Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads

Sunday, August 2, 2015

The Centennial at the Grass Roots: Tennessee Remembers Its Most Famous Doughboy

In the Footsteps of Alvin York

Customs House Museum & Cultural Center
Clarksville, Tennessee
9 July 2015 Through 27 September 2015

Alvin York was one of the most decorated World War I soldiers from Tennessee. This exhibit celebrating his life is brought to us by the Museum of the American Military Experience.

In October 1918, under heavy fire and casualties, command fell to Sergeant York as he led seven men to take out a German machine gun nest. Against all odds, York and his men took the guns as 132 German soldiers and four officers surrendered. This remarkable feat earned him the Medal of Honor.

His eventual popularity and fame began in 1919, when the April issue of the Saturday Evening Post published an article detailing the raid. His Tennessee upbringing, his shooting ability, and his modest personality all contributed to the legend that became Sergeant York.

The exhibit was created between 2006 and 2009 by filmmaker and designer David Currey with the help of a group of historians in the state. Three scientific expeditions by an international team of geographers, historians, and archeologists were conducted in the Argonne Forest of eastern France to pinpoint the location of where the Tennessee native earned his Medal of Honor. It comes to the Customs House from the Museum of Military Experience. “In the Footsteps of Alvin York” examines York’s background in Pall Mall, Tennessee, and his induction into the Army, as well as taking visitors through a blow-by-blow account of 8 October. The display includes uniforms and decorations, an 82nd Division flag, a short film, and weapons and other era artifacts.

“It’s over; let’s just forget about it.”
York’s modesty about the event that brought him the Medal of Honor

Source:  Customs House Website