Named after an Indian Cherokee village, Tennessee is located in the southeast region of the United States. What makes Tennessee unique is that it is just one of two
states which borders eight other states. Mississippi, Alabama, Missouri, Arkansas,
North Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky and Georgia all border Tennessee. In the
interesting facts section below, you'll find out why Tennessee was nicknamed The
Volunteer State, who is buried in the Tennessee State Capitol, when the Grand Ole
Opry began, and where the highest point in Tennessee is located. You'll also find
quick facts and historical facts written in a kid-friendly format.
Tennessee Quick Facts
On June 1, 1796, Tennessee became the 16th state to join the union.
Tennessee is the 36th biggest state in the U.S. It is just 112 miles (180 km) wide but it
stretches 432 miles (695 km) long.
The state capital of Tennessee is Nashville.
The largest city in Tennessee is Memphis.
The population of Tennessee is 6,495,978 (source 2013 United States Census
Tennessee ranks as the 17th most populous state in the United States (source 2013
United States Census Bureau estimate).
The state flower of Tennessee is the Iris.
The state nickname is The Volunteer State.
There are 95 counties in the state of Tennessee.
The name for residents of this U.S. state is Tennesseans.
The main rivers of Tennessee are the Mississippi River, Tennessee River, Clinch
River, Duck River and Cumberland River.
Other major bodies of water in this state include Norris Lake, Cherokee Lake, Kentucky Lake, Chickamauga Lake and Tims Ford Reservoir.
Tennessee has not one, but several state songs including - My Tennessee, My Homeland Tennessee, When It's Iris Time in Tennessee, Tennessee, The Tennessee Waltz, Rocky
Top and The Pride of Tennessee.
Tennessee Interesting Facts
In the summer of 1878, a severe yellow fever outbreak spread throughout Memphis,
Tennessee, quickly becoming an epidemic. Those who did not flee the city were dying
at a rate of 200 people per day for many weeks. The disease, transmitted by
mosquitoes, finally subsided once the first frost hit, but had already taken the
lives of over 20,000 people in the southeast.
In 1854, while the Tennessee State Capital was being constructed in Nashville, its
engineer and architect, William Strickland died. At his request, he was buried
inside the Capital's walls.
The second most visited private residence in the United States is Graceland in
Memphis, Tennessee. It was the 14-acre estate of Elvis Presley.
The Grand Ole Opry began in Nashville in 1925. It is not only the worlds longest
running live radio program, but it is the most famous place to hear country music in the U.S.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, one of America's most visited national parks lies within the borders of Tennessee.
Clingmans Dome, part of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, is the highest
elevation in Tennessee at 6,643 feet (2,025 m) above sea level.
Tennessee Historical Facts
On June 11, 1861, Tennessee became the last of eleven confederate states to secede from the Union during the American Civil War. It was also the first state
to be readmitted when the war ended.
Tennessee earned its nickname, The Volunteer State, when volunteer soldiers
valiantly fought alongside General Andrew Jackson in The Battle of New Orleans,
during the War of 1812.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee.
The Lorraine Motel, where he was slain, is now a National Civil Rights Museum.
Because Tennessee soldiers during the Civil War donned a tan colored uniform, they
were sometimes referred to as Butternuts. Today, that nickname is sometimes used
when referring to Tennesseans.