The state of Tennessee is located in the southern part of the USA and is bordered by eight other states – Mississippi, Missouri, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Virginia. Divided into 95 counties, Tennessee is the 36th largest and the 17th most populous state in the country. Nashville is the state capital and Memphis is the largest city. Chattanooga and Knoxville are the other major cities.
Though the landscape of the state shows great variation from east to west, the overall climate in Tennessee is temperate with moderate summers and mild winters. East Tennessee has the magnificent Great Smoky Mountains and the much talked about Appalachian Trail while Middle Tennessee has beautiful rolling hills and greenery. West Tennessee has several water bodies and hiking trails.
Five major rivers including the Mississippi and several lakes are part of the state topography. Reelfoot Lake is famous for the bald eagles that throng the area and Kentucky Lake draws people to its pristine waters ideal for water sports. 54 beautiful and extremely well-maintained state parks provide extensive recreational opportunities for tourists of all ages and interests. Biking, boating, swimming, hiking, camping, golfing, fishing and horse riding are some of the many outdoor activity options.
Frozen Head Park in Knoxville is greatly admired for its wildlife and great hiking trails. Memphis draws millions of visitors to Graceland, the home of the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley. Memphis is also historically important for the nation and the world as it was here in April 1968 that Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. The Lorraine Motel where Dr. King was assassinated is now transformed into the National Civil Rights Museum and everyone can pay their respectful homage to the great civil rights campaigner.
Tennessee destinations are for sure “soul-stirring”.
History of Tennessee
Tennessee, situated in the Southern United States, was first inhabited by the Paleo-Indians nearly 11,000 years ago. Several other cultural groups, including the Yuchi, the Chickasaw, Choctaw, and the Muscogee people, also settled in the area prior to the arrival of the European explorers. Spanish explorers, led by Hernando De Soto, were the first Europeans to explore this area in 1539-43. The Dragging Canoe and his militaristic group of Cherokee aligned with the British Loyalists and attacked Fort Watauga at Sycamore Shoals early during the American Revolutionary War, in 1776. However, the British Army was later defeated at the Battle of Kings Mountain in North Carolina.
In the late 1780s, nearly 8 counties of western North Carolina separated from it and joined together to form the State of Franklin. This region was ceded to the federal government in 1790 and was later organized into the Southwest Territory of Tennessee. The “Avery’s Race” or “The Wilderness Road” was constructed to encourage settlers to move west into this new territory. Tennessee was finally added to the Union as the 16th state in the year 1796. Another significant historical event took place in 1838-39, during the presidency of the U. S. President Martin Van Buren when over 17,000 Cherokees were forced to abandon their homes and move from the “emigration depots” in Eastern Tennessee to the more distant Indian Territory, west of Arkansas. More than 4,000 Cherokees died on the way, during this relocation. This event is popularly known as Nunna daul Isunyi—”the Trail Where We Cried.”
Tennessee separated from the Union and joined the Confederate States of America on June 8, 1861. The state also played an integral role during the American Civil War. Several major battles of the War were fought in Tennessee. The legislature of Tennessee endorsed the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution on April 7, 1865, abolishing slavery in every state. It was on August 18, 1920, that the state of Tennessee ratified the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, providing women the right to vote. The state grew rapidly and observed a great deal of industrial development in the late 20th century.