Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts

Tennessee Judiciary Museum Launches New Exhibits, Website

December 5, 2013

The Tennessee Judiciary Museum is celebrating its one-year anniversary with several new exhibits and the launch of a website devoted to the museum.

The museum has added exhibits detailing several historic cases that have worked their way through the courts of Tennessee. The various exhibits are divided into alcoves that show examples from all levels of Tennessee courts – trial courts, appellate courts and the Tennessee Supreme Court.

The current exhibit –Tales of the Tennessee Judiciary – features objects and documents for eight historic Tennessee cases. Four of these are landmarks of Tennessee’s judicial history, involving the rights of slaves (Ford v. Ford, 1846); a banking crisis (Townsend v. Townsend, 1821), the reapportionment of voting districts (Kidd v. McCanless, 1955); and a dispute involving two players for rival Tennessee minor league baseball clubs (Averill v. Luttrell, 1957). 

The remaining cases, which include three murder convictions and an automobile accident, offer a fascinating look back into legal history. Visitors can learn about historic legal decisions and find out what happened after the cases were resolved through the evidence on display and by using the interactive multimedia program.

The museum, housed in the Supreme Court building in Nashville, opened last year as the building celebrated its 75th year. The museum is a project of the Tennessee Supreme Court Historical Society, which strives to preserve historical information concerning the Supreme Court and the other appellate courts of Tennessee, and to promote a better understanding of the role of the Tennessee judiciary in our society.

The museum also launched its own website, www.tennesseejudiciarymuseum.org. The website provides information to prospective visitors about the museum and offers lesson plans and other information for educators. The museum is open Monday -Friday from 9 a.m. – noon and admission is free.