- Tennessean is Tennesbelieven!
- Tennessee, better than one through nineassee!
Claims to fame
Tennessee is home to one of the largest
left turns NASCAR stadiums in America, located in Bristol.
It also has BONAROO, in Manchester. One of the only good things about it.
Elvis sightings abound at Graceland in Memphis, and at trailer parks throughout the state.
Nashville is, of course, the capital of Country Music.
The snail darter made 80,000 jobs vanish! (According to some people. Actually, no it didn't. Tellico Dam was built anyway, so no construction workers lost their jobs, but the snail darter controversy created even more jobs for all the lawyers who had to fight the thing out in court. Win-win situation for everyone, and Tennessee still got a new dam!)
Dayton, Tennessee was home to the Scopes Monkey Trial.
The original Ku Klux Klan was founded in Pulaski.
Tennessee was the final state to ratify the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution, giving women the right to vote, after a state legislative opponent of ratification had his mind changed by a note from his mother.
Dr. Enuf (a soft drink/purported hangover cure/iodine supplement) is to upper east Tennessee/southwest Virginia what Moxie is to Maine and what Ale-8-One is to Kentucky. You can't buy it anywhere else so stock up when yer passin' thru, boys.
By far, however, the most incredible place in Tennessee is the Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge-Sevierville area. If you never go anyplace else in your life, go there. You will be amazed!
Strangely enough, although benefiting greatly from the Tennessee Valley Authority project, Tennessee is notoriously anti-New-Deal/government spending. The governor is a Republican and the legislature has a Republican super-majority. But in Chattanooga they have socialized cable TV and Gig Internet service.
More ugly politics
Appalachian Mountain cities often tout themselves as being true, red-blooded Americans. However, the fact is that these cities often have a substantial KKK population (most notoriously Erwin, which cemented black people as late as the 1990s, and also has a candidate for city council endorsed by the prominent Council of Conservative Citizens). On the other hand, during the Civil War, Scott County seceded from both the Confederacy and the state of Tennessee to become the "Independent State of Scott," but alas, nobody noticed until sometime in the 1990s when the county government noticed this was still on the books and repealed their secession ordinance.
In March 2004 the County Commission of Rhea County (of Scopes Monkey Trial fame) voted 8-0 in favor of a ban on homosexuality. The resolution was withdrawn two days later under pressure from the Bush presidential campaign, and others.
Wildlife and tourism
There are a lot of squirrels in Tennessee. Usually they plot and scheme to think up new and novel ways to raid bird feeders, but sometimes they take the occasional road trip to Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg to visit their favorite theme park, Dollywood.
Tennessee tends to get more northerners moving into the state compared with the rest of the South. You might actually meet a liberal there, especially in the Oak Ridge/Norris area, where major investments such as TVA and the Manhattan Project occurred. The four main cities (Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville, and Chattanooga) are also hotbeds of liberalism, at least by Tennessee standards, which means they only shoot to wound liberals, not kill them.
Tennessee has several state songs, only two of which anyone ever remembers. The first is about your best friend stealing your lover, and the second portrays Tennesseans as a bunch of murderous, drunken hillbillies. Go figure.
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