World’s Fair Park is a downtown Knoxville landmark that is still in use today as a municipal park. And just as it serves as an important and recognizable symbol of our city, the man behind the park and the 1982 World’s Fair was an influential part of our city’s history. Jake Butcher was the chairman of the World’s Fair board of directors and at the pinnacle of his influence when the fair opened. Butcher, born and raised in Union County, Tennessee, is known for his political clout, his banking empire and his fall from grace. WBIR host of HomeGrown interviewed Butcher back in May 2012. During the interview Butcher said,
“One of the worst things I ever felt was having to leave Knoxville, leave East Tennessee. I love Tennessee.”
The HomeGrown series is a great way to get to learn about what makes our place unique and the key players of our rich history. So take a minute to get to know Jake Butcher, in his own words, with this short video. It’s worth watching!