An ordinance naming the observation towers overlooking Public Square Park in honor of Thomas Shriver.

WHEREAS, Thomas Humphries Shriver (1938-1997) was an outstanding jurist, prosecutor, and teacher serving the Nashville legal community for forty years; and

WHEREAS, after graduating from Vanderbilt Law School in 1957, Thomas Shriver went into private practice for several years before being elected to the Tennessee House of Representatives in 1960 and the Tennessee Senate in 1962; and

WHEREAS, Thomas Shriver was elected as Davidson County District Attorney in 1966 where he served as a tough and fair-minded prosecutor until 1987; and

WHEREAS, as District Attorney, Thomas Shriver was responsible for hiring Adolpho A. Birch as the first African-American assistant district attorney in the state of Tennessee who went on to become Chief Justice of Tennessee Supreme Court, as well as Martha Craig Daughtrey as the first female prosecutor in Tennessee who later served as a Tennessee Supreme Court Justice and as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit; and

WHEREAS, as evidence of his sense of civic duty, Thomas Shriver spoke to a group of citizens in 1968 who had marched to the Davidson County courthouse after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. about the need for community justice, which calmed the crowd and likely spared the city from an unfortunate incident; and

WHEREAS, Thomas Shriver was elected as a criminal court judge in Davidson County in 1987, where he served with distinction until his death; and

WHEREAS, Thomas Shriver taught criminal law and constitutional law at the Nashville School of Law for many years, and was widely regarded by his students for his outstanding teaching ability; and

WHEREAS, it is fitting and proper that Thomas Shriver be recognized for his many contributions to the Nashville legal community and his distinguished public service career by naming the observation towers overlooking Public Square Park in his honor; and

WHEREAS, a resolution adopted by the Nashville Bar Association and signed by NBA president Trey Harwell in support of naming the towers in honor of Thomas Shriver was submitted to the Board of Parks and Recreation, as was a personal letter from Judge Shriver’s brother, Don Shriver.


Section 1. That the observation towers overlooking Public Square Park are hereby named the “Thomas H. Shriver Towers”.

Section 2. This Ordinance shall take effect from and after its adoption, the welfare of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.

Sponsored by: Mike Jameson, Ronnie Steine, Edith Taylor Langster


Introduced: July 21, 2009
Passed First Reading: July 21, 2009
Referred to: Parks Committee
Passed Second Reading: August 6, 2009
Passed Third Reading: August 18, 2009
Approved: August 24, 2009