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Tennessee

Capital: Nashville

State abbreviation/Postal code: Tenn./TN

Governor: Bill Haslam, R (to Jan. 2015)

Lieut. Governor: Ron Ramsey, R (to Jan. 2015)

Senators: Lamar Alexander, R (to Jan. 2015); Bob Corker, R (to Jan. 2019)

U.S. Representatives: 9

Historical biographies of Congressional members

Entered Union (rank): June 1, 1796 (16)

Present constitution adopted: 1870; amended 1953, 1960, 1966, 1972, 1978

Motto: Agriculture and Commerce (1987)

Slogan: Tennessee—America at its best! (1965)

State symbols:

flower iris (1933)
tree tulip poplar (1947)
bird mockingbird (1933)
horse Tennessee walking horse
animal raccoon (1971)
wild flower passion flower (1973)
songs “My Homeland, Tennessee” (1925); “When It's Iris Time in Tennessee” (1935); “My Tennessee” (1955); “Tennessee Waltz” (1965); “Rocky Top” (1982); “Tennessee” (1992); “The Pride of Tennessee” (1996)

Nickname: Volunteer State

Origin of name: Of Cherokee origin; the exact meaning is unknown

10 largest cities (2010est.): Memphis, 646,889; Nashville-Davidson,1 626,681; Knoxville, 178,874; Chattanooga, 167,674; Clarksville, 132,939; Murfreesboro, 108,755; Jackson, 65,211; Johnson City, 63,152; Franklin, 62,487; Bartlett, 54,613

Land area: 41,217 sq mi. (106,752 sq km)

Geographic center: In Rutherford Co., 5 mi. NE of Murfreesboro

Number of counties: 95

Largest county by population and area: Shelby, 927,644 (2010); Shelby, 755 sq mi.

State forests: 15 (162,371 ac,)

State parks: 54

Residents: Tennessean, Tennesseean

2010 resident population est.: 6,346,105

2010 resident census population (rank): 6,346,105 (17). Male: 3,093,504 (48.7%); Female: 3,252,601 (51.3%). White: 4,921,948 (77.6%); Black: 1,057,315 (16.7%); American Indian: 19,994 (0.3%); Asian: 91,242 (1.4%); Other race: 141,955 (2.2%); Two or more races: 110,009 (1.7%); Hispanic/Latino: 290,059 (4.6%). 2010 percent population 18 and over: 76.4; 65 and over: 13.4; median age: 38.0.

See additional census data

Area codes

Tourism office

1. The city is part of a consolidated city-county government and is coextensive with Davidson County.

First visited by the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto in 1540, the Tennessee area would later be claimed by both France and England as a result of the 1670s and 1680s explorations of Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet, Sieur de la Salle, and James Needham and Gabriel Arthur. Great Britain obtained the area after the French and Indian Wars in 1763.

During 1784–1787, the settlers formed the “state” of Franklin, which was disbanded when the region was allowed to send representatives to the North Carolina legislature. In 1790 Congress organized the territory south of the Ohio River, and Tennessee joined the Union in 1796.

Although Tennessee joined the Confederacy during the Civil War, there was much pro-Union sentiment in the state, which was the scene of extensive military action.

The state is now predominantly industrial; the majority of its population lives in urban areas. Among the most important products are chemicals, textiles, apparel, electrical machinery, furniture, and leather goods. Other lines include food processing, lumber, primary metals, and metal products. The state ranks high in the production of marble, zinc, pyrite, and ball clay.

Tennessee's largest crop is soybean, contributing about 11% to the state's total agricultural receipts. The state is also a leading tobacco producer. Other farming income is derived from livestock and dairy products, as well as greenhouse and nursery products and cotton.

With six other states, Tennessee shares the extensive federal reservoir developments on the Tennessee and Cumberland River systems. The Tennessee Valley Authority operates a number of dams and reservoirs in the state.

Among the major points of interest are the Andrew Johnson National Historic Site at Greeneville, the American Museum of Atomic Energy at Oak Ridge, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Hermitage (home of Andrew Jackson near Nashville), Rock City Gardens near Chattanooga, and three National Military Parks.

See more on Tennessee:
Encyclopedia: Tennessee
Encyclopedia: Geography
Encyclopedia: Economy
Encyclopedia: Government
Encyclopedia: History
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