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HISTORIC TIMELINE OF TENNESSEE
Paleo Indians -Occupied area 8000 BC - First Indian inhabitants build villages in the Nashville area.
-They created mussel shell mounds along Cumberland River
-They were mound builders
Pinson Mounds in Madison County contains several American Indian mounds, forming the nation’s largest mound group from the Middle Woodland period (200-300 B.C. to A.D. 700-900). The mounds are thought to have been built for ceremonial and burial purposes.
Mississippian Indians occupied the area. Chucalissa is a prehistoric American Indian village near Memphis which archeologists say was occupied from around A.D. 1400 to the early 1500s. Chucalissa is now managed as an archeological park. 1200 AD (Mississippian Era) Large Indian villages cover the Nashville area. 1450 AD Indian villages disappear in Middle Tennessee and it becomes a hunting area.
|1541||Desoto, an early Spanish explorer, visits Tennessee area. He penetrates as far north as Chattanooga and claims the area as a Spanish possession. He visits the Indian village of Chiaha located near present day South Pittsburg.|
|1566||A Spanish expedition under Juan Pardo explored the western portion of North Carolina and some areas of Tennessee in 1566-67. The failure to locate anything of material value discouraged the Spanish from additional expeditions into the region. They build fort near present-day Chattanooga.|
|1584||The region of Tennessee is included in the English grant made to Sir Walter Raleigh By Queen Elizabeth I.|
|1600's||The Cherokee Indians occupied
the area of East Tennessee. The Creek Indians lived along the Tennessee
River & South Middle Tennessee.
The Chickasaws inhabited West Tennessee along the Mississippi River. They all used the land as common hunting ground.
|1607||Colony of Virginia is founded.|
|1620||Pilgrims arrive at Plymouth Rock.|
|1663||When Virginia was partitioned in 1663, Tennessee became a western part of Carolina.|
and Gabriel Arthur visit Tennessee along the lower Little Tennessee, lower
Tellico, and lower Hiwassee rivers to establish direct trade relations
between the Colony of Virginia and the Cherokee Indians.
In 1673, a French expedition under the command of Father Jacques Marquette, a Jesuit missionary, and Louis Joliet, a fur trader, descended the Mississippi River, stopping along the way at Chickasaw Bluffs near Memphis.
|1682||In 1682 a French
expedition, led by Robert Cavelier de la Salle, explored the Mississippi
River and built a fort near the mouth of the Hatchie River, naming it Fort
La Salle's explorations paved the way for the French to extend their trading network into the interior of the continent and Established the Mississippi Valley territory for France. The area was named the Louisiana Territory
Charleville, a French-Canadian fur trader had established posts along the Cumberland River near a salt springs, a site which later became known as the French Lick and in 1780 served as the nucleus for the Nashville settlements. The French maintained an active fur trade with the Shawnees until 1714 at French Lick, when the Shawnees were driven out by a coalition of Cherokees and Chickasaws.
|1711||Eleazer Wiggan, English trader, establishes trade with Overhill Cherokee.|
|1714||Charleville's post at French Lick is abandoned; Middle Tennessee becomes a shared hunting ground for the Cherokee, Choctow, Chickasaw, and Creek Indian tribes.|
|1721||Indian Treaty - Nicholson's Treaty and purchase of 1721. - A treaty relations between the Cherokees and the whites began in 1721, when jealousy of French territorial encroachments persuaded Governor Nicholson of South Carolina to invite the Cherokees to a general congress, This was a treaty of general peace and commerce.|
|1730||Indian Treaty -
Cumming's Treaty of
1730. - The authorities of North Carolina commissioned Sir Alexander Cumming
to conclude a treaty of alliance with the Cherokees. In April of that year
the chiefs and warriors of the nation met him at Requasse, near the sources
of the Hiwassee River. They acknowledged King George as their sovereign, and
sent a delegation of six warriors to England where they concluded a treaty
of peace and commerce at Dover on the 30th of June.
Emissary of King George II appoints Chief Moyton "emperor" of Cherokees; England's sovereignty over Cherokees recognized.
|1732||Indian Treaty - Oglethorpe's Treaty - In 1732, James Oglethorpe was given a charter from King George II to create a new colony which he would name Georgia. This was located between South Carolina and Florida. It had two main purposes: to serve as a place where debtors in prison could go to start anew and it served as a barrier against Spanish expansion from Florida.|
|1736||Christian Priber reaches Cherokee town of Great Tellico, plans to establish his "Kingdom of Paradise."|
|1738||Smallpox kills nearly half of the Cherokee population.|
|1739||French explorers build Fort Assumption on south bluffs at future Memphis site.|
|1744||In 1744, the English trader James Adair, then in his early 30s, guided a packtrain of trade goods into the Chickasaw Nation and began both a remarkable business and friendly relationship with the tribe that lasted more than two decades. He later wrote book, "A History of the American Indians" that was published in London in 1775.|
|1748||Dr. Thomas Walker of Virginia explores vicinity of present Kingsport.|
|1749||Explorer Dr. Thomas Walker, was sent by the Loyal Land Company in 1749 to locate and claim western lands for future settlement. Walker and six companions passed through the Cumberland Gap, crossed the Cumberland Plateau, and proceeded down the Cumberland River, all of which he named in honor of the Duke of Cumberland. The group returned to Virginia by an overland route through Kentucky.|
Indian War begins, part of the Seven Years’ War.
French explorers with Bienville build Fort Assumption on Memphis site. Fights with Chickasaws draw out with no clear winners. Fort Assumption is soon abandoned.
|1755||Indian Treaty - Glen's Treaty - Governor Glen of South Carolina secured a treaty with the Cherokee establishing British dominion over the lands of the tribe and promising to build the fort in the Overhill region provided the Cherokee would side with them in the coming conflict against the French.|
|1756||Indian Treaty -
- In the year 1756 Hugh Waddell was commissioned by the authorities of North
Carolina to pursue an alliance with the Cherokees and Catawba nations.
Located in present-day Monroe County, South Carolinians built Fort Loudon on the Little Tennessee River in. It was destroyed by Indians in 1760. It was one of the earliest British fortifications on the western frontier. It is now a 1,200-acre state historic site near Vonore.
Major Andrew Lewis builds Virginia fort near Chota, Cherokee capital.
|1757||Fort Loudoun, near Virginia fort, completed; first Anglo-American fort in Tennessee to be garrisoned.|
Mission established at Fort Loudoun by Rev. John Martin.
Stephen Holston comes to Tennessee area and gives his name to the Holston River.
Colonel Byrd builds Fort Robinson opposite the east end of Long Island (John B Dennis Highway). Long Island was a sanctuary to the Cherokee. Some of the soldiers of Fort Robinson became the founding fathers of Christianville (later Kings Port).
|1760||Cherokee Indians capture
Fort Loudon, kill garrison and nearby settlers.
Indian Treaty - Littleton's Treaty - The French finally succeeded in enlisting the active sympathy of the Cherokees in their war with Great Britain. Governor Littleton, of South Carolina, marched against the Indians and defeated them, after which, in 1760, he concluded a treaty of peace with them. By its terms they agreed to kill or imprison every Frenchman who should come into their country during the continuance of the war between France and Great Britain.
Daniel Boone first crosses the Blue Ridge during his winter hunt. He is commissioned by Henderson and Co. to scout East Tennessee.
|1761||Indian Treaty -
- The authorities of South Carolina in 1761 dispatched Colonel Grant with a
large force sufficient to overcome hostile Cherokees. After destroying their
crops and fifteen towns he compelled a truce.
Elisha Walden leads the first major recorded long hunt into what is now Tennessee. Walden set up a station camp in Lee County, Virginia, and trekked into the Clinch and Powell valleys in what is now Hawkins County, Tennessee. He named Walden Ridge which forms eastern edge of Cumberland Plateau.
The Virginia Militia under the command of Major Andrew Lewis cut a wagon road (called The Island Road) from Chilhowie, Virginia to the Long Island of Holston. Here they built Fort Robinson (the second British fort built on what is now Tennessee soil) on the north bank of the Holston River.
British Lieutenant Henry Timberlake visited the Cherokees in 1761-62 and produced one of the region's earliest known maps.
|1763||Indian Treaty -
Treaty of Augusta - The Treaty of
Augusta used trails and rivers to create the first defined line between the
Creek Indians and the colony of Georgia.
French and Indian Wars ends; British win; French surrender all claims to lands east of Mississippi in Treaty of Paris.
|1764||Henry Scaggs (Scoggins), following Daniel Boone's exploration, explores Tennessee region as representative of Henderson & Co.|
|1765||Jesse Duncan was killed and scalped by Indians when he strayed away from a scouting party near what is now Rocky Mount, Tennessee. He is credited as being the first white man to die and be buried on what is now Tennessee soil.|
|1766||In 1766, A royal
proclamation issued by King George III in 1763 made it illegal to procure
pelts from Cherokee lands without a trading license, which essentially
barred hunting west of the Appalachian range. Both the Cherokee and the
British, however, had considerable difficulty enforcing this ban.
Sumner County, with its seat at Gallatin, was created. It was named for Jethro Sumner who fought in the French and Indian War and later in the Revolution.
James Smith led an ambitious long hunt into Middle and West Tennessee, following the Cumberland River all the way to its mouth. One member of the Smith expedition, Uriah Stone, was hunting along a tributary of the Cumberland when a French hunting companion stole all of his furs. The tributary was subsequently named Stones River. Stone returned to the Cumberland valley in 1769 along with fellow hunters Kasper Mansker, Isaac and Abraham Bledsoe, Joseph Drake, The various trails, salt licks and camping areas identified by the 1766 and 1769 expeditions would later help guide the first English settlers to the Middle Tennessee area.
|1768||Indian Treaties - Treaty of Fort Stanwix - November 5, William Johnson, the northern Indian Commissioner, signs the Treaty of Fort Stanwix with the Iroquois Indians to acquire much of the land between the Tennessee and Ohio rivers for future settlement|
blazed a trail from North Carolina into eastern Tennessee, on his way to
Kentucky with five other men, including his brother-in-law John Stewart, to
hunt and explore in Kentucky. He would remain two years in Kentucky before
William Bean establishes first white permanent Euro-American settlement by building a cabin on the Watauga River at a campsite used by Daniel Boone. His son Russell was the first white child born in Tennessee.
Timothy Demonbreun, a French-Canadian fur trader, arrives at the French Lick (Nashville) and begins hunting in the area.
|1770||Indian Treaty -
Treaty of Lochabar - Treaty of Lochabar
ceded land north and east of a line running through Long Island on the
Holston River (now Kingsport.
Built in 1770 by William Cobb, Rocky Mount in Piney Flats is the oldest original territorial capitol in the United States. It was used until 1792 and now serves as a living history museum.
James Robertson, from Orange County, North Carolina moves to the vicinity of Sycamore Shoals on the Watauga River.
The first permanent Anglo settlement of Nashville, Fort Nashborough, dates to 1770 when two parties of settlers led by John Donelson and James Robertson, respectively, established a fort enclosing two acres along the banks of the Cumberland River.
|1771||Four settlements had been established - South Fork of Holston, Carter's Valley, Watauga Valley & Nolichucky River Valley.|
|1772||Indian Treaty - The leases of Watauga Settlers & Jacob Brown
was signed March 19. It was a land transfer.
The Watauga Association formed; first independent government established in America by native white Americans. James Robertson became Watuga leader.
The state’s oldest church of any faith still at its original location is Sinking Creek Baptist Church, organized in 1772, in what today is Carter County.
Tennessee settlers at Sycamore Shoals, near Elizabethton, are the first white people in America to draft a constitution and declares themselves independent. The Watauga Association drafted the constitution, based on the Iroquois Federation’s laws.
Daniel Boone and companions hunt as far west as French Lick (now Nashville), Tennessee, then enter Kentucky and establish a station camp in a cave at the mouth of Hickman Creek along the Kentucky River.
-Signed March 17
-Purchase of Carter's Valley
-Signed March 17
-Purchase of Watauga Settlers & Jacob Brown
-Signed March 19
-Second purchase of Jacob Brown
-Signed March 19
-Land was transferred with these treaties
Treaty of Sycamore Shoals - (around Elizabethton) gave land in central Kentucky and north central Tennessee to the Transylvania Land Company for 10,000 British pounds worth of trading goods. At the same meeting, areas around Watauga and Nolichucky were transferred to the white settlers. This treaty was illegal under British law, but still influential.
Judge Richard Henderson
-Traveled from North Carolina to Tennessee
-He represented a group called the Transylvania Company
-The company was a group of Carolina land speculators
-Henderson brought wagon loads of trade goods
-Goods estimated worth was 10,000 pounds sterling
-A meeting was held at Sycamore Shoals on the Watuga River
-A majority of Indians were present and most of the settlers of the area
-A scout named Daniel Boone attended meeting
-A purchase was made of approximately 20,000,000 acres of land
-The tract included all of Kentucky
-It also included the areas covered by tributaries of Cumberland River
-Land purchase referred to as the "Treaty of Sycamore Sholes"
-Daniel Boone cut a trail from Virginia to the Cumberland Gap
-The trail was later named the "Wilderness Road"
-Kentucky settlers did not want to be under Henderson's rule
-They negotiated with colony of Virginia to come under their control
-Virginia set up a county to include all of Kentucky
-County was known as Virginia County
-Henderson was given some compensation for his land loss
-The British claimed sovereign power over the land sold
-British Agent John Stuart told Indians they had no right to sell land
-Henderson counted on turmoil of the American Revolution to settle disputes
-Purchase made about a month before Lexington and Concord Battle
Chief Dragging Canoe
-Sale opposed by a young Cherokee Chief
-Dragging Canoe's followers grew in number
-They resisted continuous colonial settlements along Tennessee frontier
-North Carolina extends all the way to the Mississippi River
The John and Landon Carter Mansion in Elizabethton is the oldest frame house in Tennessee. It was built between 1775 and 1780 on lands bought from the Cherokee.
Washington District supersedes Watauga Association.
Richard Henderson and Co. buys Cherokee land between Kentucky and Cumberland Rivers.
Daniel Boone led the cutting of the Wilderness Trail from Tennessee to site of Fort Boonesborough along the Kentucky River. The Wilderness Trail became the main route used for white settlement in Kentucky.
-Watuga settlers chose to become a part of North Carolina
-North Carolina boundary line extended to Mississippi River
-Indians attempted an offensive against settlers in upper East Tennessee
-The Indian uprising occurred at the start of the Revolutionary War
-The Indians were associated with the British in spying activities
-They were not under British military guidance
-The Cherokee's were defeated in the War of 1776
-John Sevier became a hero during the war's battles
-Chief Dragging Canoe and his followers seceded from Cherokee Nation
-They migrated southward to the valley around Chickamauga Creek
-They became known as the Chickamauga Indians
-Established a trading post along South Chickamauga Creek
-He traded with the Indians
-His land was later sold to missionaries
-Land became property of the Brainerd Mission
-Becomes leading chief
-The Creek Indians joined with the Chickamauga's to drive out the new settlers
-Raids were conducted up and down the Tennessee and Virginia frontiers
-Patrick Henry, Governor of Virginia joined with North Carolina to wage war with the Indians
-One purpose of war was to gain free access to the Tennessee River
-The war party burned 11 Chickamauga villages
-John McDonald's trading post was overrun
-His supplies, furs and deerskin were later auctioned to the soldiers
-The auction took place along a nearby stream which was latter named Sale Creek
July 4, 1776 - The Second Continental Congress of the United States declares independence from the British Empire, and approves the Declaration of Independence.
Thomas Sharpe Spenser journeyed to Middle Tennessee in 1776 with a group of hunters. While the others returned to East Tennessee and North Carolina, Spenser chose to remain, becoming the region’s first white settler.
July - 700 Chikamaka attacked two American forts in North Carolina: Eaton's Station and Fort Watauga. Both assaults failed, but the raids set off a series of attacks by other Cherokee and the Upper Creek on frontier settlements in Tennessee and Alabama.
-Signed July 20
-Land was transferred
Treaty of Long Island of Holston - transferred most of upper East Tennessee to settlers.
Chickamauga Indians (click here for timeline submitted by T Meeks)10'04
A splinter group of Cherokees who followed Chief Dragging Canoe in leaving the Upper and Middle Cherokee towns, moving to the Chickamauga Creek area around present day Chattanooga. Thanks to Floyd Ayers, Winchester, TN.
-Created by North Carolina Legislature
-Encompassed all the state of Tennessee
A group of Wataugans unsuccessfully try to purchase 20 million acres of land from the Cherokee in the Cumberland Mountains.
Community of “Blue Plum” settled in modern-day Johnson City.
Washington District becomes Washington County, with boundaries co-extensive with present State of Tennessee.
Commissioners of Virginia and North Carolina negotiate Treaty of Long Island with Cherokee.
|1778||July 10, 1778 -
France declares war against Britain and makes an alliance with the American
Tennessee's oldest continuous business, St. John Milling Co., was founded in 1778 in Watauga
-Created in East Tennessee from portion of Washington County
-Now two counties in Tennessee
-James Henderson commissioned an exploration of his new land purchase
-James Robertson made a trip to the Cumberland
-When he returned, plans were made to establish a settlement
-Robertson led a party that drove livestock overland through Kentucky
-They arrived at Nashborough around Christmas
1779 to 1780 - During the winter and spring three hundred pioneers – black and white – made the difficult trek to the French Lick, as the future site of Nashville was then known.
Jonesboro becomes first chartered town, oldest permanent settlement in state.
Sullivan County was established. It was named for James Sullivan, member of the Continental Congress, federal Constitutional Convention and New Hampshire official.
Col. Evan Shelby defeats hostile Chickamauga near present site of Chattanooga.
Commissioners of Virginia and North Carolina run separate boundary lines called, respectively, "Walker's Line" and "Henderson's Line."
|1780||Colonel John Donelson
-Col John Donelson led a flotilla of flatboats from Kingsport
-The vessels were constructed as flatboats
-Women, children, and household goods were shipped on boats
-The boats after reaching the Ohio River had to be paddled upstream to their destination
-Indians attacked in the Chattanooga Gorge
-A trailing boat contained small pox victims
-Several of the passengers were killed, but the Indians caught the disease
-Donelson's daughter, Rachel, was on one of the boats
-Rachel later became wife of President Andrew Jackson
The battle at Kings Mountain was a key American victory during the Revolutionary War. The Tennessee militia played an important part in this victory.
The Cumberland Compact signed by Cumberland settlers.
|1781||Samuel Doak, a
Presbyterian minister and Princeton University graduate, was the state’s
first teacher. Doak opened his home in Jonesborough as a school in 1781.
January 15 - Battle of Freeland Station between settlers and hostile Cherokee and Creek.
April 2 - Battle of the Bluffs between Cumberland settlers and Chickamauga.
-North Carolina Legislature set aside a military reservation in Middle Tennessee
-Land grants made to Revolutionary War veterans
-Amount of acreage determined by military rank
John Sevier defeats Chickamauga and burns their towns.
-State of North Carolina extended from Atlantic Ocean to Mississippi River
-Land bounded by Cumberland Mountains, Cumberland & Ohio Rivers was open
-The new colonial government was harassed by heavy indebtedness
-Congress encouraged states to swap vacant land to reduce debts
-Ceded open lands to the federal government in June
-The open lands later became Tennessee
·-Revolutionary War Soldiers were given land grants of 640 to 12,000 acres
·-A Land Grab Act was passed to sell land at about $5.00 per 100 acres
·-Nearly four million acres were sold in seven months
-Congress did not accept responsibility of new territories for two years
-Lawlessness and Indian aggression grew rampant in the territories
-People of the Territory formed independent area to maintain law and order
State of Frankland
-Leaders met to discuss formation of a new state in Jonesboro area
-After three meetings the state of Frankland was formed
-It was later renamed Franklin in honor of Benjamin Franklin
-John Sevier became the areas first governor
-North Carolina demanded the new government be disbanded
-The legislature repealed the act of cession of the land to the United States
-The people of the new area split over allegiance
-John Sevier became head of the Franklin party
-John Tipton headed the North Carolina party
North Carolina legislature passes an act establishing the town of Nashville, naming it for General Francis Nash.
14th State of United States, called “Franklin,” names Jonesborough as its capital. The state narrowly missed approval by Continental Congress, and went back under North Carolina jurisdiction.
Nashville incorporated to succeed Nashborough.
John Sevier elected governor of the state of Frankland (1784)
|John Sevier served as governor of Frankland,
1784 and of Tennessee, 1796-1801, 1803-1809-The area comprising Tennessee was
first called Frankland
-It was renamed Franklin in honor of Benjamin Franklin
-John Sevier became the areas first governor
-North Carolina demanded the new government be disbanded
-The legislature repealed the act of cession of the land to the United States
-The people of the new area split over allegiance
-John Sevier became head of the Franklin party
-John Tipton headed the North Carolina party
-The new government disbanded and North Carolina again ruled the area in 1788
|-Sevier was arrested by Tipton and brought to trial in
-Sevier escaped before the trial
-The legislature later restored his privileges
-North Carolina apportioned itself into four districts
-The Western District included "Territory South of the Ohio river"
-John Sevier was elected to the U S Congress from Western North Carolina in 1789
-North Carolina again ceded the Western Territory to the United States in 1790
-David Campbell was named judge of the superior court of the district
-John Sevier became brigadier general of East Tennessee, the Washington District
-James Robertson became brigadier general of Middle Tennessee, the Miro District
-President Washington appointed William Blount first governor of the district
-Blount was born in North Carolina on March 26, 1749
-He first established counties in the Western Territory in the following order:
-Washington, Sullivan, Green, Hawkins, Davidson, Sumner, Tennessee, Knox, Jefferson
-Rocky Mount ate the forks of the Holston and Watuga Rivers was the first capital
-The capital was later moved to White's Fort which Blount renamed Knoxville
-Knoxville was named for U S Secretary of War, Henry Knox
-The governor built a wooden mansion in Knoxville, the first two-story home in the area
-Blount died of the fever in 1800
-Blount College, now the University of Tennessee, was established in 1794
-Tennessee became a state in 1796
-John Sevier was elected the states first governor
-There was over 60,000 people in the territory in 1795
-A state constitutional convention was held in Knoxville in January, 1796
-Andrew Jackson officially proposed the name of the state
-The area had been called Tennessee Country for years
-It was named after the Tennessee River derived from the Indian "Tenase"
-President Washington signed the act, making Tennessee the sixteenth state
-The legislature of the state began functioning on March 28, 1796
-John Sevier was inaugurated first governor of the new state on March 30, 1796
-Sevier was born in Rockingham County, Virginia on September 23, 1745
-He was the oldest of seven children
-He was one of the better educated men of his day
-By age nineteen, he became a merchant in New Market, North Carolina
-Sevier moved to a settlement on the Holston River in 1778
-Shortly thereafter, he relocated to the Watauga settlement
-He led thirty-five successful fights against the raiding Indians
-Sevier fought against the British at the battle of Kings Mountain
-He established many treaties with the Indians during his twelve years as governor
-Sevier broke the original Tennessee County into two new counties:
-Robertson county was named for James Robertson
-Montgomery County was named for Colonel John Montgomery
-He served three consecutive terms as governor from 1796 to 1801
-When he could not succeed himself for a third term, Archibald Roane was elected
-After Roane term ended, Sevier was elected to serve three more terms
-After serving as governor, Sevier was elected to the state senate for one term
-He was then elected to Congress where he remained until his death
-Sevier died from fever on September 24, 1815
-He was buried on the east bank of the Tallapoosa River
-His remains were transferred to Knoxville in 1887
-First Franklin Treaty
-Signed May 31
Treaty of New Hopewell - officially ended fighting between the Cherokees, who had fought with the British during the Revolutionary War, and the United States government. The Cherokees also gave up land south of the Cumberland River in return for protection of other tribal lands
First Franklin Legislature meets at Greeneville
By 1785 East
Tennesseans were producing significant quantities of rye whiskey.
-Second Franklin Treaty
-Signed August 3
Treaty of Hopewell between U. S. and Chickasaw - The Chickasaw title to West Tennessee is recognized by the U. S.
-Created from Green County
-Covers land in East Tennessee
-Created from Davidson County
-Covers large portion of Middle Tennessee
-Created from Washington County
-Covers extreme East Tennessee
-Now seven counties in Tennessee
David Crockett (click here for interesting Crockett information submitted by R.W. Crockett)11'04
-David Crockett born August 17, 1786
Franklin and North Carolina both claim jurisdiction in East Tennessee.
Fort James is established by Capt. James White and James Connor in 1786 and becomes the nucleus of modern-day Knoxville, Tennessee.
Legislature meets at Greeneville for last time.
Robertson conducts Coldwater Expedition against Creek Indians near Muscle Shoals.
-The state of Franklin ended in March
-The new government disbanded and North Carolina again ruled the area
-Sevier was arrested by Tipton and brought to trial in North Carolina
-Sevier escaped before the trial
-The legislature later restored his privileges
-North Carolina apportioned itself into four districts
-The Western District included "Territory South of the Ohio river"
-County created from western part of Davidson County to Tennessee River
-County existed only until 1796
-Now eight counties in Tennessee
Andrew Jackson arrives in Nashville to serve as public prosecutor.
North Carolina won't recognize the state of Franklin and Franklin then collapses. The land remains in the County of Washington in NC.
Peter Avery blazes Avery's Trace from East Tennessee across Cumberland Plateau to Nashville.
Bishop Francis Asbury holds first Methodist Conference west of Alleghenies at Half-Acres in East Tennessee.
|1789||North Carolina Legislature
-A second cession of land
-Land later to become Tennessee made to Federal Government
-Little unsold land remained in area
-Area called "Territory South of the Ohio River"
-William Blount named Governor
-John Sevier elected to U S Congress from Western North Carolina in 1789
John Sevier elected first
Representative to U.S. Congress from Washington.
Population is estimated at 35,691.
May 26. Congress passes act for government of "Territory of the United States South of the River Ohio," including Tennessee. William Blount, appointed Territorial Governor, takes oath on September 20 and organizes Washington County on October 22.
William Blount became governor of the Territory South of the River Ohio (1790-1796)
|-William Blount served as governor the Territory South of the Ohio River, 1790-1796|
|1791||The Knoxville Gazette is published as the
first paper in Tennessee
In 1791 White's Fort was the site of the signing of the Treaty of Holston between Cherokee leaders and William Blount, governor of the Territory South of the River Ohio. Blount selected White's Fort as the capital of the Southwest Territory and renamed it Knoxville.
Seth Smith, who came to the Watauga section from Pennsylvania in 1791, designed and constructed the first stone house in the State. He was a stone-mason, but in the execution of his work he was perforce also the architect and contractor. He built four stone houses in or near Limestone, Tennessee, which answered the dual purpose of settlement-fort and residence. The Gillespie house, built in 1792.
-Knox's first Treaty
-Signed February 17
-Jefferson County created from Greene and Hawkins Counties
-Most of land taken from Greene County
-Took most of Greene county land
-Became largest county in state
-Created from Knox County
-Created beyond western boundary of Davidson County to Mississippi River
-Now eleven counties in Tennessee
Jefferson and Knox Counties were created. Jefferson, with Dandridge as its seat, was named for Thomas Jefferson, author and signer of the Declaration of Independence, Secretary of State in the Administration of President George Washington, and later third President of the United States.
Knox, with Knoxville as its seat, was named for Henry Knox, brigadier general of the Continental Army and Secretary of War in the Cabinet of President George Washington
Fort Southwest Point in Kingston was first used in 1792 as a stop on the way to Nashville and to help end hostilities with the area Indians. Today, it is the only fort in Tennessee to be rebuilt on its original foundations.
Kentucky, formerly Kentucky County, Virginia, becomes the 15th state.
Andrew Jackson receives his first military appointment, "Judge Advocate for Davidson Regiment."
September 30 - Buchanan's Station attacked by Indians
|1793||Built in 1793
with dovetailed chestnut logs, the Rees-Hawley house in Jonesborough is the
town’s oldest structure.
Founded in 1793, Dandridge is the only town in the nation named for Martha Dandridge Washington, wife of George Washington.
September 25 - Cavett's Station destroyed by Indians.
-Knox's second Treaty
-Signed June 26
-Created from Jefferson County
-Now twelve counties in Tennessee
Major James Ore
-Leads battle against Chickamauga Indians
-Destroys towns of Nickajack and Running Water
-Chickamauga power base also destroyed
Founded in 1794, Tusculum College in Greeneville is the state’s oldest college.
The University of Tennessee received its first charter as Blount College in Knoxville. It became a state university in 1806 when a federal grant provided for two state universities. Blount was selected as the eastern institution. It became East Tennessee College ant then East Tennessee University in 1840 and the University of Tennessee in 1879.
Built two years before Tennessee became a state, the 1794 Sam Houston Schoolhouse in Maryville is the state’s oldest one-room log school. Student ages back then ranged from 6 to 60.
President George Washington recommended that a military post be established on the Tennessee River at the mouth of Lookout Creek (at Chattanooga) if the Cherokees would give permission. They refused.
Located in present-day Jackson County, Fort Blount is established in 1794 at the point where the Avery Trace, which connected the Eastern and Mero Districts, crossed the Cumberland River.
September 13 - James Ore destroys Chickamauga towns, Nickajack and Running Water.
-Created from Knox County
Fort San Fernando de las Barrancas built by the Spanish in Memphis.
The last two reports of bison in Tennessee were recorded near Nashville in 1795.
The Walton Road is completed from Knoxville to Nashville across Cumberland Plateau.
-Admitted to Union after 60,000 people were counted in area as 16th state
-President Washington signed bill June 1
-John Sevier, a leader at Watauga, became first governor
-The capital was placed at Knoxville
-Created from Washington County
-Created from Hawkins County
-Created from Tennessee County
-Created from Tennessee and Sumner counties
-Records included in those of Montgomery County
Friendsville in East Tennessee was established in 1796 by the Society of Friends, better known as Quakers
February 6 - First State constitution adopted.
March 29 - First General Assembly meets at Knoxville.
March 30 - First State Governor, John Sevier, inaugurated; serves until 1801 and again from 1803 to 1809.
March 31 - William Blount and William Cocke elected first United States Senators, reelected four months later.
June 1 - Tennessee admitted into Union as sixteenth state.
November 12 - Andrew Jackson becomes the first Representative in Congress from Tennessee, takes seat December 5.
Jim Bowie, famous for his big knife, was born at Station Camp Creek in Sumner County in 1796.
-Created from Jefferson County. Created in 1797, Cocke County was named in honor of Sen. William Cocke, a soldier in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.
July 7, The U.S. House of Representatives exercised its constitutional power of impeachment, and voted to charge Senator William Blount of Tennessee with "a high misdemeanor, entirely inconsistent with his public duty and trust as a Senator." Blount had financial problems which led him to enter into a conspiracy with British officers to enlist frontiersmen and Cherokee Indians to assist the British in conquering parts of Spanish Florida and Louisiana.
Andrew Jackson succeeds William Cocke as U. S. Senator.
Built in 1797, The Chester Inn in Jonesborough, Tennessee has been host to three U.S. presidents—Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk and Andrew Johnson. Today it is the home to the International Storytelling Center.
The U.S. gains control of the Memphis area; Fort Adams erected.
Constructed in 1797, Fort Southwest Point stands on a high knoll overlooking the mouth of the Clinch River. During most of the territorial period, a militia post known as the "Southwest Point Blockhouse" was located a half-mile above the mouth of the Clinch River on the only east-west road connecting the Knoxville and Nashville area settlements.
First Treaty of Tellico - granted land to settlers between the Clinch River and the Cumberland Plateau and between the Tennessee and Little Tennessee rivers.
Andrew Jackson resigns as U. S. Senator and is appointed judge of State Superior Court.
-Created from Sumner County and Indian lands. Smith County, created in 1799, was named for Daniel Smith, a U.S. senator, Revolutionary War officer, and secretary of the Territory South of the River Ohio (later Tennessee). He also produced the first map of the state.
-Created from Davidson County
-Created from Sumner County
-Wilson and Williamson Counties extended south to the state line
-Both counties claimed land controlled by the Indians
In 1799 a tavern keeper of Knoxville, named Chisholm, advertised a post route between Knoxville and Abingdon, Virginia, with trips made once every three weeks. Newspapers and letters were carried for subscribers for an annual fee of $2.50 each
-Elected President of the United States
-19 Counties existed in state boundaries
Congress establishes a postal rout along the Natchez Trace, an old trail between Nashville and Natchez, Mississippi.
Tennessee Population estimated at 105,602.
-Created from Knox and Granger Counties
-Created from Smith County and Indian lands
-Created from Knox County and Indian lands
-Created from Granger and Hawkins Counties
-23 counties existed in state
Responding to Governor John Sevier, The General Assembly appointed commissioners for road building purposes.
In 1801 treaties were made with the Chickasaw and in the same year a similar treaty was negotiated with the Choctaw. As a result of these two treaties the southwest frontier obtained use of the Natchez Trace, the Chickasaw "Path of Peace," which linked long fragments of trails and bypaths into one continuous thoroughfare, connecting Nashville with Natchez on the Mississippi, and ultimately by river with New Orleans.
In 1801, the U.S. Army began improving the Natchez Trace route, making it wide enough to be navigable by wagon.
Archibald Roane elected governor of Tennessee (1801-1803)
|Archibald Roane served as governor of
-Roane was born in Dauphnin County, Pennsylvania in 1760
-He fought in the Revolutionary War
-Roane crossed the Deleware River with General Washington in 1776
-He was present at the surrender of Yorktown
-He became a member of the state constitutional convention in 1796
-Roane was elected governor to succeed John Sevier in 1801
-The state was divided into three congressional districts, Washington, Hamilton, and Mero
-Jackson County was organized during Roane's term
-After his term as governor, Roane served as trustee of the first three colleges in the state:
Blount College, now the University of Tennessee
Washington College in Washington County
-His last official office was as superior court judge in 1811
-Roane died at age sixty on January 18, 1819
-He is buried in Pleasant Forest Cemetery near Campbell's Station
|1802||Andrew Jackson is elected to command the Tennessee militia.|
-Created from Montgomery and Robertson Counties
-Created from Montgomery County
-Created from Davidson, Williamson, and Wilson Counties
Due to Louisiana Purchase the Mississippi River no longer has to be guarded as a national border.
General Wilkinson builds Fort Pickering at Memphis.
John Sevier elected governor of Tennessee (1803-1809)
Sinking Creek Baptist Church, built in 1803 between Elizabethton and Johnson City, is the oldest church in the state.
-Second Treaty of Tellico
-Signed October 24
-Formal agreement to open first roads in area
July 27. The state legislature ratified the 12th Amendment to the United States Constitution which provides the procedure by which the President and Vice President are elected.
The home of Andrew Jackson, now a public museum, is eleven miles east of Nashville. Andrew Jackson bought the Hermitage farm in 1804, and it was his home for the remainder of his life.
In 1804 the first official horse race in Tennessee was held in Gallatin. Andrew and Rachel Jackson attended the race, in which Jackson ran his horse Indian Queen against Dr. R. D. Barry's horse Polly Medley.
Lewis and Clark set out to explore the western territory.
Third Treaty of Tellico & Chickasaw Cession gave all land north of the Duck River all the way east to the Tennessee River. This included all of the Cumberland Plateau. It also transferred land at Kingston to be the state capital. The legislature met here for one day only in 1807 to fulfill the state’s obligation.
-Fourth Treaty of Tellico
-Signed October 27
Aaron Burr visits Nashville on his way to Mississippi territory.
By the treaty of October 27, 1805, the Cherokee granted the Federal Government a mail route through their territory. Similar agreements were reached with the Creek and Choctaw. The Indians owned and operated all inns and ferries on the intersecting roads, charging a nominal rate for their services.
John Hunt, from Tennessee and settled in the area known as Big Spring, Alabama in 1805. The the village became known as Hunt's Spring. In November 1811, the town's name was changed to Huntsville
-Robertson and Meigs Treaty
-Signed September 11
Bedford County was named for Thomas Bedford Jr., a Revolutionary War officer and landowner who contributed to the development of the area.
-Created from Roane County and Indian lands
-Created from Rutherford and Indian lands
-Created from Roane County
-Created from White, Jackson, and Smith Counties, and Indian lands
Created in 1807, Warren County is named in honor of Gen. Joseph Warren, the Revolutionary War officer who sent Paul Revere on his famous midnight ride in 1775.
Kingston, Tennessee is the capital for one day, September 21st, 1807 while the state legislature discusses a treaty with the Cherokee Indians.
Tennessee's first bank, the Bank of Nashville, is founded.
In 1807 the Nashville Impartial Review, contrasting land and water transportation, pointed out that a merchant who floated 2,000 tons of produce from Murfreesboro to Nashville (a distance of about 34 miles), at a cost of $9.50, had saved $150.50 by choosing the water route.
Robert Fulton invents steamboat.
Created from Maury County
Created from Stewart & Smith County
Humphreys County was created in 1809 and named in honor of Parry Wayne Humphreys, a judge of the Superior Court of Tennessee and U.S. representative from Tennessee
Created from Bedford County
Meriwether Lewis of
the Lewis & Clark expedition dies of gunshot wounds near present-day
Hohenwald, Tennessee. It was uncertain whether he was killed or committed
|Willie Blount served as governor of
-Born in Bertie County, North Carolina on April 17, 1768
-Was half brother to William Blount, Tennessee's first Territorial Governor
-Moved to Tennessee in 1790
-Was elected judge of the newly formed state in 1796
-Was elected governor in 1809, and re-elected in 1811 and 1813
-Raised $370,000 and 2,000 men for Creek War and War of 1812
-Tennessee received its nickname "Volunteer State" from Blount's efforts
-Sought governor's seat and was defeated by Sam Houston in 1827
-Represented Montgomery County at Constitutional Convention of 1834
-Died on September 10, 1835
-Was buried in a private burial ground near Port Royal
-Remains moved to Greenwood Cemetery at Clarksville in 1877
Tennessee Population estimated at 261,727.
Nashville had a population of about 1,100.
By 1810, 14,191 registered distilleries were
producing 25.5 million gallons of whiskey in Tennessee.
most devastating tremors - the New Madrid Earthquakes occurred between
December 1811 and February 1812. Land on either side of the Mississippi
River sank, and the river flowed backward into a sunken area to form
Reelfoot Lake, now a popular resort in Northwest Tennessee.
Bank of the State of Tennessee established.
|1812||Tennessee's nickname "The Volunteer State" was given to the state for
becoming involved in the battle of New Orleans during the war of 1812.
September 12 - Legislature convenes in Nashville for first time.
a founder of Nashville, dies near Memphis.
Andrew Jackson mobilizes troops at Fayetteville for Creek War.
The Creek Indian War, a part of the War of 1812, fought largely within the boundaries of present-day Alabama. Andrew Jackson of Tennessee becomes a military hero as he leads U.S. forces against the "Red Stick" Creeks.
|1814||March 27 -
Jackson defeats Creeks at Battle of Tohopeka, ending Creek War.
April 20 - Treaty of Fort Jackson made with Creeks.
Built in 1914, Old Fort Marr in Polk County is the oldest blockhouse in the United States.
8th, 1915 Andrew Jackson and his troops from Tennessee defeat the British
army at the Battle of New Orleans.
The City of Knoxville is incorporated in 1815.
|Joseph McMinn served as governor of
-Was born in Chester County Pennsylvania on June 27, 1758
-Fought in the Revolutionary War
-Settled in Sullivan County which later became Hawkins County
-Was a member of the territorial legislature in 1794
-Helped frame the first Tennessee constitution in 1796
-Became state senator in 1807 and served as speaker until 1809
-Was elected for two more terms in 1817 and 1819
-Became an Indian Agent in 1822
-Died on November 17, 1824
-Is buried near Calhoun in McMinn County
|-McMinn County and the town of McMinnville in Waren
County named in his honor
-The following counties were established under McMinn's six years as governor:
Obion, Weakley, Henry, Gibson, Carrol, Tipton, Haywood, Madison, Henderson, Shelby, Fayette, Hardeman, McNairy, and Hardin
Jackson and McMinn Treaty - transferred lands along the Sequatchie River, including most of the southern portion of Sequatchie Valley, to white control in return for lands in Arkansas.
Created from Hickman & Maury County
Created from Bledsoe and White Counties, and Indian lands
Created from Roane County
Created from Hickman County
November 10, The Tennessee legislature enacted laws that defined the common boundary with Georgia and created a boundary commission to jointly survey and mark the state border.
One of the most hunted spots in the nation is the Bell Witch Cave near Adams, Tennessee, where the ghost of Kate Batts first appeared in 1817.
-The Great Chickasaw Cession
-Signed October 19
Andrew Jackson and Isaac Shelby, Governor of Kentucky, as U. S. Commissioners, make a treaty with Chickasaw. The Chickasaw Treaty of 1818 extended Tennessee's western boundary to the Mississippi River, and opened up a rich, new agricultural area for settlement. They paid the Chickasaws $300,000, to be paid over 20 years, for 10,700 square miles of land,
Establishment of the Georgia-Tennessee border begins.
Nashville celebrates the first arrival of a steamboat, the Andrew Jackson.
Andrew Jackson leaves Nashville, Tennessee, headed for Fort Scott, Georgia to take command of the Georgia troops during the First Seminole War.
Calhoun Treaty purchased land between the Little Tennessee and the Hiwassee Rivers from the Cherokees. After this treaty, the only area left in the state that belonged to the Cherokees was the southeastern corner of the state that now makes up Monroe, Polk, and Bradley and Hamilton counties.
-Created from Rhea County and Indian Lands
Maryville College was established at Maryville, Tennessee.
Elihu Embree, a Quaker from Jonesborough, established the country’s first anti-slavery newspaper in 1819, calling it the Manumission Intelligencer.
James Monroe makes the first presidential visit to Nashville.
Murfreesboro becomes the capital of Tennessee - 1819 to 1826.
John Overton, General James Winchester, and Andrew Jackson founded the city of Memphis on May 22.
Sam Houston is nominated and wins the office of Attorney General of the Nashville District in Tennessee.
W. L. Brown and Felix Grundy appointed commissioners for Tennessee to determine with Kentucky commissioners the line between Tennessee and Kentucky.
Alabama becomes the 22nd state.
The first steamboat to reach Nashville (March 11, 1819) on the Cumberland River was the General Jackson.
|1820||An iron forge
was established by settler Isaac Love on the Little Pigeon River at the foot
of the Great Smokey Mountains.
The advent of steamboats on the Mississippi River and the completion of Jackson's Military Road in 1820, which offered a shorter route between Nashville and New Orleans, doomed the Natchez Trace route, and by 1830 it was essentially abandoned and reclaimed by wilderness.
The first Catholic church in Tennessee, Holy Rosary Cathedral, was built in Nashville in 1820.
Tennessee Population 422,823.
commander Nathan Bedford Forrest was born in Tennessee's Bedford County.
Nashville Medical Society, the first medical association in Tennessee, is founded in the log courthouse on the public square.
The State of Tennessee created 3 classes of public roads: First Class - 30 foot wide stage road, Second Class - 12 feet wide, and Third Class - wide enough for a horse and rider. Roads were notched to indicate class (First class = 3 notches).
Andrew Jackson appointed Territorial Governor of Florida.
William Carroll elected governor of Tennessee (1821-1827)
|William Carroll served as governor of
Tennessee, 1821-1827 & 1829-1835
-Served three successive term as governor twice
-Born near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on March 3, 1788
-Moved to Davidson County about 1806
-Opened the first nail store in Nashville in 1810
-Became captain of the Nashville Uniform Volunteers in 1812
-Fought with General Jackson in the Creek War and War of 1812
-Became owner of the first steamboat, the General Jackson, registered in Nashville
-A new state constitution was established in 1834
-Completed the first penitentiary in Nashville, Tennessee in 1831
-Died on March 22, 1844
-Buried in the City Cemetery in Nashville
bridge, made of stone, is built across the Cumberland river.
When lots were auctioned off in Jackson, Tennessee, in 1822, $20.00 worth of whiskey was passed around, compliments of the county court, to loosen the bidders' tongues.
Built in 1823, Williamson County’s Hiram Masonic Hall was the state’s first Masonic Lodge and its first three-story building.
Pioneer, first newspaper in West Tennessee established at Jackson.
|1824||Andrew Jackson is defeated in his campaign for president of the United
Music publishing begins in Nashville with the publication of Western Harmony, a book of hymns and instructions for singing.
|1825||The Marquis de
Lafayette visits Nashville on his grand tour of the United States.
Great Stage Road (from Nashville to Winston-Salem) opened through Johnson City.
In 1825 Thomas Baker built Foxland Hall, five miles south of Gallatin, possibly the best-preserved building of its period in the area.
Frances Wright organizes Utopian community of Nashoba near present-day Germantown, Tennessee.
capital was moved from Murfreesboro to Nashville in 1826.
Future President Andrew Johnson makes his home in Greeneville.
Memphis is incorporated on December 19.
Memphis Advocate established -
first newspaper in Memphis.
|1827||Pioneer Mears Warner
named the town of Dresden, incorporated in 1827, to honor his father’s
birthplace of Dresden, Germany.
Academy becomes University of Nashville.
|Sam Houston served as governor of
-Born in Rockingham County, Virginia on March 2, 1793
-Moved to Blount County in 1808
-Wounded at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend
-Lived with the Indians and later negotiated treaties with them
-Studied law in Nashville and opened a law office in Lebanon
-Became district attorney of the Davidson District in Nashville in 1819
-Elected to Congress in 1823
-Became governor in 1827
-A broken marriage caused Houston to quit as governor and again live with the Indians
-Left the area for Texas to aid in its fight for independence in 1833
-Elected governor of Texas in 1859
-Died on July 26, 1863
-Is buried in Oakwood Cemetery near Huntsville, Texas
-Signed May 16
Andrew Jackson of Tennessee defeats John Quincy Adams and is elected president of the United States in 1828 and 1832.
The First steamboat, the Atlas, reaches Knoxville. The captain captures a prize of $650.00.
John Overlord, Andrew Jackson and James Winchester, the founders of Memphis, Tenn., bestowed an easement to the Mississippi riverfront for a promenade.
Built in 1828 as a stagecoach inn along the Nashville-Knoxville Road (today’s State Highway 25), Wynnewood is believed to be the state’s largest log structure. The house at Castalian Springs, near Gallatin is 142 feet long.
1828 census of the Cherokees shows they owned 22,400 cattle and 7,600 horses.
|1829||William Hall elected governor of
Tennessee (April 1829-October 1829). As senate speaker Hall succeeded to the
office of governor under the Tennessee state constitution when Sam Houston
resigned the post.
In 1829 the first temperance
societies were established in Tennessee.
|William Hall served as governor of
-Served five and one-half months as governor following Sam Houston's abrupt departure
-Was Speaker of the House and automatically became governor
-Born in Surry County, North Carolina on February 1, 1775
-Moved to the Castalian Springs area in 1779
-Suffered the loss of seven family members in Indian raids
-Elected to the Tennessee House of Representatives in 1797
-Elected to the state Senate in 1821
-Served in Congress in 1831
-Died on October 7, 1856
-Is buried in Sumner County
|1830's||Red Clay State Historic Park, south of Cleveland, is the site of the Cherokee Indians’ eternal flame. Red Clay served as the Cherokee nation’s last council grounds in the 1830s, before the Trail of Tears took them west.|
By 1830, the number
of African Americans in the state was over 140,000, most of which were
slaves working on large plantations or in the area of the Mississippi Delta
working in transportation.
Penitentiary located just south of 7th Avenue and Broadway in Nashville,
became operational for both men and women; 65 inmates employed by public
In 1831 the Tennessee General Assembly began to exert some regulation of the liquor trade by authorizing licenses for operating saloons.
Railroad Advocate, one of the first newspapers devoted to railroad promotion is published at Rogersville.
of Tennessee was elected president of the United States in 1828 and 1832.
Sam Houston goes to The Hermitage in Nashville, Tennessee to meet with Andrew Jackson. Jackson is said to have given or loaned money to Houston to go to Texas.
Lucy Petway Holcombe Pickens, born in La Grange, Tennessee, in 1832 is the only woman whose image has appeared on American currency (on $1 and $100 Confederate notes).
-Stokes & Ellsworth's Treaty
-Signed February 14
The Charlotte Courthouse in Dickson County, built in 1833, is the oldest courthouse still in use in Tennessee.
Epidemic of Asiatic cholera sweeps over Tennessee. Large cities paralyzed and many small towns almost depopulated.
-Signed February 10
-Voided by President Andrew Jackson
Treaty of New Echota signed by Cherokee leaders who represented only 10 percent of the tribe. It gave up all Cherokee lands in Tennessee in exchange for land in Oklahoma. The treaty gave a two-year time limit for the Cherokees to move. The resistance to this move by the rest of the Cherokees led by John Ross resulted in the forced removal of Cherokees from Tennessee, called the Trail of Tears.
The only arrest for witchcraft made in Tennessee
was in Fentress County in 1835 when a posse armed with guns and silver
bullets arrested a reclusive old man named Joseph Stout. He was later found
February 5, 1835, was called "Cold Friday" because so many cattle and hogs froze to death that day in Tennessee.
Newton Cannon elected governor of Tennessee (1835-1839)
killed at battle at Alamo.
In 1836, Cannon County was named in honor of Newton Cannon, then governor of Tennessee. The original bill named the county after U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall, but a change was made at the last minute.
In 1836 the legislature voted that any railroad company which raised two-thirds of its stock should receive the remaining third from the State.
First superintendent of public instruction appointed.
|1837||In 1837, the
Treaty of Doaksville called for the resettlement of the Chickasaws among the
Choctaw tribe in Indian Territory.
Uniform system of public schools in state established by law.
Upon his return to his home in Tennessee, Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the U.S., proclaimed that he left office "with barely $90 in my pocket." The old soldier and war hero who had served as president for eight years, spoke those words when he returned to his home in Tennessee.
The first traffic-related law in the Tennessee Public Acts of 1837-38 stated that a driver should drive to the right of the center of the road.
Tennessee - Mississippi boundary is corrected, extending West Tennessee, including Shelby County, four miles southward.
|1838||Trail of Tears
The year that most of the forced removal of the Cherokee Indians took place with all of them either leaving from, or passing through Tennessee. Thanks to Floyd Ayers, Winchester, TN
Fort Lauderdale, Fla., got both its start and name from Maj. William Lauderdale of Sumner County, who in 1838 led his Tennessee volunteers into the area during the Seminole War.
Ross’s Landing is renamed Chattanooga.
|1839||In 1839 there were
at least ten established race tracks in Tennessee and over twenty organized
Sam Houston meets Margaret Lea of Marion, Alabama while on a trip to Mobile, Alabama. Houston continues his trip through the United States, visiting Andrew Jackson at The Hermitage in Nashville, Tennessee then returns to Mobile where Margaret Lea agrees to be his wife.
James Knox Polk elected governor of Tennessee (1839-1841)
|James Knox Polk served as governor of
-Born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina on November 2, 1795
-Moved with family to Tennessee in 1805
-Studied at Murfreesboro College and the University of North Carolina
-Graduated with honors in 1818
-Set up a law practice in Columbia
-Served in state legislature in 1825
-Elected to U S Congress and served as Speaker from 1835 to 1839
-Became President of the United States in 1844
-Died from cholera on June 15, 1849
-Was buried in City Cemetery in Nashville
-Remains were later moved to the state capitol grounds
|1840's||Nashville became the permanent state capitol in 1840's|
The first asylum was completed near Nashville in 1840.
In the northern part of the state, a bubbling spring producing red sediment healed a settler's eye condition in 1840. The site and the town that grew around it became known as Red Boiling Springs. During the 19th century, 52 springs in the area produced five types of water for treating different ailments. Some of the springs still exist.
In 1840 Tennessee was the leading corn-producing state in the Union, with 12 percent of the nation's total.
By 1840 the U.S. Census reported iron production from eighty-two furnaces, bloomeries, forges, and rolling mills in East Tennessee; forty-seven in Middle Tennessee; and four in West Tennessee.
|1841||James Chamberlain Jones elected governor of Tennessee (1841-1845)|
|James Chamberland Jones served as governor
of Tennessee, 1841-1845
-Born in Davidson County on June 7, 1809
-Became a farmer in Wilson County
-Elected to the legislature in 1837
-Elected to the U S Senate in 1851
-Died at age fifty on October 29, 1859
-Is buried at the Elmwood Cemetery in Memphis
Elected in 1841 at age 32, James Chamberlain Jones was the first native-born Tennessean to be elected governor of the state and the youngest man to hold the office
|1842||First train in
Tennessee makes an exhibition run over six miles of track named the LaGrange and Memphis.
Cumberland University at Lebanon chartered and opened.
|1844||James K Polk of Maury County, Tennessee is elected president of the United States.|
Jackson, 7th president of the United States, died in Nashville, Tennessee.
The cornerstone of the capitol was laid in 1845. The State Capitol Building in Nashville was constructed between 1845 and 1859.
The United States Government establishes a naval yard in Memphis.
Great "Western and Southwestern Convention" held in Memphis to promote railroad connection between Tennessee and other southern States.
Aaron Vail Brown elected governor of Tennessee (1845-1847)
|Aaron Vail Brown served as governor of
-Born in Brunswick County, Virginia on August 15, 1795
-Family moved to Giles County in 1813
-Graduated from University of North Carolina and joined his family in 1814
-Studied law and became a partner with James Polk
-Elected to state senate in 1821
-Served in the U S Congress from 1839 to 1845
-Appointed postmaster general by President Buchanan and moved to Washington
-Died of pneumonia on March 8, 1859
-Is buried at Mt Olivet Cemetery in Nashville
|1846||The U.S.-Mexican War begins.|
|1847||St. Mary's Catholic
Church, the first permanent Roman Catholic Church in Tennessee, is completed
Neil S Brown elected governor of Tennessee (1847-1849)
|Neill S Brown served as governor of
-Born in Giles County in 1810
-Admitted to the bar and opened an office in Pulaski in 1834
-Fought in the Seminole War in 1836
-Served six years in the state legislature
-Appointed minister to Russia in 1850
-Elected to the state legislature where he became speaker in 1855
-Served as member of the constitutional convention of 1879
-Died on January 30, 1886
-Is buried at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Nashville
telegraph company was established in Tennessee in 1848.
Tennessee formed its first historical society.
The first Jewish congregation in Tennessee was
established in Nashville in 1848.
|1849||June 15, James Polk,
the 11th president of the United States, age 54, dies in Nashville, Tennessee.
Numerous Tennesseans rush to California for the gold rush.
Tennessee Historical Society founded.
December - Memphis given city charter.
William Trousdale elected governor of Tennessee (1849-1851)
|William Trousdale served as governor of
-Born in Orange County, North Carolina in 1790
-His father James Trousdale was a captain in the Revolutionary War
-James received a land grant, including the present site of Gallatin, in 1784
-Moved to Tennessee and settled in Sumner County in 1796
-Served in the state senate in 1835
-Fought in the Creek and Mexican War
-Became minister to Brazil in 1852
-Died on March 27, 1872
-Is buried in Gallatin
The first steam engine, the No. 1, ordered by the Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad, arrives in Nashville.
Memphis and the Town of South Memphis merge.
Jack Daniel (Jasper Newton) - Born September,
1850. Originator "Jack Daniel's Distillery," in Lynchburg, TN, the largest
Tennessee Whiskey maker in the world. Daniel's died in 1911 of blood disease
from a toe injury.
|1851||April 13. Nashville
& Chattanooga Railroad, first railroad successfully operated in Tennessee,
Mark R. Cockrill, a Davidson County sheep farmer, won the gold medal for the finest wool in the world at the 1851 Crystal Palace Exposition in London.
William Bowen Campbell elected governor of Tennessee (1851-1853)
|William Bowen Campbell served
as governor of Tennessee, 1851-1853
-Born near Mansker's Creek in Sumner County on February 1, 1807
-Studied law and established a law practice in Carthage about 1829
-Elected to the state legislature in 1835
-Fought in the Seminole and Mexican Wars
-Opposed secession of the state from the Union before the Civil War
-Elected to the U S Congress in 1865
-Died in Lebanon on August 19, 1867
-Is buried at Cedar Grove Cemetery in Lebanon
|1852||Built near the town of Cowan, the Cumberland Tunnel is the nation's largest and steepest railroad tunnel. Built in 1852, it is 2,200 feet long, 21 feet high, and 15 feet wide.|
|1853||1853 Nashville hosts
a temperance convention, which urges Tennessee to follow Maine's example of
State Library founded.
Located now on the campus of Belmont University in Nashville, the Belmont Mansion is completed.
Andrew Johnson elected governor of Tennessee (1853-1857)
|Andrew Johnson served as governor of Tennessee,
1853-1857 & 1862-1865
-Born in Raleigh, North Carolina on December 29, 1808
-Elected to the state House of Representatives in 1835
-Moved on the the state senate in 1841
-Won a seat in the U S Congress in 1843
-Proposed the first statewide tax to support schools
-Established the stat4e bureau of agriculture
-The Tennessee Historical Society permanently organized in Nashville in 1857
-Became a U S Senator in 1857
-Remained in Congress and was the only Senator to refuses to secede with his state
-Appointed military governor of state by President Lincoln in 1862
-Elected Lincoln's vice-president in 1865
-Became President of the United States when Lincoln was assassinated in 1865
-Returned to the Senate in 1875
-Died from a stroke on July 31, 1875
-Is buried in Greenville
|1854||The Bureau of
Agriculture, as the Tennessee Department of Agriculture was once known, was
the first state agency formed by Gov. Andrew Johnson in 1854, eight years
before the federal government formed the USDA.
Gov. Andrew Johnson's recommendation for tax to provide public schools becomes law.
The Methodist Publishing House in Nashville is established.
The first zinc mining in Tennessee occurred at Mossy Creek (Jefferson City) in 1854.
first public school opens on the northeast corner of 8th Avenue, North, and
First Biennial State Fair, forerunner of present annual State Fair, held in Nashville.
Nashville Academy of Music and Fine Arts incorporated.
First train of East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad enters Knoxville to open up vast new economic opportunities.
adventurer William Walker is inaugurated as president of Nicaragua.
Rail communication was completed between Knoxville and Dalton, Georgia, by way of the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad in 1856.
and Virginia Railroad builds first railway line from Bristol to Knoxville. A
water tank was built by Henry Johnson’s store, called “Johnson’s Tank,”
which later becomes “Johnson’s Depot.” In 1869 Johnson’s Depot becomes
Johnson City, with Henry Johnson elected as mayor.
Memphis and Charleston Railroad is completed, linking the Atlantic Ocean and the Mississippi River for the first time in the nation's history.
Isham Green Harris appointed military governor of Tennessee (1857-1862)
|Isham Green Harris served as governor of
-Born February 10, 1818
-Became a practicing attorney in 1841
-Elected to the state senate in 1847
-Moved to Memphis to practice law in 1853
-Tennessee became the last state to secede from the Union on July 2, 1861
-During Civil War, 30,000 men fought with the Union and 100,000 for the Confederacy
-Robert Caruthers was elected governor in 1863
-He never assumed office because of the war and Harris served until the war ended
-Harris resigned when a military governor was appointed after the war ended
-Left the state when Federal troops occupied Middle Tennessee in 1862
-Fought the rest of the war on the side of the Confederacy
-Fled to Mexico after the war and later went to England
-Returned to Memphis and resumed his law practice in 1867
-Was re-elected to the Senate in 1876
-Died in Washington DC in July of 1897
-Is buried at Elmwood Cemetery in Memphis
|1859||Renowned architect William Strickland designed and oversaw construction of Tennessee’s State Capitol in Nashville. He died in 1854 before the building was completed (in 1859) and is buried in a vault in the building’s north wall.|
Tennesseans cast more than 145,000 in the presidential race of 1860. The winner, Abraham Lincoln, received not a single vote from the state.
by popular vote its connection to the fledgling Confederacy, Tennessee
became the last state to withdraw from the Union.
1861 to 1865 - 187,000 Confederate and 51,000 Federal soldiers served from Tennessee as the Civil War raged throughout the south.
|1862||Union troops led by
Ulysses S. Grant forced unconditional surrender of Fort Donelson; two-day
battle fought at Shiloh; General Forrest defeated Union army at
Federal troops occupy Nashville, the first southern capital to fall to the Union army. African American laborers help Union troops build Fort Negley.
Seat of State government removed to Memphis.
A Union fleet defeats Confederate naval forces at the Battle of Memphis, and Federal troops occupy the city.
Andrew Johnson elected military governor of Tennessee (1862-1864)
|-In 1862 President Lincoln appointed Andrew Johnson as military governor of Tennessee. Johnson ruled with a firm hand silencing sources of anti-Union sentiment. Johnson held the military governorship of Tennessee until 1864. Preparing for the presidential election, foreseeing an imminent end to the war, and preparing for a re-unification of the nation, President Lincoln urged the Republican Party's leadership to drop his previous vice-president, Hannibal Hamlin, an ardent abolitionist from Maine, in favor of Johnson, a Southerner and a Democrat. President Lincoln defeated General George McClellan in the 1864 election, and Johnson became vice-president of the United States of America. Johnson took the oath of office President of the United States in April of 1865 after the assassination of President Lincoln at Ford's Theater by John Wilkes Booth.|
General Joseph Johnston takes command of the Army of Tennessee, replacing
Lieutenant General William Hardee.
Robert Looney Caruthers elected governor of Tennessee (1863)
-Looney was never inaugurated because of Civil War conflicts
|-Robert Looney Caruthers served as governor of Tennessee in 1863|
|1864||Union troops defeat Confederate forces in the Battle of Nashville, December 15 and 16.|
|1865||CIVIL WAR ENDS
On January 9, 1865, a State convention assembled
at Nashville and proposed amendments to the constitution abolishing slavery.
|-William Gannaway Brownlow served as governor of Tennessee, 1865-1869|
readmitted to the Union after the state became the third state of ratify the
From 1866 to 1896
Tennessee state government adopted the widely used convict lease system to
make prisons self-supporting and provide revenue to fund the state debt.
|1867||Gen. John H. Eaton, Jr., former Union officer, elected State superintendent of public instruction.|
|1868||Rockwood was founded when John T. Wilder, a geologist, discovered the area’s iron abundance and set up the Roane Iron Co. in 1868. The town was named for the company’s first president, William O. Rockwood.|
Johnson impeached; moved to Greeneville.
Johnson’s Depot becomes Johnson City, with Henry Johnson elected as mayor.
The First Transcontinental Railroad is completed.
Swiss woodcarver Melchior Thoni
settled in Nashville in 1869 and designed and carved the first wooden
animals to stand on a merry-go-round.
|-DeWitt Clinton Senter served as governor of Tennessee, 1869-1871|
Delegates from across the state meet in 1870 to rewrite the Constitution.
By 1870 Chattanooga had some fifty-eight
industrial operations, including iron works, furniture factories, sawmills,
gristmills, and other factories.
Jubilee Singers begin a series of singing tours to raise money for the
Cordell Hull - Born October 2nd, 1871 in Olympus, TN. Died July 23, 1955. US Senator from 1931-1933. Appointed Secretary of State 1933, in the cabinet of Franklin D. Roosevelt, where he served until 1944. Won Nobel Peace Prize in 1945.
John Calvin Brown elected governor of Tennessee (1871-1875)
|-John Calvin Brown served as governor of
|1872||In 1872 the Tennessee Jersey Cattle Club was formed, and is the oldest farmers' organization in the state.|
University is founded in Nashville, named after Cornelius Vanderbilt, an
American businessman who donated $1 million to build and support the school.
In 1873 Falls Mill in Belvidere, Tennessee began grinding corn into grits, powered by a three-story waterwheel.
The Sampson Keeble becomes first African American to serve in the Tennessee General Assembly.
The Memphis Musicians Union, founded in 1873, is the oldest musicians' union in the country.
Educational law passed, establishing uniform system of free public schools.
|1875||July 31, The 17th
president of the United States, Andrew Johnson, dies in Carter Station,
Tennessee, at age 66. He succeeded Abraham Lincoln.
First State board of education created.
Knoxville College was founded in 1875.
|-James Davis Porter served as governor of
College in Nashville, established in 1876, had the first medical education
program for African-Americans in the United States.
Jubilee Hall, the first building in the U.S. constructed for the higher education of African Americans, is built in Nashville at Fisk University.
|1877||The 1st issue of
the Chattanooga Daily Dispatch is published.
In January 1877, thousands of living black snakes from a foot to 18 inches long rained on southern Memphis. According to one theory, a hurricane swept the snakes into the air and dumped them on the city.
World's first airmail is flown from Nashville to nearby Gallatin via balloon.
Organized by nineteen farmers in May 1877, the Goodlettsville Lamb and Wool Club has the distinction of being the oldest cooperative livestock organization in the United States.
State board of health created.
Banner begins publishing.
5,200 Memphis residents died due to yellow fever epidemic.
Druggist Edwin Grove concocted Grove’s Tasteless Chill Tonic in 1878 and used his wealth to build the state’s first privately endowed public high school in Paris, referred to as “the school that came out of a bottle.
In Overton County in 1878, a detachment of Revenuers fought a two-day engagement against an army of 100s of moonshiners nine miles north of Cookeville in the Cumberland Mountains. Eventually, a truce was arranged, and the Revenuers were forced to withdraw but they vowed to return.
|1879||Founded in 1879,
Hatch Show Print in Nashville is one of the nation’s oldest working
letterpress printing shops. Fourteen antique printing presses turn out
posters mainly for the country music industry.
East Tennessee University becomes the University of Tennessee.
Albert Smith Marks elected governor of Tennessee (1879-1881)
|-Albert Smith Marks served as governor of
|1880's||Tennessee fainting goats are descended from goats brought to Marshall County in the 1880's. When startled, the goats stiffen, causing them to fall over.|
The first US sewage disposal system, separate from storm drains, was established in Memphis, Tennessee.
The Thomas Hughes Library in Rugby, Tenn., (pop. 70) houses probably the greatest collection of Victorian literature in America. Hughes, a British author and statesman, founded the town in 1880 as a cooperative, class-free society where Britain’s young noblemen could prosper. About 20 of the original Victorian buildings still stand.
Nashville celebrates the centennial year of its founding.
|1881||The Tennessee Coal
and Railroad Co. is renamed to the Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Co.
A horse by the name of Iroquois that was bred at The Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville was the first American horse to win the English Derby in 1881. Thoroughbreds today can trace their bloodlines back to Iroquois.
Alvin Hawkins elected governor of Tennessee (1881-1883)
|-Alvin Hawkins served as governor of Tennessee, 1881-1883
last stagecoach holdup took place
in Tennessee on October 15, 1882.
Julia Doak is appointed State superintendent of education, first woman in U. S. to hold such office.
Built in 1882, the 134-foot Doe River Covered Bridge in Carter County is believed to be the oldest in the state still in use.
|1883||The courthouse in
Lynchburg was built in 1883. It’s brick walls are 20 inches thick and held
together with sand and lime.
William Brimage Bate elected governor of Tennessee (1883-1887)
|-William Brimage Bate served as governor of
Tennessee Brewing Company (Memphis Brewing & Malting Co.1877-1884) opens
in Memphis Tennessee. The brewery closes its doors in 1955.
On June 17, 1884, Jack Daniel purchased a Hollow and cave near Lynchburg, including in all 142 acres at a price of $2,180.40.
|1885||Nashville's first professional baseball game is played in Athletic Park near the Sulphur Spring Bottom north of downtown.|
Anderson of Memphis, Tennessee, patented typewriter ribbon.
Vanderbilt University organized a varsity football team in 1886, it was probably the first Tennessee college to do so.
In 1886 the Nashville Union reported that the distilling industry was the largest manufacturing industry in the state of Tennessee, annually consuming 750,000 bushels of corn and 500,000 bushels of apples and peaches.
|1887||Memphis has one of
the largest artesian well systems in the world. This aquifer contains more
than 100 trillion gallons of water that fell to the earth as long as 2,000
years ago. It first became available to the city in 1887.
Robert Love Taylor elected governor of Tennessee (1887-1891). Brothers Alfred and Robert Taylor opposed each other for governor in a race dubbed the “Tennessee War of the Roses,” with Alfred supporters wearing red roses and Robert supporters wearing white roses. Robert won and served three terms. Alfred later served one term (1921-1923).
|-Robert Love Taylor served as governor of
Tennessee, 1887-1891 & 1897-1899
|1888||Portland, Tennessee originally was called Richland when it was founded in 1859, but it caused confusion with the other Richland, Tennessee, so Portland changed its name in 1888.|
trolleys replace mule-drawn streetcars in Nashville.
The Tennessee legislature passes a poll tax as a prerequisite for voting.
Three thousand prohibitionists bought lots from the East Tennessee Land Co. in 1890 and established Harriman as “A Utopia of Temperance and Industry.”
Vanderbilt plays Peabody in Nashville's first football game.
Due to large iron manufacturing industry including machine shops, boiler shops, plow makers, stove works and at least two pipe manufacturers, Chattanooga becomes known as the “Pittsburgh of the South.”
The Chattanooga Brewing Company starts operations. They brew beer until 1915 when prohibition stops production.
Aug. 19 - Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park is established in Georgia and Tennessee, the nation’s first National Military Park.
In Knoxville on May 1, 1890 the first electric
street car ran from Gay Street to Lake Ottossee (now Chilhowee Park).
|1891||The orange and white
colors associated with the University of Tennessee-Knoxville football team
were suggested by Charles Moore, a member of the first squad in 1891. The
colors were the same as the common American daisy, which grew in the area.
First major strike in Tennessee history called by miners at Coal Creek.
John Price Buchanan elected governor of Tennessee (1891-1893)
|-John Price Buchanan served as governor of
Ryman, saloon and riverboat owner, built the Union Gospel Tabernacle in
Nashville for revivalist Sam Jones. It later became the original home of the
Grand Ole Opry.
Nashville entrepreneur Joel Cheek in 1892 developed a recipe for premium coffee and supplied it to the Maxwell House Hotel. Cheek later sold his Maxwell House brand coffee to General Foods.
The Sewanee Review, published by the University of the South in Sewanee, is America’s oldest continuously published literary quarterly, founded in 1892.
The Great River Bridge (later known as the Frisco Bridge) opens in Memphis, becoming the first steel span bridge across the Lower Mississippi River, and the longest steel span bridge in America at the time.
The William Gerst
Brewing Company (Moerlein Gerst Brewing Co. 1890-1893) opens in
Nashville. The brewery closes its doors in 1954.
Peter Turney elected governor of Tennessee (1893-1897)
|-Peter Turney served as governor of Tennessee, 1893-1897
|1894||Dec. 27 - Shiloh
National Military Park is established in Tennessee.
The United Daughters of the Confederacy was
organized in Nashville in 1894 by Caroline Goodlett.
Porter Building, the city's first skyscraper, opens in Memphis.
The Lookout Mountain Incline Railway is completed in Chattanooga and competes with two other area railroads for traffic to the top of Lookout Mountain. The other two are quickly forced out of business.
Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park dedicated.
Brushy Mountain State Prison is built in Petros, Tennessee.
|1896||In 1896 in
Memphis, Samuel Henry Kress opened the first of his chain of five-and-dime
stores, known as S.H. Kress and Co.
In 1896, Joseph Lodge built a foundry and began manufacturing cast-iron cookware in South Pittsburg. Lodge Manufacturing is reportedly the nation’s oldest family-owned cookware company.
The first automobile is driven in Nashville.
Centennial Exposition was held in Nashville in honor of the state's one
hundredth birthday. The city of Nashville built a full-size temporary
replica of the Greek Parthenon for the Exposition. The lath and plaster
building stood for 23 years until it was razed in 1920 to make way for a
permanent version, completed in 1931.
The Tennessee Centennial Exposition was officially opened from Washington,
D.C., when President McKinley pushed a button that fired a cannon in
The "Million Dollar Fire of 1897" destroyed most
of Gay Street in Knoxville.
|1898||Four regiments of Tennesseans served in the United States Army during the Spanish-American War.|
Coca-Cola was first
bottle in 1899 at a plant on Patten Parkway in downtown Chattanooga after
two local attorneys purchased the bottling rights to the drink for $l.00.
County courts given power to establish county high schools and provide for their support and supervision.
Benton McMillin elected governor of Tennessee (1899-1903)
|-Benton McMillin served as governor of Tennessee, 1899-1903
Tennessee Population 2,020,616.
The legendary railroad engineer Casey Jones, who was killed when his train crashed on April 30, 1900, lived in Jackson, Tennessee.
Union Station opens in Nashville.
Tennessee Red Cross Association formed on January 16 in the reception parlors of Castner-Knott department store. Twelve Nashville women raise funds to send books and personal supplies to American troops involved in the Spanish-American War.
|1901||In Knoxville in 1901, Kid Curry, a member of Butch Cassidy’s Wild Bunch, shot a couple of deputies and escaped out the back window of a business on Central Avenue in what is now the Old City. He was captured, brought to the Knoxville Jail, but escaped and was last seen riding the sheriff’s stolen horse across the Gay Street Bridge.|
1902, Dutch Maid Bakery in Tracy City is considered Tennessee’s oldest
family bakery. Founder John Baggenstoss, a Switzerland native, spoke
Deutsch, or German, so the name became Dutch Maid.
The worst coal mine accident in Tennessee history took place at the nearby Fraterville Mine when 184 lives were lost.
Centennial Park is acquired by the city, marking the beginning of Nashville's public park system.
|1903||Roy Acuff - Born September 15, 1903
in Maynardville, TN.. Died November 23, 1992. Country music legend and Grand
Ole Opry regular. Best known for his hit song "The Great Speckled Bird."
Lost his run for office of Governor of Tennessee in 1948.
James Beriah Frazier elected governor of Tennessee (1903-1905)
|-James Beriah Frazier served as governor of
first skyscraper is constructed at the southeast corner of Fourth Avenue,
North, and Church Street.
Lockeland Spring water from Middle Tennessee wins a prize at the St. Louis Exposition.
Suspension-by-thumbs abolished legislatively as a means of punishment for Prison inmates.
Tennessee state flag was adopted in 1905.
Jack Daniel's whiskey won gold
medals at Liege, Belgium, in 1905.
|-John Isaac Cox served as governor of Tennessee, 1905-1907
|1906||Overton Park Zoo
(now the Memphis Zoo) opens.
The Brock Candy Company dates to 1906, when William Emerson Brock, a traveling sales representative with the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, purchased the Trigg Candy Company of Chattanooga.
In 1906 a railroad car of dynamite explodes in a
rail yard at Jellico in Campbell County, killing 9 people, injuring 200, and
leaving 500 homeless.
Roosevelt visits The Hermitage, in Nashville, Tennessee, home of the late
President Andrew Jackson. Years later,
Maxwell House claimed that Roosevelt
had praised a cup of its coffee during this visit by saying it was "good to
the last drop."
The Pendleton Prohibition Act of 1907 extended the Four-Mile liquor Law to the larger cities in Tennessee. By the end of the year only Memphis, Chattanooga, Nashville, and LaFollette were wet.
The first auto manufacturer in
the South was the Marathon, made in Jackson in 1907 and then in Nashville
from 1910 to 1914. About 10,000 of the autos were made.
|-Malcom R Patterson served as governor of
registration of birth and death statistics began.
State militia stops activities of night riders at Reelfoot Lake.
Bush Brothers & Co., headquartered in Knoxville, has been in business since 1908. Bush Brothers’ first product was canned tomatoes.
The Chattanooga Choo Choo Terminal Station is built.
State-wide prohibition law passed; becomes effective July 1.
Soon after the manufacture of whiskey was
prohibited in Tennessee in 1909, George A. Dickel and Company moved its
operation, first to Hopkinsville, Kentucky, and then to Louisville where it
continued in production until the Volstead Act was passed in 1919.
W.C. Handy, father of the blues, wrote "The Beale Street Blues" in 1909 as a campaign song for Memphis politician E.H. Crump.
By 1909 Tennessee led the nation in the production of oak, yellow poplar, and hickory.
Tennessee passes a Prohibition law that gave distillers one year to dismantle their operations. George Dickel's operations moved to Kentucky and Jack Daniel's to Missouri and Alabama.
Completed in 1910, the Tennessee blue limestone Shelby County Courthouse in Memphis can be seen in films such as Silence of the Lambs, The Firm and The Client.
The Marathon Motor Car is manufactured in Nashville.
The Hermitage Hotel opens in downtown Nashville.
The world's first night airplane flight takes off from Cumberland Park in Nashville.
The Boy Scout program came to both the United States and Tennessee in 1910, only three years after General Robert Baden-Powell founded the program in Great Britain.
The Appalachian Exposition of 1910 was held in Knoxville from September 12 to October 12, 1910. The intention of the fair was to demonstrate progress in southern industry and commerce.
|1911||Nashvillian James C.
Napier becomes Registrar of the U.S. Treasury.
Eighty-four out of a crew of 89 perished in an
explosion and flash fire in Cross Mountain Coal Mine No. 1, near Briceville
(Anderson County) in 1911.
|-Ben Walter Hooper served as governor of
|1912||The first ever
combination candy bar was invented in Nashville at the Standard Candy
Company in 1912 by Mr. Howard Campbell. His delicious combination candy bar
was the called the GooGoo Cluster.
Tennessee Agricultural and Industrial State Normal School, later Tennessee State University, opens.
Minnie Pearl (Sarah Ophelia Colley Cannon) - Born October 25, 1912 in Centerville, TN. Famous country comedian best known for her stint on TVs "Hee Haw." Also known for her famous "price tagged hats," and her big "HOWDY" greetings. Minnie Pearl died on March 4, 1996 from complications from a stroke.
|1913||One-third of the
gross revenues of the State appropriated for education.
Workmen's compensation law passed.
In 1913 Knoxville, Tennessee, became the only city in the world with mailboxes on its city busses and streetcars.
American Woman Suffrage Association meets in Nashville.
Tennessee Golf Association formed at Memphis Country Club.
Archie Campbell - Born November 7th, 1914 in Bulls Gap, TN. Country comedian and Grand Ole Opry regular, best known for his writing and acting talents on the hit television show "Hee Haw." Died from a heart attack on August 29, 1987.
Jack Daniel's whiskey won gold medals at the Anglo-American Exposition in 1914, achieving world recognition on the eve of national prohibition.
Highway Commission established.
State Reformatory for Girls is founded in Tullahoma by the Tennessee Federation of Women’s Clubs.
Thomas C Rye elected governor of Tennessee (1915-1919)
|-Thomas C Rye served as governor of Tennessee, 1915-1919
Saunders opened his first
Piggly Wiggly grocery store in Memphis, Tennessee.
He pioneers self-service in the US and obtaines a patent. He later
franchised over a 1,000 stores.
Chattanooga mechanic, Ernest Holmes, invents the tow truck.
Cumberland University, located in Lebanon, Tennessee, lost a football game to Georgia Tech on October 7, 1916 by a score of 222 to 0. The Georgia Tech coach was George Heisman for whom the Heisman Trophy is named.
Dinah Shore (Frances Rose Shore) - Born February
29, 1916 in Winchester, TN. Famous singer, actress, and talk show host. Won
9 Emmys, a Peabody Award, and a Golden Globe Award. Shore died on February
After Mary, a circus elephant, crushed her
handler to death on September 12, 1916, in Kingsport, Tennessee, 44,000
volts were zapped through her 5-ton body with little effect. The next day
she was hanged from a chain until dead.
In Claiborne County, two miles south of New Tazewell, on August 3, 1916. A mill dam failed on Big Barren Creek, sending a giant wall of water downstream and breaching several other smaller dams in the process. Twenty-four people died amidst the immense property damage caused by the roaring water.
The state's worst urban fire disaster was the great East Nashville Fire of 1916. Pushed by dry, westerly, fifty-mile-per-hour winds, it destroyed seven hundred homes and businesses within a thirty-two-square-block area of that city.
In 1916 Tennessee courts removed Mayor Edward H. Crump from office for his refusal to enforce prohibition in Memphis; Nashville Mayor Hilary E. Howse was removed for the same reason.
|1917||WORLD WAR I
BEGINS - 1917 to 1918 -
Around 100,000 Tennessee men volunteer or are drafted into the armed
services during World War I.
Earl Mitchell, a salesman for Chattanooga Bakery, created the MoonPie after coal miners said they wanted a snack that was filling and as big as the moon. His chocolate-covered marshmallow treat has filled the order since 1917.
Sgt. Alvin York of Pall Mall, the legendary World War I hero and Medal of Honor winner, didn’t believe in war and sought conscientious objector status after being drafted in 1917. It was denied.
Frances Rose Shore, born in Winchester in 1917, was raised in Nashville, where she launched her career at the age of 14. She later changed her name to Dinah, the famous television personality and singer.
The state’s coldest temperature ever recorded was 32 degrees below zero in Mountain City on Dec. 30, 1917.
In 1917 the "bone-dry bill" of Governor Thomas C. Rye completed the prohibitionist campaign in Tennessee. This legislation made illegal the receipt or possession of liquor and prohibited the transportation of liquor into or out of the state.
|1918||The town of Old
Hickory and a gun powder plant are built by DuPont.
Sergeant Alvin C. York, with small squad and armed only with pistol and rifle, takes Hill 223 in Argonne Forest.
Col. Luke Lea, of Nashville, leads a party of commissioned and non-commissioned officers on daring unofficial raid into Holland to capture the Kaiser. The attempt fails.
One of the worst passenger rail accidents in United States history occurred July 9, 1918, at the Dutchman's Grade, in Belle Meade, five miles west of Nashville. The southbound Memphis to Atlanta Passenger Express No. 1 collided head-on with a westbound local, Train No. 4, at a place where a curve, plus a slight grade (the Dutchman's Grade), wooded terrain, and an overhead bridge made it impossible for the engineers to see one another until it was too late. Deaths from the accident totaled 101 people.
Eddie Arnold - Born May 15, 1918 in Henderson, TN. Country singer known for his smooth sounded love songs. Nicknamed the Tennessee Plowboy. Is in the number 2 position for number of individual hits on the country charts with 145 songs.
|1919||WORLD WAR I ENDS
State agrees to furnish $1,000,000, City of Nashville $600,000 and Davidson County $400,000 for memorial building in honor of soldiers of World War.
January 13. Eighteenth amendment (prohibition) to Federal Constitution ratified.
The oldest restaurant in Memphis is The Arcade, open since 1919. One of its most famous diners was Elvis Presley, whose regular booth is marked with a plaque.
In 1919, Brenda Runyon founded the First Woman’s Bank in Clarksville, Tennessee which is believed to be the first bank created and staffed entirely by women.
In 1919 Tennessee passes a law protecting factory workers from industrial hazards.
Memphis celebrates its centennial.
Tennessee Ernie Ford (Ernest Jennings Ford) - Born February 13, 1919 in
Bristol, TN. Country music legend, recording artist, and television host.
Best remembered for his famous rendition of the song "Sixteen Tons." Ford
died from a serious fall on October 17, 1991.
|-Albert H Roberts served as governor of Tennessee,
Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment, giving women the right to vote.
Worth, a sporting goods manufacturer in Tullahoma, began making baseballs in 1920 and produced the nation’s first aluminum bats in 1970.
The first Nashville symphony orchestra was organized.
The USS Tennessee, a 32,300-ton battleship, was built at the New York Navy Yard.
|1921||Benton MacKaye of
Massachusetts first proposed the Appalachian trail in a 1921 issue of
Journal of the American Institute of Architects. The Appalachian Trail
Conference (ATC) was formed in 1925 and coordinated planning and building
the trail, which was completed in 1937.
The first concrete highway in Tennessee was built in 1921 and extended 14 miles from Athens to the Hiawassee river at Calhoun.
WNOX went on the air in Knoxville as one of the
first 10 radio stations in nation in 1921.
|-Alfred A Taylor served as governor of Tennessee, 1921-1923
|1922||In 1922, the University of Tennessee Vols first wore their now-famous orange jerseys.|
|1923||In 1923, Bessie
Smith’s first record, Down-Hearted Blues, sold 2 million copies. The
“Empress of the Blues” was born in Chattanooga, the year unknown.
Gov. Austin Peay (1923-1927) puts all activities of State under eight major departments, abolishing about fifty bureaus and departments.
Austin Peay elected governor of Tennessee (1923-1927)
|-Austin Peay served as governor of Tennessee, 1923-1927
|1924||Chet Atkins - Born June 20, 1924, in Luttrell, TN. Died June 30, 2001. Famous guitar player known for his "finger pickin" style. Known as "Mister Guitar."|
trial of John T. Scopes, the so-called "Monkey Trial" took place in Dayton,
Tennessee near Chattanooga.
Reelfoot Lake is established as a state game and fish preserve, marking the first step toward the conservation of Tennessee's natural resources.
The "WSM Barn Dance", later known as "The Grand Ole Opry" (1927), Nashville’s famed home of country music, makes its radio debut on station WSM.
The first scheduled airline operations in Tennessee were inaugurated December 1, 1925, between Atlanta and Evansville, by way of Chattanooga and Louisville.
Tennessee State Parks and Forestry Commission Established.
Feb. 6 - Meriwether Lewis National Monument is established in Tennessee (incorporated in Natchez Trace Parkway 1961)
the Tivoli Theatre becomes one of the first public buildings in the country
to be air conditioned. Also in 1926,
Paramount Studios bought the Tivoli,
making it part of the Paramount-Publix theater chain.
Great Smokey Mountains National Park (Tennessee); was authorized in 1926, but not chartered until 1934 and officially dedicated in 1940.
|1927||Garnet Carter was
the first person to patent a game of miniature golf which he called "Tom
Thumb Golf" in 1927. The golf course was built on Lookout Mountain in
Chattanooga, Tennessee, to draw traffic to the hotel that Carter owned.
Percy Warner Park, Tennessee's largest municipal park, is established.
March 3 - Stones River National Military Park is established in Tennessee (redesignated a National Battlefield 1980)
Henry H Horton elected governor of Tennessee (1927-1933)
|-Henry H. Horton served as governor of Tennessee, 1927-1933
|1928||March 26 - Fort
Donelson National Military Park is established in Tennessee (redesignated a
National Battlefield 1985)
In 1928, a German shepherd named Buddy became the nation’s first guide dog for the blind, trained in Switzerland for Morris Frank of Nashville.
Mobster Al Capone occupies a hideout in Johnson City. Johnson City acquires the nickname “Little Chicago” for its speakeasies, bootleggers, and illegal activity.
Ruby Falls, near Chattanooga, is discovered.
The Tennessee Theatre, in Knoxville, opens October 1st. The first movie shown is "The Fleet's In," starring Clara Bow.
Memphis is the site of the first Welcome Wagon, founded in 1928.
with North Carolina, land for Great Smoky Mountains National Park offered to
Federal government and accepted.
BLACK TUESDAY, THE GREAT DEPRESSION BEGINS.
Henry of Memphis was dubbed "Lady Edison" in the 1930s. She earned 49
patents, but her inventions number around 110, including the first
bobbinless sewing machine, soap-filled sponges, and the "protograph," which
made four typewritten copies of documents at a time without carbon paper.
During prohibition in the 1930s, many of the local printers in Nashville established boot-legging in their basements located in downtown's Printers Alley. When alcohol was legal once again, the bars simply remained there and are still operational today.
Built in 1930, Engel Stadium in Chattanooga is legendary for its deep center field, which is 471 feet from home plate.
Actress-singer Polly Bergen, born in Knoxville in 1930, was the first woman
to serve on the Board of Directors of the Singer Sewing Machine Company.
|1931||Tennessee votes for repeal of 18th amendment (prohibition) to Constitution.|
Hamburgers were invented October 24, 1932 in Chattanooga, Tennessee in the
first years of the Great Depression, entrepreneur Rody Davenport Jr. and
partner J. Glenn Sherrill theorized that even in a severe economic upheaval,
"People would patronize a restaurant that was kept spotlessly clean, where
they could get a good meal with courteous service at the lowest possible
price." Krystal is the second-oldest hamburger chain in the United States
and the oldest in the South.
Rock City, on Lookout Mountain, opens.
Lay's Potato Chips are founded by Herman Lay of Nashville, Tennessee.
Click here to read - May 1, 1933 - Nashville Tennessean End of Prohibition Newspaper Article
The Tennessee Valley Authority starts building its first hydroelectric dams in Tennessee.
The largest pig of all time was from Weakley County, Tennessee. Big Bill was a 2,552-pound Poland-China hog. He died in 1933.
1933 saw one of the state’s toughest elections. In the race to determine the state bird, the mockingbird beat the robin by a mere 450 votes.
Six twisters kill 52 and injure 552 in six
counties in March 1933. Called the East Nashville Tornado, this storm
damaged or demolished sixteen hundred structures in that area alone.
|-Bill McAlister served as governor of Tennessee, 1933-1937
|1934||June 19 - Natchez Trace Parkway is established in Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee (acquired 1938).|
Knoxville inventor, George Roby Dempster, came up with the idea for the
Dempster-Dumpster. It was designed to aide in the pick up of used
construction materials in order to transport them away. This new idea
quickly turned into the first garbage collection system in the United
States, with Knoxville, Tennessee becoming the first “Dumpster City,” in
1937. Now the term "Dumpster" is known world-wide as the container to throw
your garbage in.
Rural Electrification Act passed by legislature regulating operation of TVA in State.
Johnson County becomes a leading producer of green beans. By the 1950’s it would called the “Bean Capital of the World”.
Aug. 29 - Andrew Johnson National Monument is established in Tennessee (redesignated a National Historic Site 1963).
1936, Norris Dam on the Clinch River was the first Tennessee Valley
Authority hydroelectric project. The 4,038-acre Norris Dam State Park, along
the shores of Norris Lake at Lake City, is home to the Lenoir Pioneer
Convict lease law repealed.
Construction of Chickamauga Dam begun.
Coal miners strike at Jamestown. State militia called out.
Unemployment compensation law enacted at special session of legislature.
First statewide road inventory for Tennessee completed showing 66,015 total miles of roads with 4,300 classified as city streets. By 1992, city street mileage had increased to over 16,000 miles statewide.
From 1936 to 1956 Tennessee issued auto license
plates shaped like the state. It was the only state in the U.S. to do so.
|1937||William Edmondson of
Nashville was the first black artist to have a one-man exhibit at the Museum
of Modern Art in New York City. His show was in 1937.
American Airlines lands the first plane in the new Nashville airport.
Buford Pusser - Born in Finger, TN on December 12, 1937, Died August 21, 1974. Legendary Sheriff of McNairy County, TN, Inspiration for the Hollywood movie "Walking Tall."
Morgan Freeman - Born in
Memphis, TN on June 1, 1937. Award winning actor best known for his role as
a convict in the film "Shawshank Redemption".
|-Gordon Browning served as governor of Tennessee, 1937-1939 &
Franklin Roosevelt signs legislation to create the
Trace parkway on May 18, 1938.
Tennessee's first driver's license was issued to Governor Gordon Browning in 1938.
|1939||"The Grand Ole Opry"
begins radio broadcasts.
Headquartered in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, Dollar General Corp. was founded in 1939 and is the nation's largest small-box discount retailer, with about 8,400 stores.
In 1939 Tennessee enacted a local liquor option, allowing counties and cities to permit package sales of wine and liquor by referendum.
Construction begins on a limited access two-lane scenic road between Natchez and Fairview, Tennessee following the original Natchez Trace route.
In Blount County, the Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA) expanded its plant and employed over 4,000 workers.
Hamilton - Born August 12. 1939 in Memphis, TN. Actor starred in many major
motion pictures. Well known for his perpetual dark suntan and his flamboyant
|-Prentice Cooper served as governor of Tennessee, 1939-1945
|1940||The Great Smoky
Mountains National Park is dedicated by President
June 11 - Cumberland Gap National Historical Park is established in Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee.
The Mountain Dew beverage, a lemon-lime mixer, was trademarked by Barney and Ally Hartman of Knoxville, Tennessee.
Lamar Alexander - Born July 3, 1940, Maryville, TN. Was governor, university president, and U.S. secretary of education.
|1941||WORLD WAR II
BEGINS WITH ATTACK ON
On 7 December 1941, Tennessee was one of eight battleships present when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.
In January 1941 the state legislature created a Tennessee State Guard, the largest in the South, to provide protection for the state in the absence of the Tennessee National Guard, which had been activated as the 117th Infantry Regiment in the 30th Division. The 117th Regiment served with distinction in Europe until the end of the war.
In 1941 the state bought over three thousand acres near Smyrna, which it cleared and leased to the federal government as Sewart Air Base.
1941 to 1945 - During World War II, over 300,000 Tennesseans served in the armed forces while others served at home in war related industries.
The 1st US FM radio station to broadcast with a commercial license, went on the air in Nashville, Tennessee.
Glenn Miller and his Orchestra record Chattanooga Choo Choo in Hollywood on May 6th. It's a big hit.
Gary Cooper won the Oscar for Best Actor for his portrayal of Tennessee war hero Alvin York in the 1941 hit movie, Sergeant York.
World War I hero Sgt. Alvin C. York was born in Pall Mall, Tennessee.
In 1941, Camp Tyson near Paris, Tennessee became the site of the U.S. Army’s only barrage balloon training center. The rubber defensive-weapon balloons on nearly invisible steel cables provided a shield from enemy aircraft around important buildings, factories and strategic areas.
Buses replace electric streetcars in Nashville.
The first Iroquois Steeplechase horse race is run.
first atomic bomb (Manhattan Project) begins at Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
In West Tennessee, the Milan Ordnance Center, built in 1942, employed approximately 11,000 workers in its production of shell ammunition, boosters, and fuses, as well as ammonium nitrate.
The first high school chapter of Future Business Leaders of America was chartered in 1942 in Johnson City, Tennessee.
International Harvester locates plant at Memphis.
Aretha Franklin - Born 1942 in Memphis, TN. Known as the "Queen of Soul". Known for her big hits, "RESPECT," "Freeway Of Love," and "I Knew You Were Waiting (for me)."
Isaac Hayes - Born in Covington, TN on August 20, 1942. Multi talented composer, singer, and arranger, best known for his Academy Award for winning Best Original Song for a Motion Picture for the "Them from Shaft."
|1943||Nearly one hundred Memphis
manufacturing firms held war contracts. The two largest Memphis war
production concerns were the Fisher and Ford plants.
With updated weapons, combat systems and protection considerably enhanced, The USS Tennessee is sent to the Aleutians area, where her 14-inch guns bombarded Kiska when that island was invaded in August.
Roy Acuff, country music superstar, invited the governor of Tennessee to a party. Governor Prentice Cooper snubbed him saying that he and his awful musicians were making Tennessee “the hillbilly capital of the United States.”
The Grand Ole Opry moves to Ryman Auditorium.
|1944||The Memphis Zoo
was the home of the famous MGM's roaring lion until his death in 1944.
In March of 1944, twenty-two young infantrymen crossing the Cumberland River at Averitt's Ferry, Trousdale County, in a rubber raft overturned and only two of the boys were rescued. The other twenty drowned, a massive mission to find them was undertaken but the twenty missing were never found. Thanks to Mary Carpenter of Lebanon, Tennessee for this information.
|1945||After a Stateside overhaul, The USS
Tennessee supported the Iwo Jima operation in February and March 1945,
firing nearly 1400 fourteen-inch and over 6000 five-inch shells at targets
on the fiercely defended island.
World War II ends. 5,731 Tennesseans killed in action.
Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation, In Nashville, employed 3,000 workers in May 1945
“Father of the United Nations” Cordell Hull, from Byrdstown, Tennessee received the 1945 Nobel Peace Prize.
By 1945, the Tennessee River was fully navigable from Paducah to Knoxville, Tennessee, at the full navigable depth of nine feet.
Jim Nance McCord elected governor of Tennessee (1945-1949)
|-Jim Nance McCord served as governor of Tennessee,
|1946||Walter Sharp leads the founding of the Nashville Symphony.|
|1947||The Tulip Poplar
was chosen as the state tree in 1947.
By 1947 chemical production was Tennessee's leading industry.
Greg Allman - Born in Nashville, TN on December 8, 1947. Best known for his famous rock n' roll band, "The Allman Brothers." Also has a son with Cher, Elijah Blue Allman.
Sondra Locke - Born May 28, 1947 in Shelbyville, TN. Actress best known for her co-starring roles in six different Clint Eastwood films, Any Which Way You Can, Bronco Billy, Every Which Way But Loose, The Gauntlet, The Outlaw Josey Wales, and Sudden Impact.
The first professional team that Baseball
Hall of Famer
Willie Mays played for was the Chattanooga Choo Choos in the
summer of 1947. Mays was 16.
|1948||Since 1948, in
an alley in downtown Memphis, Charles Vergos' Rendezvous restaurant has
served dry-rub charcoal ribs.
In 1948, WDIA in Memphis became the first radio station in the country with a format designed exclusively for an African-American audience.
Tennessee's first Television station starts broadcasting - WMCT Memphis.
Kathy Bates - Born June 28th, 1948 in Memphis, TN. Popular actress starred in many movies including, The Stand, Dolores Claiborne, Titanic, The Waterboy, Fried Green Tomatoes, and perhaps best known for her portrayal as the obsessed axe wielding psycho in the Steven King film "Misery."
|1949||The 1st museum
devoted exclusively to atomic energy opened at Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
The Capitol Hill Redevelopment Project in Nashville is approved as the nation's first urban renewal project.
Nashville Regional Blood Program established. Tennessee Governor is first donor.
Rural Road Act passed by Tennessee General Assembly due to impassibility of rural roads in inclement weather.
Gordon Browning elected governor of Tennessee (1949-1953)
|-Gordon Browning served as governor of Tennessee, 1937-1939 &
|1950||1950 to 1953 -
10,500 Tennesseans served in the Korean War.
Sam Phillips formed Sun Records in Memphis, Tennessee. In 1954 Elvis Presley, who walked into his studio to record a present for his mother.
In 1950, Aladdin Industries of Nashville adorned its plain steel lunch boxes and thermos bottles with Hopalong Cassidy decals. Sales jumped from 50,000 to 600,000 lunch kits the first year.
Capital Records becomes the first major company to locate its director of country music in Nashville.
decorative art collector, Anna Safely Houston, bequeathed her entire
collection, which at one time included 15,000 pitchers, to the city of
Chattanooga. The city would later create the Houston Museum of Decorative
Arts to display the enormous collection.
Ed "Too Tall" Jones - Born in Jackson, TN on
February 23, 1951. Number one draft choice of the NFL in 1974. Played 15
seasons with the Dallas Cowboys. Jones stands 6 foot 9 inches tall.
opens the first
Holiday Inn motel just outside of Memphis, Tennessee.
The inventor of the Dempster Dumpster, George R.
Dempster, was Mayor of Knoxville 1952-1955.
In March 1952, 67 people died and 282 were injured when ten twisters touched down in ten counties. Damages exceeded $5.5 million.
Lynn Swann - Born in Alcoa, TN on March 7, 1952. Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee (2001). Was wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers (1974-1982).
|1953||The Tennessee State
Library and Archives building was dedicated to the men and women from
Tennessee who served in WWII.
Frank Goad Clement elected governor of Tennessee (1953-1959)
|-Frank Goad Clement served as governor of
Tennessee, 1953-1959 & 1963-1967
walks into Sun Records studio to record a present for his mother.
Founded in 1954 by Turner E. Kirkland in his garage, Dixie Gun Works in Union City, Tennessee sells black powder firearms and antique gun parts. The company’s 700-page catalog offers more than 10,000 items.
Cosby’s Ramp Festival is Tennessee’s oldest ongoing festival. Founded in 1954 in Cocke County, the annual May event celebrates the wild ramp, a vegetable that looks like a green onion, but tastes and smells like garlic.
|1955||"The Grand Ole
Opry" begins television broadcasts.
Johnny Cash & Carl Perkins record at Sun Studio in Memphis under direction of Sam Phillips.
|1956||Buddy Holly records "Blue Days Black Night" in Nashville, Tennessee.|
|1957||RCA Studio B in
Nashville is one of the nation’s most famous recording studios and known as
“The Home of 1,000 Hits.” Dolly Parton, Elvis Presley and Eddy Arnold were
among the artists who recorded in the studio between 1957 and 1977.
Jerry Lee "Killer" Lewis records "Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On" at Sun Studio, in Memphis, followed with "Great Balls of Fire" and "Breathless.
The movie "Jailhouse Rock," starring Elvis Presley, had its world premiere in Memphis, Tennessee.
In 1957, Tennessee A&I State (now Tennessee State) University in Nashville became the first historically black college to win a national basketball title when the Tigers won the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics championship.
The L & C Tower is completed in Nashville.
|1958||Elvis Presley is
inducted into the
Army in Memphis, Tennessee.
The Country Music Association is founded.
Danny Thomas founded St. Jude's Hospital in Memphis in 1958.
|1959||The oldest survivor of the Civil War
was the Confederate Army's John B. Salling, who died at age 113 on March 16,
1959, in Kingsport, Tennessee.
Buford Ellington elected governor of Tennessee (1959-1963)
|-Buford Ellington served as governor of
Tennessee, 1959-1963 & 1967-1971
the first Nashville sit-in at downtown luncheon counters.
Nashville was the first major Southern city to integrate its public facilities.
Clarksville native and track star Wilma Rudolph overcame scarlet fever, whooping cough, and polio to become, in 1960, the first American woman to win three gold medals in a single Olympics.
The Museum of Appalachia in Norris, Tennessee opens to the public.
Bristol Motor Speedway is constructed.
In 1960, for the first time, Tennessee had more urban than rural dwellers.
|1961||In 1961, the
Country Music Association (CMA) established the Country Music Hall of Fame
to recognize the achievements of country artists and executives.
The first American soldier killed in the Vietnam war was Tom Davis of Livingston, Tennessee on December 22, 1961.
founded the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.
In Nashville, Metropolitan Government is approved by the voters.
Tennessee's first interstate highway, connecting Nashville to Memphis, arrives in Nashville.
|1963||A private plane
crash near Camden, Tennessee, claims the lives of country music performers
Patsy Cline, "Cowboy" Copas and "Hawkshaw" Hawkins, as well as pilot Randy
Hughes, Cline's manager.
The Oreck Corperation, headquartered in Nashville, was founded in 1963 by David Oreck, who began manufacturing upright lightweight and durable vacuum cleaners for the hotel industry. When hotel personnel asked to buy the vacuum cleaners for their own use, Oreck swept into the home market, too.
In 1963 the tallest structure in the World was the WBIR TV-mast located in Corryton, TN on Zachary ridge. It is still the tallest structure in the state of Tennessee. This antenna is 1752 feet high.
Quentin Tarantino - Born March
27, 1963 in Knoxville, TN. Oscar winning screen writer, director, well known
for his hit movies "From Dusk to Dawn", "Pulp Fiction", "Kill Bill", and
|-Frank Goad Clement served as governor of
Tennessee, 1953-1959 & 1963-1967
|1964||Muddy Pond, in Overton County, was settled in 1964 and 1965 by Mennonites who relocated from Pennsylvania. Many settlers moved away, but those remaining have retained their Mennonite/Amish roots.|
|1966||The Beatles were pelted with rotten fruit during a Memphis concert.|
Buford Ellington signs a measure repealing the "Monkey Law" against teaching
evolution that was used to prosecute John T. Scopes in 1925.
Construction of Brown’s Ferry, the largest nuclear power plant in the world at that time, begins.
Buford Ellington elected governor of Tennessee (1967-1971)
|-Buford Ellington served as governor of
Tennessee, 1959-1963 & 1967-1971
Luther King, Jr. was assassinated at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, where he
had gone in support of the strike of the local sanitation workers.
Nashvillian Samuel Stritch becomes the first American to be appointed to the Roman Curia.
Oct. 2 - Appalachian National Scenic Trail is established by Congress in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia.
Kenny Chesney - Born March 26, 1968 in Knoxville, raised in Luttrell, TN, Country music star, Best known for his hits "No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problem," "When The Sun Goes Down," and "Big Star."
America’s Foundation was founded at Vanderbilt University in Nashville to
teach patriotism, limited, government and other values espoused by later
President Ronald Reagan. In 1998 the foundation purchased the 680-acre
Reagan ranch north of Santa Barbara.
Dan Evins opens his first Cracker Barrel Old Country Store in 1969 in Lebanon and today his company owns 492 country store restaurants in 41 states.
The first Captain D's seafood restaurant is opened in Donelson, Tennessee in 1969. Today there are over 600 restaurants across America.
Walter Cronkite announces on the Evening News that Chattanooga, Tennessee is America's dirtiest city, a remark that will spur Chattanooga's citizens to change the direction the city is taking.
|1970||One of the world’s largest dealers of vintage and used guitars is Nashville-based Gruhn Guitars, established by George Gruhn in 1970. The guitar guru has written a comprehensive guide to vintage guitars.|
|1971||Stephen Gaskin and
some 300 hundred San Francisco hippies started the Tennessee rural commune
called The Farm. It was located on a 1,750 acre property in Lewis County and
based not on rules but on agreements.
The raccoon is named as the official state animal.
Johnny Knoxville - Real name P.J. Clapp (Phillip John) was born March 11, 1971, in Knoxville, best known
from his MTV hit series "Jackass" and "Jackass the Movie". Also known for
his role in the 2005 film, "The Dukes of Hazzard."
|-Winfield C Dunn served as governor of Tennessee, 1971-1975
|1972||The theme park
Opryland USA opens in Nashville.
Federal Express (now FedEx) Corporation is founded in Memphis.
graduates from Tennessee State University with a Degree in Speech and
Performing Arts. She becomes the first
black TV news anchor reporter with WTVF-TV in Nashville.
The passion flower is named as the official state wild flower.
|1974||The sunshine law
allows the public to attend local and state government meetings.
The Grand Old Opry moves from Ryman Auditorium to Opryland.
In 1974 Walter Cronkite designated Knoxville as the "Streaking Capital of the World." It was in the spring of that year that an estimated 5,000 people on Cumberland Avenue took their clothes off... stripping on the "strip".
Forty-five people were killed and 600 injured in
a series of thirteen East Tennessee tornadoes in April 1974.
|1975||Ray Blanton elected governor of Tennessee (1975-1979)|
|-Ray Blanton served as governor of Tennessee, 1975-1979
Nations comes to Nashville for its first meeting away from New York City.
First person in the U.S. to undergo successful limb re-attachment, David Glen Jackson, uses twenty-seven pints of blood donated by the Nashville Area Chapter saved his life.
Oct. 12 - Obed Wild Scenic River is established in Tennessee.
dies in Memphis.
Tennessean Alex Hailey won the Nobel Prize for his book Roots.
The touch screen monitor was invented in Oak Ridge, Tennessee in 1977.
President Gerald Ford shot a hole-in-one at Colonial Country Club golf club in Cordova in 1977 during a tournament. The televised feat was dubbed “the shot heard round the world.”
Tennessee became the first in the nation to require the use of safety seats
for children who are passengers in motor vehicles.
The first African elephant born in captivity in the Western Hemisphere was born at the Knoxville Zoo in March 1978.
In 1978, the Humphreys County town of Waverly
was the site of a devastating liquid propane gas explosion that killed 16
people and injured 97.
coneflower, a wildflower growing only in the cedar glades, was one of the
first plants to be federally protected as an endangered species in 1979.
In December of 1979 in Knoxville, Hulk Hogan,
known then as Sterling Golden, defeated Dick Slater for the NWA South
Eastern Heavyweight Title.
|-Lamar Alexander served as governor of Tennessee, 1979-1987
|1979||Tennessee River Pearl was
designated as Tennessee's State Gem in 1979 and is known as one of the most
durable pearls in the world.
The Andy Griffith Rerun Watchers Club was founded in 1979 on the campus of Vanderbilt University.
industry begins with the opening of Highland Manor.
A severe heat wave in 1980 took 150 lives when
temperatures hovered in the hundreds for days at a time. Most victims were
elderly, urban, West Tennessee residents.
Governor Ray Blanton was convicted of mail fraud, conspiracy, and extortion
for selling liquor licenses and served twenty-two months in a federal
Justin Timberlake - Pop star born in Memphis, TN on January 31, 1981. Former lead singer of boy band NSYNC.
held in Knoxville, Tennessee. Attendance was recorded at 11,127,786
visitors. The world’s largest Rubik’s Cube is at the Knoxville Convention
and Exhibition Center. The puzzle, which weighs 1,200 pounds and stands 10
feet tall, was built for the 1982 World’s Fair.
Elvis Presley's Graceland Mansion opened to public in Memphis Tennessee.
Clint Eastwood sang on the stage of the Ryman
Auditorium in 1982 while he was filming the movie Honky Tonk Man.
|1983||A Columbia Dam
project along the Duck River is scrapped over environmental concerns. In
2001 a 13,000-acre parcel is donated by the TVA to the state for public use.
The Nissan Motor Manufacturing Corporation,
U.S.A., began to produce small trucks near Smyrna, Tennessee, in 1983.
The Nashville Network went on the air March 7, 1983.
In 1983 an explosion at an illegal fireworks
factory, near Benton in Polk County, killed 11 workers, injured one, and
demolished several buildings.
|1984||Tracy Caulkins from Nashville, Tennessee wins three Olympic gold medals.|
City Tennessee reopens as Dollywood, a
theme park owned by country singer Dolly Parton in Pigeon Forge,
Megan Fox - Born in Oak Ridge, TN on May 16, 1986, grew up in nearby Rockwood, TN. Popular actress best known for her starring role as Mikaela Banes, in the 2007 hit live-action film, Transformers.
opened the new
Saturn Corporation auto plant in Spring Hill.
Tennessee's Lady Vols basketball team win first of three National Championships.
Ned McWherter elected governor of Tennessee (1987-1995)
|-Ned McWherter served as governor of Tennessee, 1987-1995
|1988||The bobwhite quail was adopted as the state game bird in 1988.|
|1989||Located in Sweetwater is Tennessee Meiji Gakuin, the first accredited secondary school for Japanese students living in the United States, established in 1989|
Daughtrey became the first woman to serve on the Tennessee Supreme Court.
In 1990, Darrell Waltrip, a resident of Frankin, became the first NASCAR driver to top the $10 million career-winnings mark.
In 1990, Bill Carson of Arrington near Franklin grew a 262-pound watermelon, the world’s largest at the time.
Albert Gore, Jr.
from Tennessee elected Vice-President of the United States.
Tennessee Aquarium is built in Chattanooga.
Miley Cyrus - Born in Nashville, TN on November 23, 1992. Singer, songwriter, actress, best known for her starring role as "Hannah Montana" on the hit Disney Channel television series. Daughter of country super star Billy Ray Cyrus. Miley is currently on a singing tour as the opening act for the Cheetah Girls.
|1994||The Bell South
Tower ("the Batman Building") in Nashville has its grand opening Oct. 20,
The most bricks ever laid in one hour was 1,048 by Arlington Tennessee native Sammy Wingfield on May 20, 1994.
and Scott Blais founded the Elephant Sanctuary on a 800-acre farm in
AutoZone constructs its new international headquarters in downtown Memphis.
In 1995 residents of Bell Buckle, Tennessee, and guests devourer the world's largest Moon Pie.
The 1995 TV Series "Christy", starring Kellie
Martin, was filmed in Townsend near Knoxville.
|-Donald K. Sunquist served as governor of Tennessee, 1995-2003
|1996||Albert Gore, Jr.
from Tennessee elected Vice-President of the United States for a second
The Watts Bar nuclear power plant comes on line after 23 years of construction and a cost of $6.9 billion.
The Ocoee River in southeastern Tennessee is rated among the top white water recreational rivers in the nation and was the site for the Olympic white water canoe/kayak competition in the 1996 Olympics.
With an output of more than 1,000 hamburger buns a minute, the fastest high-speed bakery in the world is Tennessee Bun Co. in Dickson, Tennessee. Cordia Harrington founded the company in 1996 and makes buns, rolls and English muffins for McDonald's, Pepperidge Farm and other clients.
In 1996, Tennessee celebrated its Bicentennial, and a mall was constructed north of the capitol to mark the occasion.
(former Houston Oilers) began playing football.
Thousands of volunteers, including children and scientists, are helping with the All-Taxa Biodiversity Inventory of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which spreads across East Tennessee into North Carolina. Begun in 1997, the classification of all park species is the largest undertaking of its kind.
Opryland U.S.A. closes on Dec. 31st with Christmas in the Park.
of Tennessee football team became the national champions, going undefeated
for the season.
February 20, The last edition of the 122-year-old Nashville Banner was published due to dropping circulation.
The Nashville tornado of April 1998 left extensive property damage in
downtown Nashville and in several East Nashville neighborhoods.
signs deal in May to build in Nashville. The Old Tennessee Central State
Mental Hospital on Murfreesboro Road at Donelson Pike in Nashville is torn
down in October for the new Dell Computer plant.
The Tennessee Electronic Library network established.
The major Hollywood feature film "October Sky,"
was shot in and around Knoxville. The 1999 film starred Laura Dern and Jake
Hall of Fame opens in first real home in the Gaylord Entertainment Center on
The 2000 movie "Road
Trip" with Tom Green had parts filmed at the University of Tennessee in
|2001||The $37 million,
130,000-sq.-foot Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum opens in Nashville.
Pal’s, a restaurant chain with 17 locations in East Tennessee, in 2001 became the first business in its industry to receive a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation’s highest award for business excellence.
Memphis Grizzlies (NBA) played their inaugural season at the Pyramid.
Tina Wesson, Knoxville native, won one million dollars on televisions "Survivor" in 2001.
music festival begins in Manchester, Tennessee.
Jerry Hall of Bluff City set a world record for the longest open-water scuba dive when he stayed under South Holston Lake in Bristol for 71 hours, 39 minutes, and 40 seconds in August 2002.
A recipe for Chicken Florentine Panini sandwiches won $1 million for Denise Yennie, a Nashville accountant, at the 2002 Pillsbury Bake-off Contest.
|2003||Chris Moneymaker, an
accountant in Spring Hill, lived up to his name and won $2.5 million as
champion of the 34th annual World Series of Poker held in Las Vegas.
The last widow of a Union soldier of the Civil War, Gertrude Janeway, 93, died Jan. 17, 2003, at her three-room log cabin in Blaine, Tennessee. She was 18 when she married John Janeway, 81, who died in 1937.
On Oct. 16th, 2003, Sharp Corp., one of the largest
solar manufacturing companies in the world, opened a solar panel
manufacturing facility in Memphis, TN.
|-Phil Bredesen served as governor of Tennessee,
its state lottery, more than a year following voter approval.
Nashville responds to hurricanes on the Gulf Coast. Red Cross volunteers from the Nashville Area Chapter complete roughly 50 assignments in the relief operation.
William were the most popular names for babies born in 2007 in the state.
The second most popular choices were Emma and Jacob.
A $2.48 yellowed rolled-up document at Music City Thrift Shop in Nashville turned out to be a rare bargain. The document, an “official copy” of the Declaration of Independence, one of 200 commissioned by John Quincy Adams and printed in 1823, sold at auction for $477,650.
|2008||Hundreds of blight-resistant chestnut trees secretly planted in national forests in southern Appalachia in 2008 are thriving and offering hope that the once-mighty trees, hit with a chestnut blight in the early 1900s, can be restored. The University of Tennessee-Knoxville, the U.S. Forest Service and the American Chestnut Foundation are working together on the project.|
Choo Choo celebrates 100 years (official opening date was Dec. 1, 1909).
Early 2009, it was announced that Hemlock
Semiconductor Corp. would build a $1.2 billion polycrystalline silicon plant
in Clarksville, TN.
Dollywood, which is located in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, received the 2010 Applause Award for Best Amusement Park in the World from the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions.
|2011||Bill Haslam elected governor of Tennessee (2011-Current)|
|-Bill Haslam is the current governor of Tennessee,
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