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Polk Project Videos

On April 12–13, 2019, the University of Tennessee History Department and the East Tennessee Historical Society hosted a conference, “James K. Polk and His Time: A Conference Finale to the Polk Project.” The event celebrated the impending conclusion, after six decades of work, of the Polk Project.

C-SPAN 3 (American History TV) recorded three sessions of the conference. They first aired in May and June 2019 and can be viewed on C-SPAN’s website: “Land, Sovereignty, and Religion,” “Young Polk and Other Polks,” and a “Featured Roundtable on the Many Sides of Polk.”

On March 1, 2016, Polk Project editor Michael David Cohen gave the Annual Presidential Lecture at Northwestern Oklahoma State University, Alva. Hosted by NWOSU’s Institute for Citizenship Studies and its Department of Social Sciences, the lecture was titled “James Knox Polk (1845–1849): Meet America’s Most Important Unknown President.” In conversation with Dr. Aaron L. Mason, co-director of the institute, Dr. Cohen discussed many topics about Polk, including his childhood, the Mexican-American War, and his decision not to seek a second term.

The James K. Polk Project, the Papers of Andrew Jackson, and (until its completion in 2000) the Papers of Andrew Johnson form the Tennessee Presidents Center, at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. UT was the only university to host three presidential paper projects and, more recently, one of only two universities to host two. In 1996 the three projects collaborated to produce a documentary that tells the stories of Tennessee’s three presidents through their own words. “Voices for Union,” originally released on VHS, is now available online thanks to Dr. Trevor A. Smith, a historian at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and a former assistant editor at the Polk Project.