Ten Commandments may be displayed at county’s Justice Center
By Karen Sells
Resolutions recommended by the Public Safety Committee indicate the board believes it is important to develop a suitable and dignified display to reflect the community’s history.
Nominees presented for the Historical Documents Display Study Committee are “civic-minded individuals with varying backgrounds who bring a sense of history, knowledge and understanding of the law, and the important developments of the law in the United States, the State of Tennessee and the history of Washington County.”
Commissioners unanimously approved the following members to serve on the committee: County Archivist Ned Irwin; Commissioner Mike Ford; Dr. Bill Kennedy, chair of the Jonesborough Historic Zoning Commission; County Historian John Kiener; County Attorney John Rambo; Mary Alexander, former commissioner and president of the Langston Heritage Group; and County Librarian Lucinda Slagle.
Public Chapter 686, adopted by the Tennessee General Assembly in March, authorizes local governments to display historical documents.
According to the legislation, “Each county is authorized to display, in county public buildings and on county public grounds, replicas of historical documents including, but not limited to, the Ten Commandments, Magna Carta, Mayflower Compact, Declaration of Independence, United States Constitution, Bill of Rights, Constitution of Tennessee, and other such historically significant documents in the form of statues, monuments, memorials, tablets, or any other display that respects the dignity and solemnity of such documents.”
The Historical Documents Display Study Committee is charged with implementing Public Charter No. 686 as it considers historically significant documents to be included in the display.
The initial recommendation will be submitted to members of the Public Safety Committee for review, with final consideration of the design made by the full commission.