Today is Admission Day for Tennessee, our 16th state, admitted to the Union on June 1st, 1796.

Long before I knew all the states, or had visions of traveling to all of them, I knew about Tennessee. Although I may be dating myself here, it all goes back to watching the Disney movie, Davy Crockett, who was “Born on a mountain top in Tennessee, The greenest state in the land of the free. . . .” (If you’re not familiar with the song you can listen to it here.) Well, maybe that didn’t tell me much about the state, but the belief that it was lush and verdant stuck with me.

Tennessee is a southern state, bordered by eight other states. (Missouri also borders eight states.) It’s been known as the “Volunteer State,” a nickname going back to the War of 1812 when volunteer soldiers played a crucial role during the Battle of New Orleans. The University of Texas also adopted the nickname and mascot of the Volunteers.

The state is also known for the Tennessee Valley Authority. Born out of the desperate need to create work during the Great Depression, the TVA has become the largest public utility in the country. It was because of its management of electrical power that the Manhattan Project located sites in the area.

Nashville, the capital city, is known as home to country music and the Grand Ole Opry (in photo).  Although it is not the largest city (that’s Memphis), the Nashville metro area is the most heavily populated area in the state. The rural area contains many beautiful parks and sites that honor the state’s history, and validates its standing as the “greenest state in the land of the free.”

Photo credit: flickr


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