KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) – The Knox County Democratic Party’s Truman Day Celebration was held Thursday evening at the Knoxville Zoo. The annual event featured prominent Tennessee democrats and celebrated the former president and region that became so intertwined in American history.
Harry Truman was sworn in as 33rd U.S. President during what ultimately became the waning days of World War II. Shortly after taking office he was briefed about the Manhattan Project and authorized the use of the first atomic bomb, codenamed “Little Boy.”
The Allied nations issued the Potsdam Declaration in late July 1945 demanding Japan surrender. They refused, and on August 6th, a B-29 bomber dropped Little Boy over the city of Hiroshima. The blast immediately killed more than 70,000 people, bringing the world into the nuclear age.
At the same time, East Tennessee was beginning to thrive again following the decade long Great Depression. The New Deal created the Tennessee Valley Authority, a federally owned utility that picked Knoxville as its headquarters. The TVA built several hydroelectric dams across the region to provide cheap power. The completion of the dams lead to the decision to build what eventually became known as the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Anderson County. The secret facility was codenamed “Project X” and used to enrich the uranium used in Little Boy.
Knox County’s Truman Day Celebration was held exactly 64 years after the Hiroshima bombing.
The Thursday evening event proved popular among the state’s top democrats. More than half of the party’s five candidates for the 2010 gubernatorial nomination were in attendance including State Sen. Roy Herron, former House Majority Leader Kim McMillan and businessman Mike McWherter.
When it comes to the nomination, party leaders say no matter which candidate wins the nomination, they’ll be ready to go for the general election.
"We have five very great candidates in our primary for governor,” said Chip Forrester, Chairman of the Tennessee Democratic Party. “The most important thing is that our democratic nominee will stand on the shoulders of the Gov. Phil Bredesen’s great leadership these last seven years."
Paula Flowers, who use to serve as Tennessee’s Commissioner of Commerce and Insurance also attended the event. The Oak Ridger is seeking the party’s nomination for the 3rd U.S. Congressional District seat which is currently held by Rep. Zach Wamp.
Tennessee Democratic Party officials said their biggest goal in the next few years is winning back control of the state house before redistricting occurs in 2011.
|June 7||STIHL Lumberjack Series Competition|
|June 14||Fort Loudoun State Historic Area|
|June 21||Secret City Festival|
|June 28||Hamblen Co.|
|July 5||Rockin the Docks|
|July 12||Knoxville Zoo|
|July 19||Wilderness at the Smokies|
|July 26||Grainger County Tomato Festival|
|August 2||Great Smoky Mtn Heritage Center|
|August 9||Fort Southwest Point|
|August 16||Jefferson County Fair|
|August 22||Rivalry Thursday|