Skip to content

Public History Exhibit

Dr. Mercer’s Public History Class Installs Exhibit


Pictured with Dr. Mercer are the creators of the exhibit (from left to right): Maggie Bivens, Beth Amstutz, Ashley Holland, Steven Myers, and Michael Hurst.

On Friday, May 1, 2015, Dr. Mercer’s public history class held a reception celebrating the installation of its exhibit,   “Griswold v. Connecticut (1965): Birth Control and Privacy in the Twentieth Century” at the Hodges Library. Following the official unveiling, the students engaged in a lively discussion of the project with History Department faculty members, graduate students, and other members of the UT community.Mercer2

On display at the Miles Reading Room located in the first floor of the Hodges Library, the exhibit tells the story of Griswold v. Connecticut on its fiftieth anniversary. In Griswold, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Connecticut law that criminalized the use of birth control. In so doing, the Court determined that the Constitution protected a “right to privacy.”

The students collaborated over the course of the semester to create this presentation which examines the case itself, the history of the birth control movement, the legal issues concerning the idea of a constitutional right of privacy, and the legacy of Griswold in the modern debate over reproductive rights. A virtual version of the exhibit is available below.


The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.