National Tennessee Day is on October 26, and we are all set to break into Elvis’s iconic rubber legs move to celebrate this beautiful state. Did you know that Tennessee is also known as the ‘volunteer state?’ Tennessee volunteered many times to fight for America. In the 1812 Battle of New Orleans, Tennessee participated in overwhelming numbers, and again, during the 1846 Mexican-American War, when the secretary of war asked for 2,800 soldiers from the state, Tennessee offered 30,000! Tennessee is also the home of country music, hot chicken, rolling hills, and whiskey.
History of National Tennessee Day
Tennessee has a turbulent history. It is believed that the first settlers were of Asian descent, and they crossed the Bering Strait land bridge about 20,000 years ago. Spanish explorers came in 1540 in search of gold, and the English moved in in the 17th century. The major indigenous groups during this time were the Chickasaws and the Cherokee. The name ‘Tennessee’ came from the Cherokee village ‘Tanasi.’
Tennessee played a prominent role as volunteers during the Creek War, under the leadership of Andrew Jackson from 1813 to 1814 at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in Alabama. The volunteers responded to the attack of Creek warriors on Fort Mims, Alabama, leading to the destruction of many Muskogee towns. The Cherokee of East Tennessee, despite their efforts to assimilate into the dominant culture, were driven out of the land by the U.S. government from 1838 to 1839. With other native populations of America, they were routed via the Trail of Tears to Oklahoma.
However, during the American Civil War in 1861, Tennessee was initially faithful to the Union, but later, voted for secession and joined the new Confederate States of America. The Union army won most of their encounters in Tennessee and had occupied most of the land by 1864. Tennessee became a major site of racial segregation protests after the Nashville 1959 to 1961 sit-ins for the civil rights movement and the 1968 Memphis sanitation workers strike. Martin Luther King, Jr. was in Memphis to support the sanitation workers when he was assassinated on April 4.
National Tennessee Day timeline
The earliest inhabitants, believed to be of Asian descent, cross the Bering Strait land bridge to reach Tennessee.
Tennessee is declared a state with Knoxville as its capital.
Under the leadership of Andrew Jackson in the Creek War, Tennessee volunteers in massive numbers and earns the title of ‘Volunteer State.’
Among the earliest Southern non-violent protest against racial segregation, Nashville sit-ins start in February and end in May.
National Tennessee Day FAQs
What was the original name of Tennessee?
Before it was made a state, it was called the ‘Territory South of the River Ohio.’
What does ‘Tana-tsee’ mean?
The name ‘Tennessee’ originally came from the Yuchi word ‘Tana-tsee,’ which means “where the river comes together.”
What is the state motto of Tennessee?
The state motto of Tennessee is ‘America at its best.’ It was adopted in 1965.
National Tennessee Day Activities
Explore the state’s natural beauty
Go for a hike in the Radnor State Park or the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Enjoy the rolling hills and observe wildlife.
Listen to country music
Bristol is called the birthplace of country music. Nashville is home to the country music hall of fame, and it is also known as ‘Music City.’ Listen to country music to celebrate this musical state.
Eat hot chicken
Nashville hot chicken is known for its fiery taste and is a Tennessee specialty. Enjoy this fiery treat to celebrate the day with your friends.
5 Interesting Facts About Tennesee
Longest-running live radio program
The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville has been broadcasted every weekend since 1925.
Largest earthquake in America
The Real Madrid earthquake occurred in 1811 and led to the formation of the Reelfoot lake.
The new Parthenon
Nashville Centennial Park has a life-sized replica of the Parthenon.
The Great Smoky Mountains have more than thirty species of Salamandra.
The second most-visited house
Elvis’s home, Graceland, in Memphis, is the second most-visited house in the United States of America.
Why We Love National Tennessee Day
It celebrates the great state
It celebrates a great state. With its turbulent history, it recognizes the struggle to develop the state as it is today.
It brings together people
It is a great day to get together with friends and family and to learn more about the state. As you explore Tennessee, you get to spend more time with the people dear to you.
A day to remember the history
It is a day to acknowledge the trials and tribulations the state has faced and to be inspired by them. Throughout history, Tennessee has mostly triumphed over the obstacles in its way.
National Tennessee Day dates