NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Sept. 25, 2023) - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District invites the public to attend Cordell Hull Dam's 50th Anniversary Celebration 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023, at the dam.
The commemorative event will be held on the navigation lock side of the dam at 24 Cordell Park Lane in Elmwood, Tennessee. As a security precaution, the public is asked not to bring backpacks or coolers. Lawn chairs are allowed, water bottles are permitted, and carpooling is recommended.
Kenny Claywell, Cordell Hull Lake Resource manager, said the celebration event site holds special significance because it is the original site where the dam's story began.
"The 50th Anniversary celebration is an opportunity for everyone that loves the dam and lake to recognize the history of the construction of the dam and impoundment of the lake, which continues to provide hydropower, navigation, and recreation benefits to the region," Claywell said. "Today the public enjoys boating, fishing, hunting, camping, and hiking on public lands, recreation areas and campgrounds that were established here for public use 50 years ago."
Congressman John Rose, Tennessee 6th District; Jackson County Mayor Randy Heady; Smith County Mayor Jeff Mason; Natasha Deane, chairperson of Friends of Cordell Hull Lake; Terrell Stoves, Nashville District's Mid Cumberland Area manager; Wesley Butler, Cordell Hull Dam Powerplant superintendent; Retired Park Ranger Gerald Lee; and Claywell are speaking during the celebration. Billy Woodward is master of ceremony.
Cordell Hull Lake and Dam is named after one of America's outstanding statesmen, Cordell Hull. Hull served in the Tennessee and U.S. House of Representatives and in the U.S. Senate. He served as Secretary of State under President Franklin D. Roosevelt from 1933 to 1944 and negotiated the "Good Neighbor" policy toward Latin America. He was largely responsible for the creation of the United Nations. For his efforts towards promoting world peace and harmony, he received a Nobel Peace Prize in 1945.
President John F. Kennedy, 36th president of the United States, visited Nashville, Tennessee, May 18, 1963. At a Founder's Day ceremony at Vanderbilt University, President Kennedy pressed a gold telegraph key that remotely exploded the first charge of dynamite at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District's construction site of Cordell Hull Dam. Congressman Joe L. Evins and District Engineer Col. James B. Newman broke ground for Cordell Hull Lock July 6, 1964. Tricia Nixon Cox, daughter of President Richard M. Nixon, spoke at the dedication of the Cordell Hull Dam Oct. 13, 1973. The event also featured Country Music Sensation Dolly Parton, who performed "A Coat of Many Colors." It is estimated about 2,000 people attended the dedication, according to an Associated Press report.
Cordell Hull Dam is on the Cumberland River at mile 313.5 and rises 87 feet above the streambed. The combination earth fill and concrete-gravity dam is 1,306-feet long with a hydroelectric plant that generates 350,000,000 kilowatts of hydroelectricity annually. The navigation lock is 84-feet wide and 400-feet long with a lift at normal pool of 59 feet. The lock holds 20 million gallons of water. The dam forms Cordell Hull Lake, which is 72-miles long with 381 miles of shoreline at summer pool. The lake has a total of 28,383 acres of land and water. Cordell Hull Lake features three recreation areas, two campgrounds, 22 boat ramps, two hiking trails, horseback riding trail, and mountain bike trail.
(The public can obtain news, updates and information from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District on the district's website at www.lrn.usace.army.mil, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/nashvillecorps and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/nashvillecorps. The public can also follow Cordell Hull Lake on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/cordellhulllake.)