Discovery Park celebrates Davy Crockett’s birthday |

UNION CITY, Tenn. – Discovery Park of America marks David Crockett’s 235th birthday with a celebration on Saturday August 14. The popular hero, pioneer, politician and settler of Tennessee made his home in northwest Tennessee from 1822 until his departure for the Alamo in 1835.

Throughout the day, guests will be able to experience Crockett and learn about his contribution to West Tennessee with panel discussions, performances and activities taking place throughout the museum and park.

Discovery Park CEO Scott Williams has published a book on Crockett, “The Accidental Fame and Lack of Fortune of West Tennessee’s David Crockett”. He will host a panel discussion that day with Broadway actor Bart Shatto and educator Arthur W. Hunt III, PhD.

Shatto and a team are currently working on a new play, “The Confessions of Davy Crockett,” which is set in Memphis the night before Crockett leaves Tennessee for Texas. Shatto will also perform at Discovery Park on Saturday.

Hunt is a professor at the University of Tennessee at Martin where he teaches courses related to public speaking. For three years, he presented a living history program for state parks, schools and other places in Tennessee titled “The Story of Davy Crockett as Told by Himself.”

Crockett, known for his marksmanship, was one of the first non-Native American hunters around Reelfoot Lake. A passionate advocate for the early settlers of western Tennessee, he served in the state legislature from 1821 to 1824, then as a member of Congress representing the counties of western Tennessee in the State House of Representatives United from 1827 to 1831 and from 1833 to 1835. It represents the colonists who settled in the counties of Carroll, Dyer, Fayette, Gibson, Hardeman, Hardin, Haywood, Henderson, Henry, Lawrence, Madison, McNairy, Obion, Perry, Shelby, Tipton, Wayne and Weakley.

“David Crockett’s 235th birthday is a great opportunity for us to shine a light on his relationship with West Tennessee and its impact on the popular culture of his day. He was both literally and symbolically an “ordinary man,” and that role became more important as governance of the country shifted from educated Eastern elites to ordinary working-class Americans, “Williams said. “It also paved the way for an exciting new kind of American that delighted early media and entertainment consumers. He got them excited about what could be found down the river or just above the next mountain, and this popularity resulted in a level of fame no one else had experienced at that time.

Other presentations will take place throughout the day on a variety of topics related to Crockett, his life and career in Tennessee. There will also be artisans demonstrating the work done during this time and opportunities to learn about the wildlife of Northwest Tennessee during the time Crockett lived here.

Visitors will find many ways to experience Crockett at Discovery Park throughout the year, including a statue dedicated to the pioneer, a congressional exhibit at Liberty Hall in Freedom Square, and a reproduction of the portrait of Crockett by John Gadsby Chapman.

The celebration is sponsored by Dixie Gun Works. Discovery Park’s Sabin’s Café will offer a free mini cupcake to the first 235 guests who request one in honor of Crockett’s birthday. For more information and schedule, visit Discovery Park’s online calendar of events at discoveryparkofamerica.com.


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