- Tennessean is Tennesbelieven!
- Tennessee, better than one through nineassee!
Jack Daniel's. You can't drink it in the county where it's made.
"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 fill 'er up when you're passing through, boys!
Claims to fame
- Tennessee is home to one of the largest
left turnsNASCAR 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. It's also home to the "Grand Ole Opry", so-called because the locals can't pronounce "opera". Or anything that ends with an "a", for that matter.
- Dayton, Tennessee was home to the Scopes Monkey Trial.
- The original Ku Klux Klan was founded in Pulaski.
- 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!)
- 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!
- Flyaway in Pigeon Forge sucks. Try the wind tunnel in North Carolina instead, it's far better.
Technically there's Sam Houston, too, as president. Even though he was President of Texas when it was an independent country, and not the US but w/e. (The best Tennessean President is the President of Texas. Figures.)
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.
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. They also have tuition free community colleges.
More ugly politics
You had those weird people in Sullivan County who were pro-Confederate, but east Tennessee in general was about as pro-Union as you'd find in the south, so much so that Scott County nearly pulled a West Virginia and became the "Independent State of Scott."[note 2] Of course, this isn't to say that east Tennesseans were woke about slavery (although it was probably a better environment than most places for abolitionists). Unfortunately, there was one guy from east Tennessee who was big into Confederate sympathies and he uhh...he became president and presided over reconstruction.
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).
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. So, homosexuality can exist again in Rhea County. Progress?
Marsha Blackburn, the representative from the 7th district from 2003 to 2018 (Nashville's southern suburbs in Williamson County), is so anti-PC that she requested to be referred as "Congressman" not "Congresswoman", and is one of the wealthiest members of the congress. She claimed that the earth is actually cooling, appears in a movie about the Koch Brothers, and is very anti-science. She even sponsored a bill in response to the Obama citizenship conspiracy theory. She is now a US senator, and her election is the best proof of how far to the right Tennessee's politics have shifted in just ten years, considering that her opponent was a popular former governor who won every county in the state in his re-election just twelve years before. God. What happened?
Diane Black was the representative for the 6th district in Congress from 2011 to 2018 (Nashville's eastern suburbs in Wilson County), and very much a soul sister to Marsha. Like her, she wants to be referred as "Congressman". She is the wealthiest member of the Congress, and once even claimed that porn causes school shootings. In 2018, she attempted to run for the Governor of Tennessee, but lost in the GOP primaries.
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[note 3]. Go figure.
- Al Gore and Fred Thompson.
- 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.
- It's also the unofficial fight song of the University of Tennessee Volunteers. The official one is much less popular.
- Archive copy at the Wayback Machine
- Darkfiber.com Ed Johnson
- CBS News
- See! There's a bunch!
- The Tennessee Waltz
- Rocky Top