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Tennessee (/ˌtɛnəˈs/ (About this soundlisten), locally /ˈtɛnəsi/; Cherokee: ᏔᎾᏏ, romanized: Tanasi) is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. Tennessee is the 36th largest and the 16th most populous of the 50 United States. Tennessee is bordered by eight states, with Kentucky to the north, Virginia to the northeast, North Carolina to the east, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi to the south, Arkansas to the west, and Missouri to the northwest. The Appalachian Mountains dominate the eastern part of the state, and the Mississippi River forms the state's western border. Nashville is the state's capital and largest city, with a 2017 population of 667,560 and a 2017 metro population of 1,903,045. Tennessee's second largest city is Memphis, which had a population of 652,236 in 2017.

The state of Tennessee is rooted in the Watauga Association, a 1772 frontier pact generally regarded as the first constitutional government west of the Appalachians. What is now Tennessee was initially part of North Carolina, and later part of the Southwest Territory. Tennessee was admitted to the Union as the 16th state on June 1, 1796. Tennessee was the last state to leave the Union and join the Confederacy at the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861. Occupied by Union forces from 1862, it was the first state to be readmitted to the Union at the end of the war.

Selected article


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...)

Selected biography

Pat Head Summitt (born Patricia Sue Head on June 14, 1952 in Clarksville, Tennessee) is the coach of the Tennessee Lady Vols basketball team. She has been coach at the University of Tennessee since 1974.

As a player, and a member of Chi Omega sorority at the University of Tennessee-Martin, Summitt was an All American and co-captain of the 1976 Olympic basketball team.

As coach, Pat Summitt has won eight national championships, which is the most among all women's basketball coaches, and second most among all college basketball coaches (only former UCLA men's coach John Wooden won more). She also has 14 Southeastern Conference regular season titles with the Lady Vols, as well as 13 SEC tournament titles.

She has written two books (with the help of Sally Jenkins), Reach for the Summitt (part motivational book, part autobiography) and Raise the Roof (about the Lady Vols' undefeated season in which they won the 1998 NCAA championship). Read more...

Selected image


Mural painted on the one remaining wall of a building in Clarksville, Tennessee, that was destroyed by the tornado that devastated the city's downtown on January 22, 1999.
Image credit: K. Johnson (2007)

Selected anniversaries in July

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