunted career in the NPS and the impact he has had on preserving some of America’s most important stories and places. All led by the master tour guide – Ed Bearss.

Beginning on Monday morning, August 22nd, and running through Thursday, August 25th, Bearss will lead tours of Stones River National Battlefield, the Tullahoma Campaign and Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to join him as he weaves the Civil War tale of the summer of 1863 in Tennessee across four battlefields. With Bearss in Chattanooga will be Jim Ogden, historian at Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Battlefields. The week will finish with another talk on his life in the National Park Service and a screening of the documentary at Bachman Community Center in Signal Mountain, Tennessee on the evening of August 25th. For more information on the screening and talk at Bachman Community Center call 423-886-4842.

These events are sponsored by Encore Interpretive Design, LLC, Friends of Natchez Trace, Williamson County Parks and Recreation, Vanderbilt University’s Dyer Observatory, the Tennessee Preservation Trust and Bachman Community Center.

The event at Timberland Park is free and open to the public. You can purchase tickets ($25 ea.) to the Dyer Observatory screening by going to americanjourneyfilm.com. You receive an American Journey: The Life and Times of Ed Bearss DVD with your ticket purchase. $5 of every ticket purchase goes to the Tennessee Preservation Trust. For more information or to register for the tour, please contact David Currey at david@encoreinterpretive.net.