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And Finally: Knoxville remembers Fred Thompson through Howard Baker Center

Knoxville remembers Fred Thompson through Howard Baker Center
The Howard H. Baker Center created a display for Fred Dalton Thompson after he died Sunday, Nov. 1.

(WBIR-KNOXVILLE) As family and friends of Fred Thompson gathered for his funeral Friday in Nashville, the Howard H. Baker Center for Public Policy is showcasing the Watergate lawyer's many roles in a display.

The Baker Center opened in 2003 on the University of Tennessee's campus with much help from Thompson.

"Our connection with him has most prominently been through the video and making the video basically that tells about Sen. Baker and the Baker Center itself," Baker Center Associate Director Nissa Dahlin-Brown said. "He was very willing to do that whole production of reading the script, memorizing it. I mean, he has a wonderful voice and it was very helpful to us as well."

Dahlin-Brown said the "politician-turned-actor" donated letters to the facility he received during his time in Washington. Those are on display, along with articles about him, pictures and a small replica of his iconic red truck, which he drove during his 2008 presidential run.

"When he ran for president briefly, we were flooded with people, with journalists who went through the papers just looking for information on him," she said.

Thompson was an original Baker Center board member. The last time he visited was in 2005 when he gave a speech on civic engagement to UT students.

"It was great," Dahlin-Brown said. "It was very fun, and very fun for him to see all of his papers organized and categorized."

In Nashville, U.S. Sens. John McCain and Lamar Alexander were just a couple of the notable people who spoke at his ceremony.

They remembered Thompson for always being true.

"In the credits for the movie about his client, 'Marie,' Fred is listed as playing himself," McCain said. "That's who he always played…in the movies and in public life…himself."

Thompson's family held a private burial in Lawrenceburg, Tenn., where he grew up.

The Baker Center's dedication to him will be available for the next few months.