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Sergeant York film showing, commentary by Dr. Michael Birdwell

sergeant yorkThe movie classic “Sergeant York” starring Gary Cooper about the WWI Medal of Honor recipient, from Pall Mall, Tennessee, is filming on Sunday, February 18, 2018, at 2 p.m. A commentary by Dr. Michael Birdwell, professor of History at Tennessee Tech University, will also be presented.

Professor Birdwell has studied the life of World War I hero Sgt. Alvin C. York for more than a quarter of a century and worked directly with York’s descendants for most of that time. Birdwell is the curator of the York Papers in York’s hometown of Pall Mall. He has worked internationally conducting battlefield archaeology near the Sgt. York battle site in Chatel-Chehery, France, where his team discovered more than 10,000 Word War I era artifacts. Birdwell has also conducted extensive research on Warner Bros. Entertainment Film history and media studies, with an emphasis on both Tennessee film and film influenced by World War I and II.

The film is presented in conjunction with the new feature exhibition “In the Footsteps of Sergeant York” on display at the Museum of East Tennessee History through July 8. This is the second in a series of WWI in America programs presented in partnership with the University of Tennessee Center for the Study of War and Society. The program is sponsored by the Library of America’s World War I and American Grant, received by CSWS in conjunction with the State of Tennessee World War I Commission. The program is free and will begin at 2:00 p.m. at the East Tennessee History Center, 601 S. Gay Street, Knoxville. For more information on the lecture, exhibitions, or museum hours, call 865-215-8824 or visit the website at

Published February 11, 2018

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