Tag Archives: walker

Trivia Question: Name 5 Tennesseans who became president

News release from Secretary of State’s office:
Here’s a quick trivia question: Can you name five Tennesseans who became president?
If you’re a good student of the state’s history, you probably won’t have any trouble naming former U.S. presidents Andrew Jackson, Andrew Johnson or James K. Polk. But a fourth or fifth?
It’s a trick question, because there were also Tennesseans who later became presidents of foreign countries, such as Sam Houston, who led the briefly-independent Republic of Texas, and William Walker, who was inaugurated as president of Nicaragua on this date in 1856.
Walker’s life is highlighted in one of the Tennessee State Library and Archives’ online exhibits. The exhibit can be found at http://tn.gov/tsla/exhibits/walker/index.htm.
Walker isn’t as famous as some Tennesseans chronicled at the State Library and Archives, but in his day, he was quite infamous for his efforts to colonize Central America.
Three years before he became president of Nicaragua, the Nashvillian led a group of 45 men who landed in Baja California, Mexico. Walker declared the land to be the Republic of Lower California and proclaimed himself to be the new country’s president. Mexican forces soon threw him and his troops out of the country and he was tried (but acquitted) for violating U.S. neutrality laws when he returned.
Walker then led a group of 57 soldiers into Nicaragua. After fighting a number of battles and eventually becoming president, he launched a plan to “Americanize” the country by declaring English the official language and encouraging U.S. residents to immigrate there. He was later ousted by the combined forces of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. After unsuccessfully attempting to regain the presidency of Nicaragua, he was eventually captured and turned over to the Honduran government, which executed him for piracy.
“The story of William Walker is one of thousands that can be found at the Tennessee State Library and Archives,” Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. “Because his life is chronicled in one of our online exhibits, it is accessible to Tennesseans free of charge, 24 hours a day and seven days a week. I encourage people to visit our web site and learn more about the resources that are just a few mouse clicks away.”

Schools Security Chief Admits Lying About Travels With Contractor

Knox County Schools’ chief security officer admitted Friday that he twice went on trips with the president of a security system firm under fire for shoddy workmanship, reports the News Sentinel.
Chief Security Officer Steve Griffin initially denied in an interview Friday afternoon — at which School Superintendent Jim McIntyre was present — that he had ever traveled with Mike Walker, who is president of Professional Security Consultants and Design.
Griffin said the pair had lunched together a few times after Walker and his firm were awarded a contract to install and monitor school security systems for Knox County schools but denied they were pals or the relationship unduly influenced his push to have that same firm carry out work that is now the subject of a lawsuit.
“I know him,” Griffin said. “I didn’t know him until he started working in the schools.” An hour later, Griffin phoned the News Sentinel and said, “I have a confession.”
Griffin then admitted that he had traveled with Walker to a NASCAR race in Bristol for which Walker provided the tickets. He also said the pair traveled together to Fentress County for a “deer camp.”


See also related story on Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett pushing for an audit of the school security system.