74 Facts About Tennessee


Tennessee is the 36th largest by area and the 16th most populous of the 50 states.

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Tennessee is geographically, culturally, and legally divided into three Grand Divisions of East, Middle, and West Tennessee.

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Tennessee is rooted in the Watauga Association, a 1772 frontier pact generally regarded as the first constitutional government west of the Appalachian Mountains.

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Tennessee has played a major role in the development of many forms of popular music, including country, blues, rock and roll, soul, and gospel.

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Tennessee has diverse terrain and landforms, and from east to west, contains a mix of cultural features characteristic of Appalachia, the Upland South, and the Deep South.

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Archaeological excavations indicate that the lower Tennessee Valley was heavily populated by Ice Age hunter-gatherers, and Middle Tennessee is believed to have been rich with game animals such as mastodons.

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Cherokee peoples in Tennessee were known by European settlers as the Overhill Cherokee because they lived west of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

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Tennessee reportedly earned the nickname "The Volunteer State" during the War of 1812, when 3, 500 men enthusiastically answered a recruitment call by the General Assembly for the war effort.

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The state's nickname was solidified during the Mexican–American War when President James K Polk of Tennessee issued a call for 2, 800 soldiers from the state, and more than 30, 000 volunteered.

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In 1838 and 1839, U S troops forcibly removed thousands of Cherokees and their Black slaves from their homes in southeastern Tennessee and forced them to march to Indian Territory in modern-day Oklahoma.

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East Tennessee's geography did not allow for large plantations as in the middle and western parts of the state, and as a result, slavery became increasingly rare in the region.

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Tennessee provided more Union troops than any other Confederate state, and the second-highest number of Confederate troops, behind Virginia.

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Union strength in Middle Tennessee was tested in a series of Confederate offensives beginning in the summer of 1862, which culminated in General William Rosecrans's Army of the Cumberland routing General Braxton Bragg's Army of Tennessee at Stones River, another one of the war's costliest engagements.

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Tennessee ratified the Thirteenth Amendment, which outlawed slavery in every state, on April 7, 1865, and the Fourteenth Amendment, which granted citizenship and equal protection under the law to former slaves, on July 18, 1866.

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On July 24, 1866, Tennessee became the first Confederate state to have its elected members readmitted to Congress.

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In 1897, Tennessee celebrated its statehood centennial one year late with the Tennessee Centennial and International Exposition in Nashville.

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Many residents of rural parts of Tennessee relocated to larger cities during this time for more lucrative employment opportunities.

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The exposition was one of the most successful, and the most recent world's fair to be held in the U S In 1986, Tennessee held a yearlong celebration of the state's heritage and culture called "Homecoming '86".

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Tennessee celebrated its bicentennial in 1996 with a yearlong celebration called "Tennessee 200".

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Tennessee is trisected by the Tennessee River, and its geographical center is in Murfreesboro.

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Tennessee has the most caves in the United States, with more than 10, 000 documented.

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Geological formations in Tennessee largely correspond with the state's topographic features, and, in general, decrease in age from east to west.

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The state's oldest rocks are igneous strata more than 1 billion years old found in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and the youngest deposits in Tennessee are sands and silts in the Mississippi Alluvial Plain and river valleys that drain into the Mississippi River.

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Tennessee is considered seismically active and contains two major seismic zones, although destructive earthquakes rarely occur there.

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These mountains, which average 5, 000 feet above sea level in Tennessee, contain some of the highest elevations in eastern North America.

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Tennessee is drained by three major rivers, the Tennessee, Cumberland, and Mississippi.

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The Tennessee River begins at the juncture of the Holston and French Broad rivers in Knoxville, flows southwest to Chattanooga, and exits into Alabama before reemerging in the western part of the state and flowing north into Kentucky.

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Tennessee is within a temperate deciduous forest biome commonly known as the Eastern Deciduous Forest.

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Tennessee is the most biodiverse inland state, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most biodiverse national park, and the Duck River is the most biologically diverse waterway in North America.

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Tennessee is home to 340 species of birds, 325 freshwater fish species, 89 mammals, 77 amphibians, and 61 reptiles.

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Middle Tennessee is home to many unusual and rare ecosystems known as cedar glades, which occur in areas with shallow limestone bedrock that is largely barren of overlying soil and contain many endemic plant species.

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Common mammals found throughout Tennessee include white-tailed deer, red and gray foxes, coyotes, raccoons, opossums, wild turkeys, rabbits, and squirrels.

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Tennessee has the third-highest number of amphibian species, with the Great Smoky Mountains home to the most salamander species in the world.

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Tennessee is divided into 95 counties, each of which has a county seat.

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In recent years, Tennessee has been a top source of domestic migration, receiving an influx of people relocating from places such as California, the Northeast, and the Midwest due to the low cost of living and booming employment opportunities.

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Tennessee is included in most definitions of the Bible Belt, and is ranked as one of the nation's most religious states.

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Several Protestant denominations have their headquarters in Tennessee, including the Southern Baptist Convention and National Baptist Convention; the Church of God in Christ and the Cumberland Presbyterian Church (in Memphis); and the Church of God and the Church of God of Prophecy (in Cleveland); and the National Association of Free Will Baptists (in Antioch).

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Tennessee is a right-to-work state, like most of its Southern neighbors.

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Tennessee has a reputation as a low-tax state and is usually ranked as one of the five states with the lowest tax burden on residents.

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Tennessee farmers are known worldwide for their cultivation of tomatoes and horticultural plants.

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The Tennessee Walking Horse, first bred in the region in the late 18th century, is one of the world's most recognized horse breeds.

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The state's industrial and manufacturing sector continued to expand in the succeeding decades, and Tennessee is home to more than 2, 400 advanced manufacturing establishments, which produce a total of more than $29 billion worth of goods annually.

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Chemical products manufactured in Tennessee include industrial chemicals, paints, pharmaceuticals, plastic resins, and soaps and hygiene products.

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Additional important products manufactured in Tennessee include fabricated metal products, electrical equipment, consumer electronics and electrical appliances, and nonelectrical machinery.

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Large corporations with headquarters in Tennessee include FedEx, AutoZone, International Paper, and First Horizon Corporation, all based in Memphis; Pilot Corporation and Regal Entertainment Group in Knoxville; Hospital Corporation of America and Caterpillar Inc, based in Nashville; Unum in Chattanooga; Acadia Senior Living and Community Health Systems in Franklin; Dollar General in Goodlettsville, and LifePoint Health, Tractor Supply Company, and Delek US in Brentwood.

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The research and development industry in Tennessee is one of the largest employment sectors, mainly due to the prominence of Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Y-12 National Security Complex in the city of Oak Ridge.

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Tennessee is home to the two newest civilian nuclear power reactors in the U S, at the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant in Rhea County.

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Tennessee was an early leader in hydroelectric power, and today is the third-largest hydroelectric power-producing state east of the Rocky Mountains.

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Tennessee is a net consumer of electricity, receiving power from other TVA facilities in neighboring states.

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Tennessee has very little petroleum and natural gas reserves, but is home to one oil refinery, in Memphis.

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Tennessee was a top producer of phosphate until the early 1990s.

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Tennessee is the 11th-most visited state in the nation, receiving a record of 126 million tourists in 2019.

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Tennessee is home to eight National Scenic Byways, including the Natchez Trace Parkway, the East Tennessee Crossing Byway, the Great River Road, the Norris Freeway, Cumberland National Scenic Byway, Sequatchie Valley Scenic Byway, The Trace, and the Cherohala Skyway.

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Tennessee is perhaps best known culturally for its musical heritage and contributions to the development of many forms of popular music.

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Notable authors with ties to Tennessee include Cormac McCarthy, Peter Taylor, James Agee, Francis Hodgson Burnett, Thomas S Stribling, Ida B Wells, Nikki Giovanni, Shelby Foote, Ann Patchett, Ishmael Reed, and Randall Jarrell.

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Tennessee has played a critical role in the development of many forms of American popular music, including blues, country, rock and roll, rockabilly, soul, bluegrass, Contemporary Christian, and gospel.

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The University of Tennessee system operates four primary campuses in Knoxville, Chattanooga, Martin, and Pulaski; a Health Sciences Center in Memphis; and an aerospace research facility in Tullahoma.

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Tennessee is home to six historically Black colleges and universities.

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Tennessee has 43 full-power and 41 low-power television stations and more than 450 Federal Communications Commission-licensed radio stations.

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Tennessee is currently one of five states with no transportation-related debts.

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Tennessee has no tolled roads or bridges but has the sixth-highest mileage of high-occupancy vehicle lanes, which are utilized on freeways in the congestion-prone Nashville and Memphis metropolitan areas.

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Major airports in Tennessee include Nashville International Airport, Memphis International Airport (MEM), McGhee Tyson Airport (TYS) outside of Knoxville, Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport (CHA), Tri-Cities Regional Airport (TRI) in Blountville, and McKellar-Sipes Regional Airport (MKL) in Jackson.

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Tennessee currently has 2, 604 miles of freight trackage in operation, most of which are owned by CSX Transportation.

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Tennessee has a total of 976 miles of navigable waterways, the 11th highest in the nation.

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Tennessee is divided into 31 judicial districts, each with a circuit and chancery court, and a district attorney and judges elected to eight-year terms.

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Tennessee is divided into 95 counties, with 92 county governments that use a county commission legislative body and a separately elected county executive.

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Tennessee sends nine representatives to the United States House of Representatives.

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Tennessee is under the jurisdiction of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over three district courts in the state: the Eastern, Middle, and Western districts.

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Tennessee is one of thirteen states which holds its presidential primaries on Super Tuesday.

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Between the end of the Civil War and the mid-20th century, Tennessee was part of the Democratic Solid South, but had the largest Republican minority of any former Confederate state.

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Between the end of Reconstruction and the mid-20th century, Tennessee voted consistently Democratic in Presidential elections, except for two nationwide Republican landslides in the 1920s.

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Tennessee is home to four major professional sports franchises: the Tennessee Titans have played in the National Football League since 1997, the Nashville Predators have played in the National Hockey League (NHL) since 1998, the Memphis Grizzlies have played in the National Basketball Association (NBA) since 2001, and Nashville SC has played in Major League Soccer (MLS) since 2020.

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Tennessee State plays football in Division I's second level, the Football Championship Subdivision, while Belmont and Lipscomb do not have football teams.

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Tennessee is home to the Bristol Motor Speedway, which features NASCAR Cup Series racing two weekends a year, routinely selling out more than 160, 000 seats on each date.

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