Monday, April 18, 2016

6 quirky facts about Tennessee (#6 wouldn't let me sleep!)

state line in Great Smoky Mountains National Park
1. Tennessee is remarkably long and narrow, and it's bordered by eight other states: Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Missouri. The Mississippi River forms the western border, and the Appalachian Mountains fill much of the eastern part of the state.

hot dog sales in Nashville
2. During the Civil War, the state provided more soldiers for the Union army than any other southern state and more for the Confederate army than any other state. It was the first state readmitted to the Union at the end of the war (and had been occupied by Union forces since 1862).

3. As happened in too many states, various disenfranchisement laws passed after Reconstruction excluded most blacks and many poor whites from voting until these laws were challenged and changed during the Civil Rights movement of the mid 20th century.

we met an Oak Ridge worker
4. The 20th century saw many other changes as the state transitioned from having an economy based on agriculture. The development of the city of Oak Ridge, created to help build the first atom bomb, was a huge boost to the diversification of the state's economy.

Appalachian trail at Great Smoky Mountains National Park
5. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park (which is the most visited national park in the US), is headquartered in the eastern part of the state (a section of the Appalachian Trail follows the state line between Tennessee and North Carolina as it passes through the park).

looking back toward NC and ahead into TN
6. Tennessee (and Kentucky) fall into two time zones, Eastern and Central. This can wreak havok as one passes through the state (which is why I was up an hour earlier than I needed to be this morning).