Historic Markers Across Tennessee

Battle of Athens ~ August 1 - 2, 1946

Marker ID: THC 2A 102
Location: at the intersection of North White Street and East College Street, Athens, TN
County: McMinn
Coordinates: N 35° 26.656    W 084° 35.652
  35.44426666    -84.5942
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WM27HD


Battle of Athens
August 1 - 2, 1946

The Battle of Athens was an armed revolt that gained national attention. Attempting to end the control of an entrenched political machine, World War II veterans used force to ensure that on the day of local elections in 1946 every vote “was counted as cast.” After local authorities locked themselves and the ballot boxes in the jail, veterans suspicious of foul play gathered weapons and ammunition and exchanged fire from this hill upon the jail, which once stood across the street. The besieged authorities surrendered. At a meeting in the courthouse, an interim government was set up, followed by the election of the veterans’ slate.

Tennessee Historical Commission.