Tennessee is like three states in one

November 28, 2012 1:26 pm

Tennessee is in the Southern , but not by much. Like Kentucky to the north, Tennessee is considered one of the border states separating the North and the South. It lies between the Mississippi River in the west and the rugged Appalachian Mountains in the east.
The name Tennessee probably comes from the Cherokee Indian word Tanasi. The Cherokees used this word for a village on the Little Tennessee River.
Facts About Tennessee
6,160,000 people
Rank among states in population
Major cities
Memphis, Nashville-Davidson, Knoxville, Chattanooga
42,100 square miles
109,000 square kilometers
Rank among states in area
June 1, 1796, the 16th state
State nickname
The Volunteer State
Name for residents
State bird
State flower
State tree
Tulip Tree (or Tulip Poplar)
Tennessee’s nickname is the Volunteer State. That’s because volunteer soldiers from Tennessee showed great valor during wars in the 1700s and 1800s.
On June 1, 1796, Tennessee became the 16th state to join the United States. Today, nearly 6 million people live there. Nashville is the capital and Memphis is the biggest city.
Tennessee is like three states in one. It has three official regions: East Tennessee, Middle Tennessee, and West Tennessee.
East Tennessee is mostly rugged and mountainous. The Blue Ridge Mountains, a range of the Appalachians, form the border with North Carolina. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park lies within this region. The park is home to Tennessee’s highest peak, Clingmans Dome. It rises to a height of 6,643 feet (2,025 meters).
Stretching west of the mountains is the Great Valley of Tennessee. It’s the wide river valley of the Tennessee River.
Middle Tennessee is a gently rolling region cut by lots of streams and rivers. This region is home to the state’s biggest and most productive farms.
West Tennessee descends to a low plain and river valley. That’s where Tennessee farmers grow most of their cotton. In the far west, Tennessee reaches the banks of the Mississippi. A low-lying, swampy plain borders the river. It’s known locally as the Mississippi Bottoms.
Have you heard of Davy Crockett? He was a hunter, scout, and soldier in early America. As a native of Tennessee, he also represented his state in the U.S. Congress. Crockett was killed in 1836 at The Alamo, a fortress and mission in Texas. He died while defending The Alamo from a Mexican army.
President Andrew Jackson came from Tennessee. Jackson earned the nickname Old Hickory because he was so tough. In the War of 1812, he led forces to capture New Orleans from British troops. In 1829, Jackson became the first American president from west of the Appalachian Mountains. His home, called the Hermitage, still stands near Nashville.
Two other Tennessee natives became president after Jackson: James K. Polk and Andrew Johnson. Both men were well-known Tennessee politicians before becoming president.
In 1861, Tennessee left the United States and joined the Confederate States of America. The Confederacy was a group of states in the South that tried to leave the United States to form their own country. The American Civil War was fought to hold the Union together.
Only Virginia saw more Civil War battles than Tennessee. In fact, more than 450 battles and skirmishes took place in Tennessee. The Battle of Shiloh in 1862 was the biggest and bloodiest. Soldiers fought the battle at the Mississippi border. More than 10,000 men on each side died in two days of fighting. Today, Shiloh is a national military park.
Another famous Civil War memorial is the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park. The park, located partly in Georgia and partly in Tennessee, commemorates two fierce battles. Founded in 1890, it was the first national military park in the United States.
The Tennessee River crosses Tennessee twice before reaching the Ohio River in Kentucky. Many streams feed into this wide river. In the past, all that water often caused the Tennessee River and its streams to flood. Raging floodwaters destroyed farmland and damaged property. It made the river difficult to navigate.
In 1933, the U.S Congress created the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). The main purpose of the TVA was to control flooding and make electricity from dams. Today, the TVA operates about 50 dams from its home in Knoxville.
TVA dams supply electricity to millions of people in Tennessee and six other nearby states. The availability of all that electricity attracted many industries and factories to Tennessee. It helped Tennessee build a modern, industrial economy, especially in the eastern part of the state.
Music is big business in Tennessee. Nashville’s nickname is Music City, U.S.A., because it’s the center of the country-and-western music business. Nashville is home to the Country Music Hall of Fame, too.
Nashville’s main attraction is Opryland. It’s a resort and convention center with many stages for broadcasting and showing live music. The most famous show in Opryland is the Grand Ole Opry. It’s been on the radio every week since 1925.
Memphis is the home of the Memphis blues. It’s a style of blues music that grew up in the city. Today, visitors go to Beale Street to hear the great sound of Memphis blues.
Elvis Presley, known as the king of rock and roll, got his start in Memphis. His home, called Graceland, is a popular tourist site in Memphis.
The TVA dams on or around the Tennessee River have created lots of recreational lakes throughout the state. The state’s biggest park is Natchez Trace State Park, which has three lakes in it.
Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park sits on the bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River. The park is known for its riding trails. Reelfoot Lake in northwest Tennessee is the biggest natural lake in the state. Great hunting, fishing, and boating make Reelfoot Lake one of Tennessee’s most popular tourist attractions.
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