Nashville in the 1940s and 1950s
By the time of the Second World War and for about fifteen years afterwards, Nashville was a mixture of progressive and traditional ways.
Panel 1 portrays Captain Jack Barnes and his long-running west Nashville ferry service across the Cumberland River.
Panel 2 depicts Army recruits and the Union Station train shed where thousands of Tennesseans departed for duty overseas.
Panel 3 is a portrait of Nashville heroine Cornelia Fort, a pioneer in women's military aviation and the first woman in uniform to be killed serving her country (19443).
Panel 4 shows the post-war return to prosperous times in Nashville's premier shopping district: Church Street.
Panel 5 turns to the problem of racial segregation in Nashville. Featured portraits are of three leaders of the Civil Rights movement (Attorney and State Senator Avon Williams, the Reverend Kelly Miller Smith, and Attorney and City Councilman Z. Alexander Looby) above a vignette of the lunch counter sit-ins led by one-time Vanderbilt Divinity student, the Reverend James Lawson, and others. Shown here are Matthew Walker, Peggy Alexander, Diane Nash and Stanley Hemphill. The results of their courageous efforts made Nashville the first major city in the South to begin desegregation.
Alcove 16: Nashville Today