The Battle of Athens. Armed populist uprising against corruption. Tennessee, 1946

battle of athens sign
Returning battle-hardened veterans from WWII took matters into their own hands after a viciously corrupt election in Athens, TN in 1946 enforced by violence and intimidation by police against the veteran’s slate of candidates. There were 200 armed “deputies” at the voting booths. One deputy shot a African-American man trying to vote. Poll watchers were detained. The police then seized the ballot boxes.

What happened next was extraordinary. Ex-GIs emptied local armories of weapons and opened fire on the police station with weapons including Thompson submachine guns. They threw Molotovs at the station and eventually knocked down a wall with dynamite. The stunned police then surrendered.

The veterans forced the corrupt police into submission. Their slate was declared winners of the election, and they then cleaned up the local government.

Eleanor Roosevelt on The Battle of Athens

“After any war, the use of force throughout the world is almost taken for granted. Men involved in the war have been trained to use force, and they have discovered that, when you want something, you can take it. The return to peacetime methods governed by law and persuasion is usually difficult.We in the U.S.A., who have long boasted that, in our political life, freedom in the use of the secret ballot made it possible for us to register the will of the people without the use of force, have had a rude awakening as we read of conditions in McMinn County, Tennessee, which brought about the use of force in the recent primary. If a political machine does not allow the people free expression, then freedom-loving people lose their faith in the machinery under which their government functions.In this particular case, a group of young veterans organized to oust the local machine and elect their own slate in the primary. We may deplore the use of force but we must also recognize the lesson which this incident points for us all. When the majority of the people know what they want, they will obtain it.”

knox henry. battle of athens


  1. Families for a Clean Tennessee Video Hits the Streets!


    Families for a Clean Tennessee released a video reinforcing a poll conducted by Insider Advantage. The poll uncovered that more than 80% of voters oppose dumping nuclear waste in ordinary commercial landfills.

    The poll also uncovered the following:

    * 90% believe nuclear waste should be disposed of in long-term isolation facilities.
    * More than 75% of likely voters-both Democrats and Republicans– are more likely to support a candidate for Governor that is opposed to nuclear dumping and the BSFR program.
    * Nearly 60% are more likely to support a legislative candidate that is opposed to nuclear dumping and the BSFR program.
    * More than 50% have stated they would actively work for the election of any candidate from either party that opposes the dumping of nuclear waste in Tennessee landfills.
    * More than 50% support Senate Bill 687, and more than 60% are more likely to vote for candidates that support Senate Bill 687.
    * 63.5% believe that under no circumstance should nuclear waste be dumped in Tennessee.

    A copy of the poll has been sent to every legislator in Tennessee along with a pledge asking them to support ending the practice of Bulk Survey for Release.


  2. Families for a Clean Tennessee are very concerned about this latest development: DOE wants to ship low-level radioactive waste to an Anderson County landfill from a closed plutonium extraction plant in New York. See the news article at: Equivalent to 200 dump truck loads of waste! We must act now. To support this effort call Senator Tim Burchette at 615-741-1766 now! Tell him you are opposed to accepting New York’s nuclear waste in our backyard! Visit our website for more ways you can help combat this activity at

  3. Those engaged in class warfare against the masses of USA citizens would prefer the Battle of Athens remain mostly unknown to the masses of citizens so as to not encourage any “deviant” thinking among those the few at the apex of the socio-economic hierarchy have successfully brainwashed over the decades that all is as it should be and that We, the People MUST obey our betters and never question our superiors.

    Obey, or else.

    Imagine how the feds would react to the heroes of the Athens battle today.

    I envision terrible repercussions with the immense power and size of various federal bureaucracies destroying the lives of those brave patriots who stood up to tyranny in 1946.

    “There’s class warfare, all right, Mr. (Warren) Buffett said, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”

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