The Road to Now
About This Show
The Road to Now is a series of interviews and conversations meant to trace the historical roots of today’s events. Hosted by Bob Crawford of the Avett Brothers and historian Benjamin Sawyer of Middle Tennessee State University, this podcast brings pressing questions and exceptional guests to the table to explain how our shared and personal past has shaped the road that brought us to where we are now. Enjoy!
Most Recent Episode
#75 William Walker, Historical Markers, and (Re)Writing History
4 days ago
On the corner of 4th Avenue and Commerce Street in Nashville, there’s a historical marker that reads: “William Walker; Grey-eyed Man of Destiny; Born May 8, 1824, Walker moved to this site from 6th Ave. N. in 1840. In early life he was doctor, lawyer & journalist. He invaded Mexico in 1853 with 46 men & proclaimed himself Pres., Republic of Lower Calif. Led forces into Nicaragua in 1855; was elected its Pres. in 1856. In attempt to wage war on Honduras was captured & executed Sept. 12, 1860.” The interesting thing is that it doesn’t mention that Walker reintroduced slavery to a country that had abolished the institution in the year he was born. In this episode of The Road to Now, Ben investigates how historical markers get made, and the agenda of those who work to establish them. He tracks down the origins of the William Walker marker, which was established in 1970, and speaks with Pippa Holloway to learn about her work in erecting a marker to Civil Rights activist Penny Campbell. It turns out a lot has changed in the half-century between the two markers, but some things remain constant then and now. For more on The Road to Now, visit out website: www.theroadtonow.com