State Information

Nickname(s):                             The Volunteer State

Motto(s):                                       Agriculture and Commerce

State song(s):                               My Tennessee

 Capital & Largest City             Nashville

 Admitted to US                          6/1/1796             16th State

Brief History of Tennessee

Here are a few interesting facts about Tennessee:

  • Tennessee has one national park – the Great Smoky Mountains. 

  • Forty-four percent of its land is agricultural. 

  • It receives most of its energy from nuclear power and has electricity rates 15% below the national average.

  • It is famous for the production of Jack Daniels Whiskey. 

  • Bluegrass music originated in Bristol. 

  • The Memphis Cotton Exchange handles one-third of the US cotton crop. 

  • Three presidents have come from Tennessee: Andrew Jackson, James K Polk, and Andrew Johnson.  

  • There are numerous famous people from Tennessee, including Ernest Jennings, aka Tennessee Ernie Ford (singer), Aretha Franklin (singer), Dolly Parton (singer), Justin Timberlake (singer), Morgan Freeman (actor), and many others.

Interesting Stories

Country Music combines folk, gospel, and blues played primarily with string instruments.  The songs usually have lyrics associated with love and heartache.  The US Congress officially recognized Bristol, Tennessee, as the birthplace of country music.  Tennessee has been home to many great singers, including Aretha Franklin, Justin Timberlake, Brad Paisley, Dolly Parton, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift, Sheryl Crow, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, and many others.  Places like TN remind us, “Music is good for the soul.”  And this is more than just an idiom. It is backed by scientific support. Rehabilitation medical centers for stroke and head injury cases all use music during therapy sessions.  Did you ever wonder why?  And unlike many other medical treatments, no negative side effects have been associated with listening to music.   

Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, but his music days and home were at Graceland in Memphis, TN.  Besides being a singer, Elvis was very patriotic. When he learned that the Pacific War Commission was having difficulty raising the money needed to erect the USS Arizona memorial, he scrambled together a benefit to raise money and insisted that no high-ranking VIP could be given a ticket for free.  The concert raised $54,000. Furthermore, Elvis made personal donations which were sufficient to reach the $500,000 goal.  His charitable contributions were generous and many. They numbered well over 50.  He also formed the Elvis Presley Foundation to promote philanthropy.  Elvis kept most of his contributions anonymous.  He often quoted Luke 12:48 to the effect, “.. to whom much is given; much will be required.”  

Davy Crockett was born in Limestone, TN.  When he was 12, he ran away from a buckaroo job to help the family’s indebtedness.  A year after he returned home, his father enrolled him in school.  But when his father attempted to whip him for playing hooky, Davy ran away again, outrunning his father. In 1831, a play about a swashbuckling frontiersman named Nimrod Wildfire became popular.  Most people thought that Nimrod was Davy Crockett, which turned Davy into a national celebrity.  He later tried his hand at politics but did not like it and was often absent.  He once proclaimed, “You may all go to hell, and I will go to Texas.”  And he did. He went directly to the Alamo and Santa Ana’s Mexican troops.  Publications of his death, swinging his rifle to protect America, made him a national hero.  Two hundred years later, Davy Crockett is still one of our nation’s most recognized and loved people.  He reminds us that if you want a little fame, you need a little publicity.