Portal:Tennessee

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Tennessee is a state located in the Southern United States. Tennessee borders eight other states: Kentucky and Virginia to the north; North Carolina to the east; Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi on the south; and Arkansas and Missouri on the Mississippi River to the west.

Tennessee attained statehood in 1796, becoming the sixteenth state to join the Union.

The state is divided geographically and by law into three Grand Divisions: East Tennessee, Middle Tennessee, and West Tennessee. Physiographically, East Tennessee includes the Blue Ridge area characterized by high mountains, including the Great Smoky Mountains and the Ridge and Valley region, in which numerous tributaries join to form the Tennessee River in the Tennessee Valley. The state's third- and fourth-largest cities, Knoxville and Chattanooga, are located in the Tennessee Valley.

To the west of East Tennessee lies the Cumberland Plateau, a region of flat-topped mountains separated by sharp valleys. West of the Cumberland Plateau in Middle Tennessee is the Highland Rim, an elevated plain that surrounds the Nashville Basin, characterized by rich, fertile farm country and high natural wildlife diversity. Nashville, the state's capital and second largest city, is in Middle Tennessee.

The landscape of West Tennessee is formed on the Gulf Coastal Plain, ranging from rolling hills just west of the Tennessee River to the region of lowlands, floodplains, and swamp land referred to as the Mississippi Delta region. Memphis, Tennessee's largest city, is on the banks of the Mississippi River in the southwestern corner of the state.

Tennessee is known as the "Volunteer State", a nickname earned during the War of 1812 because of the prominent role played by volunteer soldiers from Tennessee.

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The Ryman Auditorium in Nashville is a 2,362-seat live performance venue best known as the one-time home of the Grand Ole Opry.

The auditorium was first opened as the Union Gospel Tabernacle in 1892. It was used for Grand Ole Opry broadcasts from 1943 until 1974, when the Opry built a larger venue just outside Nashville at the Opryland USA theme park. The Ryman then sat mostly vacant until 1992, when Emmylou Harris and her band the Nash Ramblers performed a series of concerts there (the results of which appeared on her album At the Ryman). The Harris concerts renewed interest in the restoring the Ryman; it was reopened as an intimate performance venue and museum in 1994. In 2001, the Ryman Auditorium was designated a National Historic Landmark and included in the National Register of Historic Places.

Among the greats of country music who have performed at the Ryman over the years are Roy Acuff, Johnny Cash, Garth Brooks, Patsy Cline, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Emmylou Harris, George Jones, Loretta Lynn, Glen Campbell, Reba McEntire, Dolly Parton, Marty Robbins, Ernest Tubb, Dottie West, Hank Williams, and Tammy Wynette. (Read more...)

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John Sevier (23 September 1745 – 25 September 1815) was the only governor of the State of Franklin (1785–1789), the first Governor of the State of Tennessee (1796–1801 and 1803–1809), and a U.S. Congressman from Tennessee from 1811 until his death in 1815. In the American Revolutionary War he was the commander of the Washington County, Tennessee, contingent of the Overmountain Men in the Battle of Kings Mountain.

Sevier was born in New Market, Virginia. Along with his first wife, Sarah Hawkins, and their children, he settled in the Holston River valley in what is now East Tennessee. That area was then claimed by Virginia. Sevier served briefly in Lord Dunmore's War in 1774. In this war John Sevier began to win the reputation as an Indian fighter that would make him a hero in his own day, though making some modern historians uncomfortable with his legacy.

Soon after settling in Northeast Tennessee, Sevier became involved in local politics, helping to organize a petition to North Carolina to become part of that state, and commanding Washington County militia in the Cherokee siege of Fort Caswell (or Fort Watauga) near Sycamore Shoals (present-day Elizabethton, Tennessee). After this battle he was promoted from Lieutenant Colonel to Colonel, and in this capacity led 240 of over 1,000 militiamen over the Appalachian Mountains to fight against Major Patrick Ferguson and a similar number of British Regulars and Carolina Loyalists at the Battle of Kings Mountain. (Read more...)

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Downtown Murfreesboro. The center of population of Tennessee is located in Murfreesboro.
Image credit: Pollinator (2006)

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