GATLINBURG — With the vistas of the Smoky Mountains as their backdrop, state and local officials from Tennessee and North Carolina gathered Friday to declare the beginning of a year long celebration in honor of the 75th anniversary of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
"These precious mountains unite our states," said Sen. Doug Overbey during his remarks. "We find commonality in the love, respect and appreciation for what God has put in our corner of the world."
The event, organized to commemorate the governor's official proclamation, split its focus between the pristine beauty and preservation of the Smoky Mountains in the care of the National Parks Department, and the memory of those who lost their property 75 years ago when Franklin Delano Roosevelt declared the area a national park.
Gov. Phil Bredesen, who served as the event's keynote speaker, was greeted with a standing ovation. Bredesen has been an avid proponent of alternative fuels and solar power and remarked mainly on the future of the park and the importance of maintaining its preservation.... read the rest of the story by Subscribing now.