|— City —|
|Nickname(s): Mule Town|
|Motto: Old South Charm, New South Progress|
|• Total||29.6 sq mi (76.7 km2)|
|• Land||29.6 sq mi (76.7 km2)|
|• Water||0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)|
|Elevation||643 ft (196 m)|
|• Density||1,116.8/sq mi (431.2/km2)|
|Time zone||Central (CST) (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|GNIS feature ID||1269483|
The town is notable for being the self-proclaimed "Mule capital of the world" and honors this with Mule Day, a large celebration held annually in April. Columbia is also the home of the national headquarters for the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
Columbia is located at . It is nestled along the banks of the Duck River at the southern edge of the Nashville Basin with the higher elevated ridges of the Highland Rim located to the south and west of the city. The Duck River is the longest river located entirely within the state of Tennessee. Free flowing for most of its length, the Duck River is home to over 50 species of freshwater mussels and 151 species of fish, making it the most biologically diverse river in North America. It enters the city of Manchester and meets its confluence with a major tributary, The Little Duck River, at Old Stone Fort State Park, named after an ancient Native American structure between the two rivers believed to be nearly 2,000 years old. The Duck River is sacred to most of the founding Native American tribes east of the Mississippi River.(35.615022, −87.044464)
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 29.6 square miles (77 km2), of which 29.6 square miles (77 km2) is land and 0.03% is water. Incorporated in 1817, the city is at an elevation of 637 feet (194 m).
A year after the organization of Maury County in 1807, Columbia was laid out in 1808 and lots were sold. The original town, on the south bank of the Duck River, consisted of only four blocks. The town was incorporated in 1817. For years, it was the county seat of the richest county in agricultural wealth in the state. Today, it is a tourist destination, most of whom are drawn by the numerous historic sites in the area. Attractions include the James K. Polk Ancestral Home, the Columbia Athenaeum, Mule Day, and nearby plantation homes.
Famous natives of Columbia include Dan Uggla of the Atlanta Braves, James K. Polk, Governor, Congressman, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and eleventh President of the United States; A.O.P. Nicholson, state senator, U.S. Senator, and Chief Justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court; Sterling Marlin, NASCAR driver; Dr. Marion Dorsett, inventor of the serum to control hog cholera; Fran McKee, first female line officer to hold the rank of rear admiral in the U.S. Navy; Lyman T Johnson, civil rights movement;and Raphael Benjamin West former Nashville mayor and Civil Rights ally, noted architect James Edwin Ruthven Carpenter, Jr. and John Harlan Willis, United States Navy sailor and a recipient of the Medal of Honor —for his actions during the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II.
Columbia is also home to Tennessee's first two-year college, Columbia State Community College, that was established in 1966. President Lyndon B. Johnson and his wife Lady Bird Johnson arrived to dedicate the new campus on March 15, 1967.
Movies filmed in or near Columbia 
- In 1986, a brief scene from the film At Close Range was filmed east of Columbia at a water filled rock quarry.
- In 1999, parts of the film The Green Mile were filmed in Williamsport, near Columbia.
- In 2002, Stuey was filmed in Columbia and Nashville.
- The film Daltry Calhoun, starring Johnny Knoxville, was filmed in Columbia and Spring Hill in 2004.
- In 2009, Hannah Montana: The Movie was filmed in downtown Columbia, at Maury County Airport, and a local dairy farm. Other local area film locations included Franklin High School in nearby Franklin and Nashville.
- In 2009, scenes for Bailey  (2010), a Mario Van Peebles film, were shot in downtown Columbia on the square and in other locations.
Columbia Race Riot of 1946 
In 1946, a race riot dubbed 'The Columbia Race Riot' occurred in Columbia. A fight between James Stephenson, a black Navy veteran, and a white shopkeeper apparently ignited the event, resulting in various incidents of shooting, fighting, and rioting between whites and blacks in a part of Columbia known as "Mink Slide", a name for the black business district. Several people were eventually charged with rioting and attempted murder. The main attorney to defend Stephenson in the case was Thurgood Marshall, who would later become the first black United States Supreme Court justice.
As of the census of 2000, there were 33,055 people, 13,059 households, and 8,801 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,116.8 people per square mile (431.2/km²). There were 14,322 housing units at an average density of 483.9 per square mile (186.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 64.63% White, 30.13% African American, 0.28% Native American, 0.41% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 2.06% from other races, and 1.46% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.70% of the population.
There were 13,059 households out of which 32.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.8% were married couples living together, 16.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.6% were non-families. 27.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 2.98.
In the city the population was spread out with 25.8% under the age of 18, 9.8% from 18 to 24, 28.6% from 25 to 44, 21.0% from 45 to 64, and 14.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 89.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.1 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $35,879, and the median income for a family was $42,822. Males had a median income of $34,898 versus $22,093 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,004. About 10.9% of families and 13.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.7% of those under age 18 and 13.2% of those age 65 or over.
Notable residents 
- Lynnette Cole, Miss USA in 2000
- Phil Everly, of the Everly Brothers, country-influenced rock and roll performer
- Lyman T. Johnson, civil rights activist
- Red Lucas, professional baseball player
- Sterling Marlin, back to back Daytona 500 winner in 1994 and 1995
- Mike Minor, Atlanta Braves Pitcher
- David Phelps, American Christian Vocalist
- James K. Polk, 11th President of the United States
- Cowboy Troy, Country Music Singer
- Dan Uggla, Major League Baseball player and All-Star for the Atlanta Braves
- John Harlan Willis, recipient of the Medal of Honor
City council elections 
|2011||Carl McCullen||269||67%||Ward 1|
|2011||Debbie Matthews||UO||–||Ward 2|
|2011||Christa Martin||242||88%||Ward 3|
|2011||Mike Greene||UO||–||Ward 4|
|2011||Mark King||304||57%||Ward 5|
See also 
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
- Chris Graham (May 22, 2008). "Sweet niblets!". Columbia Daily Herald. Retrieved 2008-05-23.[dead link]
- Carroll Van West. "Columbia race riot, 1946". Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture. Retrieved 2008-07-04.
- Sterling, Marlin. "Driver". Daytona 500 website. Retrieved April 26, 2011.
- Richard Conn (November 2, 2011). "Newcomer nets council seat" (in English). Columbia, Tennessee: Mark Palmer. p. 2C. Retrieved November 2, 2011. "Only 1,437, or 8 percent of 19,043 registered voters turned out at the polls."