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Fox provides history lesson with a little twist

John Sevier, Davy Crocket and Sam Houston. One particular man in Knoxville knows their stories backward and forward, and he is on a mission to educated youth in Knoxville about these men and other historical events and courageous people that helped form the U.S.A.

Lynn Fox, a former major in the U.S. Army, conducted a program for the Navy Junior ROTC department at Farragut High School, Wednesday, Sep. 13, but he provided something a little different than the normal history discussion.

“One thing I try to do is spark a love or interest in history, at least get them to think about it,” Fox said. “I don’t capture them all and some even sleep through my program, but others, years later, will say I do this because I saw your program fifteen years ago and that just makes my day.”

Fox, above all else, is a patriot. For 22 years he has been dressing up in historical wear, similar to what Davy Crockett or John Sevier would have worn, and discusses historical events with different school, church or other groups.

The attempt to create historical interest in people is often difficult, but well worth the effort, Fox said.

During the FHS discussions, Fox quickly threw out different facts such as; Davy Crockett was born in 1786, and even though legend holds that Crockett was born in Tennessee, it was not declared to be a state until 10 years after his birth. Fox also discussed the evolution of the U.S. flag and a history of governors in Tennessee.

Fox’s knowledge has been a slow accumulation of facts and study that has taken years, and he warned the FHS class to be weary of historical facts other people state.

“Normally, if I want to find an answer I ask three different people,” Fox told the FHS class. “If they all give me the same answer I can kind of believe them.”

Fox encourages the groups he visits in Knoxville to study the historical background of the area they live in. For citizens living in Farragut, the Farragut Folklife Museum is a great place to start exploring history, Fox said.

In the past Fox’s programs have lasted anywhere from 90 minutes to four hours, and he tries to accommodate all requests for a program. During the day Fox works as a car salesman at Benton Motors in Oak Ridge.

A great aspect of Fox’s program is that he keeps the program lively, by adding humor to historical facts about figures and events. This kept the class at Farragut interested, said Lt. Cmdr. Duff Thompson, senior naval science instructor at Farragut High School.

“They’re really giving him their attention,” Thompson said during the last of four programs Fox gave to the junior ROTC class. “I’ve learned a lot too. In fact, every time I walk in there I learn something new.”

Thursday, Sep. 28, Fox will offer his program at Roane State Community College entitled “Oracle for Oak Ridge.”

He expects it to be open to the public.

Fox spent 26 years in the U.S. Army, received his Eagle Scout, and was born on July 4.

Patriotism has guided him through his reserach of historical events, Fox said.

Persons or groups interested in requesting a program can contact Fox at 865-719-9947.

“In 22 years I’ve worked with every age and every group imaginable,” Fox said. “I do it for fun. It’s my relaxation.”


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