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Your help is needed to make this site better for all the people inside and outside of  Tennessee- We are particularly interested in documenting the history of Tennessee- If you have useable information we are anxious to publish it on this site or will provide a link if you have it already posted on the net.   Many thanks.


215Mil BC

The rocks of northern Tennessee began to bend under the pressure of continental collision.
Oil migrated from deep in the earth into cracks and folds in the rocks.

15000 BC
5000 BC

Paleo Indians
-Occupied area
8000 BC - First Indian inhabitants build villages in the Nashville area.

6000   BC
1000 BC

Archaic Indians
-Occupied area
-They created mussel shell mounds along Cumberland River

1000   BC
1100 AD

Woodland Indians
-Occupied area
-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.

1100   AD to
1600 AD

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.
1673 James Needham 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 Prudhomme.

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.
1742 European colonists used the old Indian trail, "Old Natchez Trace", since at least 1742.
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.
1754 French and 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 - Waddell's 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.
1758 Presbyterian 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 - Grant's 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
1769 Danial Boone 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 returning home.

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.
1774 In 1774 Judge Richard Henderson, a land speculator of North Carolina, hired Daniel Boone to blaze a trail through the Cumberland Gap into Kentucky. The Wilderness Road started at Bristol, Virginia (splitting off the Great Valley Road) and headed west along the Virginia-Tennessee border to the Cumberland Gap, across the nearby Cumberland River, and then went northwest to Boonesborough, Kentucky. Eventually, a western spur of the road would reach Harrodsburg, and then Louisville, Kentucky on the Falls of the Ohio River.
1775 Indian Treaties
-Transylvania Purchase
-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 Cumberland Gap, Tennessee to the site of Fort Boonesborough along the Kentucky River. The Wilderness Trail became the main route used for white settlement in Kentucky. When the trail opened in 1775 it became the route of 70,000 settlers who came to Kentucky on foot or horseback before the trail was upgraded to wagon road in 1796.
1776 North Carolina
-Watuga settlers chose to become a part of North Carolina
-North Carolina boundary line extended to Mississippi River
Cherokee War
-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
John McDonald
-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
Dragging Canoe

-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.

1777 Indian Treaty
-Avery Treaty
-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.

Washington County
-Created by North Carolina Legislature
-Encompassed all the state of Tennessee.
Washington County was founded on November 15, 1777 from western territory known as the Washington District. This county was named in honor of U.S. President George Washington (1732–1799).

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 revolutionary forces.

Tennessee's oldest continuous business, St. John Milling Co., was founded in 1778 in Watauga
1779 Sullivan County
-Created in East Tennessee from portion of Washington County
-Now two counties in Tennessee
Settling 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."

The Kentucky Road was the first pathway to Middle Tennessee for American settlers. The Middle Tennessee pioneers of 1779 followed Daniel Boone's Wilderness Road via the Cumberland Gap into Kentucky, but then split off that road and headed southwest on the north side of the Cumberland River toward the salt licks, hunting grounds, and prime farmlands of Middle Tennessee.

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.
1782 Military Reservation
-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.
Indian Treaty
-Treaty of Nashborough
-Signed in June

Davidson County
-Formed by act of North Carolina Legislature
-Created in Middle Tennessee from portion of Washington County
-Included Cumberland Mountains to Tennessee River
Davidson County was founded on October 6, 1783 from Washington County, North Carolina. This county was named in honor of William Lee Davidson (1746–1781), a Brigadier General who died at the Revolutionary War Battle of Cowan's Ford
on February 1, 1781.

Greene County
-Created from Washington County
-Covers most of East Tennessee
-Washington County becomes small county in upper East Tennessee
-Now four counties in Tennessee
Greene County was founded on April 18, 1783 from Washington County, NC. This county was named in honor of American Revolutionary War general Nathanael Greene (1742–1786).

Daniel Williams moves to the area from South Carolina with his family, becomes Davidson County's first Sheriff. Elections for Sheriff are scheduled for every two years.

McGillivray, Creek chief, forms alliance with Spanish.

The Treaty of Paris ends the American Revolutionary War.

Nashville, founded as Fort Nashborough in 1779-80, is older than the state of Tennessee and older than the U.S. Constitution. Established by the state of North Carolina in 1783,

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1784 North Carolina
-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)
wpe6AA.jpg (3422 bytes) 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 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"
-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
1785 Indian Treaty
-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.

Davidson Academy, forerunner of University of Nashville and George Peabody College for Teachers, chartered.

1786 Indian Treaty
-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.

Sumner County
Sumner County was founded on November 18, 1786 from Davidson County. This county was named in honor of Jethro Sumner (1733–1785), an American colonist who defended North Carolina against the British in 1780.

Wayne County
-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.
1787 Hawkins County
Hawkins County was founded on January 6, 1787 from Sullivan County, (originally named Spencer County; renamed in 1786). This county was named in honor of U.S. Senator Benjamin Hawkins (1754–1816).

Franklin Legislature meets at Greeneville for last time.

Robertson conducts Coldwater Expedition against Creek Indians near Muscle Shoals.

Avery's Trace, also called the Nashville Road, North Carolina Military Trace, North Carolina Road, or Cumberland Trace, was authorized in 1787 and opened in 1788 to connect Knoxville to Nashville.

1788 Tennessee County
-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.

District of Mero established in Middle Tennessee.

December 22 - North Carolina cedes its western lands to U. S.

1790 Tennesse's 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)
wpe6DF.jpg (2636 bytes) -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.
1792 Indian Treaty
-Knox's first Treaty
-Signed February 17

Jefferson County
Jefferson County was founded on June 11, 1792 from Greene County and Hawkins County, Most of land taken from Greene County. This county was named in honor of U.S. President and Founding Father Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826).

Knox County
Knox County was founded on June 11, 1792 from Greene County and Hawkins County,
Most of land taken from Greene County. This county was named in honor of Henry Knox (1750–1806), the first U.S. Secretary of War. At the time it became the largest county in the stste.

Western District
-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.
1794 Indian Treaty
-Knox's second Treaty
-Signed June 26

Sevier County
Sevier County was founded on September 28, 1794 from Jefferson County. This county was named in honor of John Sevier (1745–1815), governor of the State of Franklin and first Governor of 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.
1795 Blount County
Blount County was founded on July 11, 1795 from Knox County. This county was named in honor of William Blount (1749–1800), governor of the Southwest Territory and later U.S. Senator.

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.

The Unicoi Trail was a pre-colonial Indian trading path connecting the western parts of North and South Carolina with eastern Tennessee. At first it was open to trade only—no settlers. But after about 1795 settlers began using it. It was open to wagons about 1813, and became a toll road (turnpike) about 1819.

1796 Tennessee becomes a state of the union.
-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
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.

Carter County
Carter County was founded on April 9, 1796 from Washington County. This county was named in honor of Speaker of the State of Franklin senate Landon Carter (1710–1778).

Granger County
Grainger County was founded on April 22, 1796 from Hawkins County and Knox County. This county was named in honor of Mary Grainger Blount, wife of William Blount and "first lady" of the Southwest Territory, which later became Tennessee.

Montgomery County
Montgomery County was founded on April 9, 1796 from Tennessee County. This county was named in honor of John Montgomery (c. 1750–1794), leader of the Nickajack Expedition.

Robertson County
Robertson County was founded on April 9, 1796 from Tennessee County and Sumner County. This county was named in honor of James Robertson (1742–1814), Tennessee state legislator and founder of the Watauga Settlements.

Tennessee County
-County abolished
-Records included in those of Montgomery County

Friendsville in East Tennessee was established in 1796 by the Society of Friends, better known as Quakers

Jim Bowie, famous for his big knife, was born at Station Camp Creek in Sumner County in 1796.

In 1796 a new northern section of the Natchez Trace called the Maysville Turnpike extended the Natchez Trace 275 miles from Nashville, Tennessee to Maysville, Kentucky where it connected with Zane's Trace which continued through Ohio to Wheeling, West Virginia.

1797 Cocke County
Cocke County was founded on October 9, 1797 from Jefferson County. This county was named in honor of William Cocke (1747–1828), one of Tennessee's first U.S. Senators, 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.

1798 Indian Treaty
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.
1799 Smith County
Smith County was founded on October 26, 1799 from Sumner County and Indian lands. This county was named in honor of American Revolutionary War officer and U.S. Senator 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 (1748–1818).

Sullivan County
Sullivan County was founded on October 18, 1779 from Washington County, NC. This county was named in honor of Governor of New Hampshire John Sullivan (1740–1795).

Wilson County
-Created from Sumner County
-Wilson and Williamson Counties extended south to the state line
-Both counties claimed land controlled by the Indians. Wilson County was founded on October 26, 1799 from Sumner County. This county was named in honor of David Wilson, a member of the legislatures of North Carolina and the Southwest Territory.

Williamson County
Williamson County was founded on October 26, 1799 from Davidson County. This county was named in honor of U.S. Representative Hugh Williamson (1735–1819).

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

1800 Thomas Jefferson
-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.
1801 Anderson County
Anderson County was founded on November 6, 1801 from Knox County and Grainger County. This county was named for Joseph Anderson (1757–1837), U.S. Senator from Tennessee and first Comptroller of the U.S. Treasury.

Claiborne County
Claiborne County was founded on October 29, 1801 from Grainger County and Hawkins County. This county was named in honor of Governor of Louisiana and Governor of Mississippi Territory William C. C. Claiborne (1775–1817). 23 counties existed in state.

Jackson County
Jackson County was founded on November 6, 1801 from Smith County and Indian lands. This county was named in honor of U.S. President Andrew Jackson (1767–1845).

Roane County
Roane County was founded on November 6, 1801 from Knox County and Indian Lands. This county was named in honor of Governor of Tennessee Archibald Roane (1760–1819).

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.

Jul 5, David G. Farragut (d.1870), American naval hero, was born in Knoxville, Tenn.

Archibald Roane elected governor of Tennessee (1801-1803)

wpe716.jpg (2770 bytes) Archibald Roane served as governor of Tennessee, 1801-1803
-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
   Greenville College
   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.
1803 Dickson County
Dickson County was founded on October 25, 1803 from Montgomery County and Robertson County. This county was named in honor of U.S. Representative William Dickson (1770–1816).

Rutherford County
Rutherford County was founded on October 25, 1803 from Davidson County, Wilson County, Williamson County, and Sumner County. This county was named in honor of Griffin Rutherford, chairman of the legislature of the Southwest Territory.

Stewart County
Stewart County was founded on November 1, 1803 from Davidson County and Montgomery County. This county was named in honor of Duncan Stewart, Tennessee state legislator and lieutenant governor of Mississippi Territory.

Due to Louisiana Purchase the Mississippi River no longer has to be guarded as a national border.

General Wilkinson builds Fort Pickering at Memphis.

Sinking Creek Baptist Church, built in 1803 between Elizabethton and Johnson City, is the oldest church in the state.

John Sevier elected governor of Tennessee (1803-1809)

1804 Indian Treaty
-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.
1805 Indian Treaty
-Creek Treaty
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
-Land transferred
Aaron Burr visits Nashville on his way to Mississippi territory.

The Georgia Road, also called the Federal Road, was a toll road opened in 1805 from Savannah, Georgia across Cherokee Indian lands to Knoxville, Tennessee. Branches also extended to Nashville, Tennessee and Huntsville, Alabama. After improvements in 1819 it was renamed the Federal Road.

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

Land Grants
-The United States turns over jurisdiction of land grants to Tennessee
Indian Treaty
-Dearborn's Treaty
-Signed January 7
-Land transferred
Treaty of Washington with the Cherokees and a treaty with the Creeks for land south of the Duck River to the southern border of the state. The Creeks received $14,000 while the Cherokees received $10,000, a gristmill, a cotton gin, and a $100 yearly payment to Chief Black Fox.

Campbell County County
Campbell County was founded on September 11, 1806 from Anderson County and Claiborne County. This county was named in honor of Virginia House of Burgesses member Arthur Campbell (1743–1811), who was a negotiator of Indian treaties.

Overton County
Overton County was founded on September 12, 1806 from Jackson County and Indian lands. This county was named in honor of John Overton (1766–1833), one of the cofounders of Memphis, Tennessee.

White County
White County was founded on September 11, 1806 from Jackson County and Smith County. This county was named in honor of John White, Revolutionary War soldier and the first European-American settler in the county.

Nashville is incorporated as a town, electing six aldermen and a mayor.

Andrew Jackson kills Charles Dickinson in a duel in Logan, Ky.

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1807 Indian Treaty
-Robertson and Meigs Treaty
-Signed September 11

Bedford County
Bedford County was founded on December 7, 1807 from Rutherford County. This county was named for Revolutionary War officer Thomas Bedford, a large landowner in the area.

Bledsoe County
Bledsoe County was founded on November 1807 from Roane County and Indian Lands. This county was named in honor of Anthony Bledsoe, Revolutionary War soldier, surveyor, and early settler in Sumner County.

Franklin County
Franklin County was founded on December 3, 1807 from Bedford County and Warren County. This county was named in honor of Publisher, scholar, orator, and Founding Father Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790).

Hickman County
Hickman County was founded on December 3, 1807 from Dickson County. This county was named in honor of Edwin Hickman, a longhunter killed by Native Americans near the present-day site of Centerville.

Maury County
Maury County was founded on November 16, 1807 from Wilson County and Dickson County. This county was named in honor of Tennessee state legislator Abram Poindexter Maury (1801–1848). This is conflicting information because Maury would have been only 6 or 7 years old at the time the county was named after him. Hey Maury County people... Give me some help on this one. tebates@mail.com

Rhea County
Rhea County was founded on December 3, 1807 from Roane County This county was named in honor of U.S. Representative John Rhea (1753–1832).

Warren County
Warren County was founded on November 26, 1807 from White County, Jackson County and Smith County. This county was named in honor of American Revolutionary War officer Joseph Warren (1741–1775), 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.

1809 Giles County
Giles County was founded on November 14, 1809 from Maury County and land once part of North Carolina. This county was named in honor of U.S. Senator and Governor of Virginia William B. Giles (1762–1830).

Humphreys County
Humphreys County was founded on October 19, 1809 from Stewart & Smith County and named in honor of Parry Wayne Humphreys, a judge of the Superior Court of Tennessee and U.S. representative from Tennessee (1778–1839).

Lincoln County
Lincoln County was founded on November 14, 1809 from Bedford County. This county was named in honor of U.S. Secretary of War Benjamin Lincoln (1733–1810).

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 suicide.

The state had over 260,000 people in it in 1809.

Shelbyville was established in 1809 to serve as the Bedford County seat after the county’s southern half including the county seat of Mulberry was used to create Moore and Lincoln counties.

Young Sam Houston, unhappy with farming and storekeeping, runs away from home to live with the Cherokees on Hiwassee Island in the Tennessee River near present-day Dayton, Tennessee.

Willie Blount elected governor of Tennessee (1809-1815)

wpe715.jpg (2872 bytes) Willie Blount served as governor of Tennessee, 1809-1815
-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
1810 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.

Chief John Ross of the Cherokee Indians and Timothy Meigs enter into a partnership as “Meigs and Ross” and establish a store on the Tennessee River at the present site of Chattanooga.

Cumberland Presbyterian Church organized in Dickson County.

1811 North America’s 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.

Big Bone Cave is a cave located in Van Buren County, Tennessee, and was named for the discovery of the bones of a giant ground sloth found in 1811.

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.

During the War of 1812 the ferryman at the Tennessee River, George Colbert, charged Andrew Jackson $75,000 to ferry his army across the river.

September 12 - Legislature convenes in Nashville for first time.

1813 James Robertson, 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.

Jackson's Military Road was built in 1814. During the War of 1812 General Andrew Jackson needed to be able to move his army quickly to defend New Orleans, Biloxi, Mobile, or Pensacola in case of a British attack. A network of roads was created linking these Gulf Coast ports to Nashville, Tennessee.

1815 On January 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.

Manumission Society of Tennessee organized at Lost Creek, Jefferson County.

Joseph McMinn elected governor of the Tennessee (1815-1821)

wpe724.jpg (2776 bytes) Joseph McMinn served as governor of Tennessee, 1815-1821
-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
Indian Treaty
-Graham's two Treaties
-Signed March 22
-Jackson & Meriweather's Treaty
-Signed September 14
-Chickasaw Treaty
-Signed September 20

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1817 Indian Treaty
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.

Lawrence County
Lawrence County was founded on October 21, 1817 from Hickman County, Giles County and Chickasaw Indian lands. This county was named in honor of U.S. naval officer and War of 1812 hero James Lawrence (1781–1813).

Marion County
Marion County was founded on November 20, 1817 from Cherokee Indian lands. This county was named in honor of Francis Marion (1732–1795), the "Swamp Fox" of the American Revolutionary War.

Morgan County
Morgan County was founded on October 15, 1817 from Roane County and Anderson County. This county was named in honor of American Revolutionary War officer Daniel Morgan (1736–1802).

Wayne County
Wayne County was founded on November 24, 1817 from Hickman and Humphreys (An earlier, but separate, “Wayne County” is included in today’s Carter County and part of Johnson County. It was established in 1785 under the state of Franklin but was abolished in 1788). This county was named in honor of American Revolutionary War General "Mad" Anthony Wayne (1745–1796).

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.

1818 Indian Treaty
-The Great Chickasaw Cession
-Signed October 19
-Land transferred
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,

Mathematician James Camak demarcated the border between Georgia and Tennessee. Due to a faulty sextant and bad astronomical charts he drew the line a mile south of the intended boundary, the 35th parallel.

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.

1819 Hamilton County
Hamilton County was founded on October 25, 1819 from Rhea County, Marion County, and Bledsoe County. This county was named in honor of First U.S. Secretary of the Treasury and Founding Father Alexander Hamilton (1757–1804).

Hardin County
Hardin County was founded on November 1819 from the Jackson Purchase. This county was named in honor of Joseph Hardin, legislator of the Southwest Territory and State of Franklin.

McMinn County
McMinn County was founded on November 13, 1819 from Cherokee lands. This county was named in honor of Governor of Tennessee Joseph McMinn (1758–1824).

Monroe County
Monroe County was founded on November 13, 1819 from lands formerly belonging to the Overhill Cherokees. This county was named in honor of U.S. President James Monroe (1758–1831).

Perry County
Perry County was founded on November 14, 1819 from Hickman County and Humpherys County. This county was named in honor of U.S. naval officer and War of 1812 hero Oliver Hazard Perry (1785–1819).

Shelby County
Shelby County was founded on November 24, 1819 from Chickasaw Nation lands acquired through the Jackson Purchase. This county was named in honor of Isaac Shelby (1750–1826), commander at Kings Mountain, first governor of Kentucky, and negotiator of the purchase of the western district from the Chickasaws.

Calhoun Indian 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.

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.

In 1820, Tennessee's top three manufactured goods were whiskey, blacksmith's products, and flour.

1821 Carroll County
Carroll County was founded on November 7, 1821 from part of the Western District (which was controlled by the Chickasaws until ceded in the Jackson Purchase of 1818). This county was named in honor of Governor of Tennessee William Carroll (1788–1844).

Henderson County
Henderson County was founded on November 7, 1821 from Chickasaw Indian lands. This county was named in honor of James Henderson, an officer of the War of 1812.

Henry County
Henry County was founded on November 7, 1821 from Chickasaw Indian lands. This county was named in honor of Revolutionary-era orator and Virginia legislator Patrick Henry (1736–1799).

Madison County
Madison County was founded on November 6, 1821 from Chickasaw Indians lands. This county was named in honor of U.S. President James Madison (1758–1836).

Confederate cavalry 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)

wpe728.jpg (2381 bytes) 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
1822 The first 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.

1823 Indian Treaty
-Overton's Treaty
-Land transferred

Dyer County
Dyer County was founded on October 16, 1823 from the Western District. This county was named in honor of Tennessee state legislator Robert Henry Dyer.

Fentress County
Fentress County was founded on November 28, 1823 from Morgan County, Overton County and White County. This county was named in honor of Tennessee state legislator James Fentress.

Gibson County
Gibson County was founded on October 21, 1823 from lands ceded by the Chickasaws in the Jackson Purchase. This county was named in honor of John H. Gibson, a soldier of the Natchez Expedition and the Creek War.

Hardeman County
Hardeman County was founded on October 16, 1823 from Hardin County and Madison County. This county was named in honor of Thomas Jones Hardeman, Creek War and War of 1812 soldier, later a member of the Republic of Texas legislature.

Haywood County
Haywood County was founded in November 3, 1823 from Madison County (Later, part of Haywood County was taken to create Lauderdale County and Crockett County). This county was named in honor of Judge John Haywood (1762–1826), called "the father of Tennessee history."

McNairy County
McNairy County was founded on October 8, 1823 from Hardin County. This county was named in honor of John McNairy, judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Tennessee.

Obion County
Obion County was founded on October 24, 1823 from Chickasaw Indian lands (organized on January 19, 1824). This county was named for the Obion River.

Tipton County
Tipton County was founded on October 29, 1823 from Shelby County (previously Chickasaw lands) . This county was named in honor of Jacob Tipton, father of Armistead Blevins, who supervised the organization of Shelby County; Tipton was killed by Native Americans in 1791 in a conflict over the Northwest Territory.

Weakley County
Weakley County was founded on October 23, 1823 from Chickasaw Indian lands. This county was named in honor of U.S. Representative Robert Weakley (1764–1845).

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.

Andrew Jackson elected U. S. Senator to succeed Col. John Williams.

1824 Fayette County
Fayette County was founded on September 29, 1824 from Shelby County and Hardeman County. This county was named in honor of Gilbert du Motier, marquis de La Fayette (1757–1834), a French-born general in the American Revolutionary War.

Andrew Jackson is defeated in his campaign for president of the United States.

Music publishing begins in Nashville with the publication of Western Harmony, a book of hymns and instructions for singing.

Oct 22, The Tennessee Legislature adjourned ending Davy Crockett's state political career. Crockett died at the legendary siege of the Alamo in 1836.

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.
1826 The state 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.

Sam Houston of Tennessee gravely wounded Gen. William White, a veteran of the Battle of New Orleans, in a pistol duel. In a convoluted turn of events, White was serving as a stand-in for John Erwin, a Nashville, Tenn., publisher who sought to become the city’s postmaster.

Davy Crockett elected to U. S. Congress.

1827 Pioneer Mears Warner named the town of Dresden, incorporated in 1827, to honor his father’s birthplace of Dresden, Germany.

Davidson Academy becomes University of Nashville.

Nashville has a population of 6,000 in 1827.

The very first Gold Rush in the US was in Monroe County, Tennessee, in the area of Coker Creek. Gold was first discovered there in 1827 but the land was owned by the Cherokee nation at the time and the boom was considered as unofficial. The official boom didn't start until around 1836.

Sam Houston elected governor of Tennessee (1827-April 1829)

wpe729.jpg (2786 bytes) Sam Houston served as governor of Tennessee, 1827-1829
-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
1828 Indian Treaty
-Barbour's Treaty
-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.

In 1828 gold was discovered in Georgia. The Georgia Road became the main route from Tennessee to the gold fields, many of them on Cherokee land. The miners demanded protection from Cherokee Indians. Soldiers were called in and by 1835 removed the Indians and their land was given away to whites in land lotteries.

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 Carroll elected governor of Tennessee (1829-1835)
William Carroll served as governor of Tennessee, 1821-1827  &  1829-1835

wpe727.jpg (2784 bytes) William Hall served as governor of Tennessee, 1829
-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.
1830 Tennessee Population 681,904.

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.

In 1830 the legislature voted $150,000 to be divided between road-making and river channel clearance.

1831 Tennessee State Penitentiary located just south of 7th Avenue and Broadway in Nashville, became operational for both men and women; 65 inmates employed by public works.

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.
1832 Andrew Jackson 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).

1833 Indian Treaty
-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.

Beersheba Springs, a historic resort village in north Grundy County, began attracting visitors after Mrs. Beersheba Porter Cain of McMinnville discovered a large chalybeate spring in 1833 and suggested that the water, with its high iron content, contained medicinal properties.

1834 Indian Treaty
-Vashon's Treaty
-Signed February 10
-Voided by President Andrew Jackson

The state constitution of 1834 gave individual county circuit and chancery courts the power to grant divorces. Circuit courts handled divorce proceedings which did not involve a dispute over the division of property. Divorces that did involve property disputes were handled by the Chancery court.

1835 Benton County
Benton County was founded on December 19, 1835 from Humphreys County. This county was named for Creek War veteran David Benton (1779–1860), an early settler in the county.

Lauderdale County
Lauderdale County was founded on November 24, 1835 from Dyer County, Tipton County and Haywood County. This county was named in honor of James Lauderdale, who was killed in the War of 1812.

Indian Treaty
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 innocent.

James K. Polk becomes Speaker of the national House of Representatives.

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)

1836 Bradley County
Bradley County was founded on May 2, 1836 from the Ocoee District (which had been part of the Cherokee Nation). This county was named in honor of Tennessee state legislator Edward Bradley.

Cannon County
Cannon County was founded on January 31, 1836 from Rutherford County, Smith County and Warren County. This county was named in honor of Governor of Tennessee Newton Cannon (1781–1841). The original bill named the county after U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall, but a change was made at the last minute.

Coffee County
Coffee County was founded on January 8, 1836 from Franklin County, Warren County and Bedford County. This county was named in honor of John Coffee (1772–1833), frontiersman, planter, and veteran of Creek War and War of 1812.

Johnson County
Johnson County was founded on January 2, 1836 from Carter County. This county was named in honor of Thomas Johnson, an early settler of Carter County along the Doe River. It is the most north eastern county in the state.

Marshall County
Marshall County was founded on February 20, 1836 from Giles County, Bedford County, Lincoln County and Maury County. This county was named in honor of U.S. Chief Justice John Marshall (1755–1835).

Meigs County
Meigs County was founded on January 20, 1836 from Rhea County. This county was named in honor of Return Jonathan Meigs (1740–1823), an officer in the Continental Army who was for many years a federal Indian and military agent in Tennessee.

Davy Crockett killed at the battle of the Alamo.

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 DeKalb County
DeKalb County was founded on December 1837 from Cannon County, Warren County and White County. This county was named in honor of Johann de Kalb (1721–1780), a German-born baron who assisted the Continentals during the American Revolutionary War.

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.

A law banning the carrying of concealed weapons was passed in Tennessee and Virginia.

Ross’s Landing is renamed Chattanooga.

About 20 Tennessee counties did not begin officially recording marriages in registers until a state law passed mandating the practice in 1838. It was not until 1838 that the clerks were required "to keep a well bound book, in which they shall register the names of the parties, and the date of issuance of each marriage license.

1839 Polk County
Polk County was founded on November 28, 1839 from Bradley County and McMinn County. This county was named in honor of U.S. President James K. Polk (1795–1849).

In 1839 there were at least ten established race tracks in Tennessee and over twenty organized Jockey Clubs.

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)

wpe725.jpg (2623 bytes) James Knox Polk served as governor of Tennessee, 1839-1841
-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
1840 Van Buren County
Van Buren County was founded on January 3, 1840 from Warren County, White County, and Bledsoe County. This county was named in honor of U.S. President Martin Van Buren (1782–1862).

Tennessee Population 829,210.

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)
wpe799.jpg (2316 bytes) 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 Macon County
Macon County was founded on January 18, 1842 from Smith County and Sumner County. This county was named in honor of U.S. Senator Nathaniel Macon (1758–1837).

Putnam County
Putnam County was founded on February 2, 1842 from White County, Jackson County, Overton County, Smit Countyh and Fentress County. This county was named in honor of American Revolutionary War officer Israel Putnam (1718–1790).

First train in Tennessee makes an exhibition run over six miles of track named the LaGrange and Memphis.

Cumberland University at Lebanon was chartered and opened.

1843 Lewis County
Lewis County was founded on December 21, 1843 from parts of Hickman County, Maury County, Wayne County, Perry County and Lawrence County. This county was named in honor of Meriwether Lewis (1774–1809), explorer of the American West.
1844 Grundy County
Grundy County was founded on January 29, 1844 from Coffee County, Warren County, Franklin and later, Marion County. This county was named in honor of U.S. Attorney General Felix Grundy (1777–1840).

Hancock County
Hancock County was founded on January 7, 1844 from Claiborne County and Hawkins County. This county was named in honor of President of the Continental Congress John Hancock (1737–1793).

James K Polk of Maury County, Tennessee is elected president of the United States.

1845 Decatur County
Decatur County was founded on November 1845 from Perry County (gained from Hardin County in 1849). This county was named in honor of U.S. naval officer and War of 1812 hero Stephen Decatur (1779–1820).

June 8, Andrew 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)

wpe797.jpg (2985 bytes) Aaron Vail Brown served as governor of Tennessee, 1845-1847
-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 in Nashville.

Neil S Brown elected governor of Tennessee (1847-1849)
wpe798.jpg (2556 bytes) Neill S Brown served as governor of Tennessee, 1847-1849
-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
1848 The first 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.

Free public schools begin in Memphis.

1849 Scott County
Scott County was founded on December 17, 1849 from Anderson County, Campbell County, Fentress County and Morgan County. This county was named in honor of US. Army general and hero of the Mexican-American War Winfield Scott (1786–1866).

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)

wpe796.jpg (3490 bytes) William Trousdale served as governor of Tennessee, 1849-1851
-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
1850 Union County
Union County was founded on January 3, 1850 from Anderson County, Campbell County, Knox County, Claiborne County and Grainger County. This county was named after for its creation from parts of five counties.

Tennessee Population, 1,002,717.

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.

Tennessee becomes the leading swine production state in the nation.

1851 April 13. Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad, first railroad successfully operated in Tennessee, begins service.

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)
wpe79B.jpg (2791 bytes) 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 statewide prohibition.

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)
wpe79D.jpg (2996 bytes) 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.

1855 Cumberland County
Cumberland County was founded on November 16, 1855 from Roane County, Overton County, White County, Bledsoe County, Morgan County, Rhea County, Fentress County and Putnam County. This county was named for the Cumberland Mountains.

Nashville's first public school opens on the northeast corner of 8th Avenue, North, and Broad Street.

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.

1856 Cheatham County
Cheatham County was founded on February 28, 1856 from Davidson, Dickson, Montgomery and Roberson. This county was named in honor of Tennessee state legislator Edward Cheatham.

Nashville born 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.

1857 Sequatchie County
Sequatchie County was founded on December 9, 1857 from Hamilton County, Marion County and Warren County. This county was named in honor of Cherokee word believed to mean, opossum, he grins or runs.

East Tennessee 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.

sham Green Harris appointed military governor of Tennessee (1857-1862)

wpe79A.jpg (3737 bytes) Isham Green Harris served as governor of Tennessee, 1857-1862
-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.
1860 Tennessee Population 1,109,801.

Tennesseans cast more than 145,000 in the presidential race of 1860. The winner, Abraham Lincoln, received not a single vote from the state.

1861 Having ratified 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 Murfreesboro.

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.
1863 Confederate General Joseph Johnston takes command of the Army of Tennessee, replacing Lieutenant General William Hardee.

Sam Houston is the only person in US history to be governor of two different states, Tennessee & Texas. He died July 26, 1863.

Robert Looney Caruthers elected governor of Tennessee (1863)

-Looney was never inaugurated because of Civil War conflicts

wpe79C.jpg (2893 bytes) -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.

On January 9, 1865, a State convention assembled at Nashville and proposed amendments to the constitution abolishing slavery.

First mule-drawn streetcars appear in Nashville.

Jesse James has his picture made in Nashville, Tennessee. He is also shot by occupying Union soldiers in the chest.

William Gannaway Brownlow elected governor of Tennessee (1865-1869)

wpe79F.jpg (3206 bytes) -William Gannaway Brownlow served as governor of Tennessee, 1865-1869
1866 Tennessee was readmitted to the Union after the state became the third state of ratify the Fourteenth Amendment.

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.

Jasper Daniel (
Jack Daniel) started distilling whiskey in Lynchburg, Tennessee.

Fisk University is founded in Nashville.

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.
1869 President Andrew 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 elected governor of Tennessee (1869-1871)

wpe79E.jpg (3262 bytes) -DeWitt Clinton Senter served as governor of Tennessee, 1869-1871
1870 Clay County
Clay County was founded on June 16, 1870 from Jackson County and Overton County. This county was named in honor of U.S. Speaker of the House and Secretary of State Henry Clay (1777–1852).

Hamblen County
Hamblen County was founded on June 9, 1870 from Graingier County, Greene County and Jefferson County. This county was named in honor of Early settler Hezekiah Hamblen.

Lake County
Lake County was founded on June 24, 1870 from Obion County. This county was named after Reelfoot Lake

Loudon County
Loudon County was founded on June 2, 1870. It was originally named Christiana County on June 2, 1870. The name was changed to Loudon County on July 7, 1870, 35 days later.  From Blount County, Monroe County, Roane County and McMinn County. This county was renamed in honor of Fort Loudoun, which was named for John Campbell, 4th Earl of Loudoun, who led British and American forces during the French and Indian War.

Trousdale County
Trousdale County was founded on September 5, 1870 from Macon County, Smith County, Sumner County, and Williamson County. This county was named in honor of William Trousdale (1790–1872), Creek and Mexican-American War soldier and officer, state senator and Governor of Tennessee. William Trousdale was nicknamed the “War Horse of Sumner County.”

Tennessee Population, 1,258,521.

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.

George Dickel purchased a site in Cascade Hollow, Tennessee, and began producing Cascade Tennessee Whisky.

Convict leasing system begins, leasing inmates to the Tennessee Coal, Iron & Railroad Company; first work release program in the country.

1871 Crockett County
Crockett County was founded on November 1871 from Madison County, Dryer County, Gibson County and Haywood. This county was named in honor of Davy Crockett (1786–1836), frontier humorist, Congressman, and defender of the Alamo.

Houston County
Houston County was founded on January 21, 1871 from Dickson County, Stewart County, Humphreys County and Montgomery County. This county was named in honor of Sam Houston (1793–1863), Tennessee governor and congressman, president of the Republic of Texas, U.S. Senator from Texas, and Texas governor.

Moore County
Moore County was founded on December 14, 1871 from Bedford County, Franklin County, Coffee County and Lincoln County. This county was named in honor of Tennessee state legislator William Moore.

Fisk University's Jubilee Singers begin a series of singing tours to raise money for the struggling school.

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)

wpe7A1.jpg (2836 bytes) -John Calvin Brown served as governor of Tennessee, 1871-1875
1872 In 1872 the Tennessee Jersey Cattle Club was formed, and is the oldest farmers' organization in the state.

No deaths were recorded by Tennessee government agencies before 1872.

1873 Vanderbilt 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.
1874 No births were recorded by Tennessee government agencies prior to 1874.
1875 Unicoi County
Unicoi County was founded on March 23, 1875 from Carter County and Washington County. This county was named for the Native American word for the southern Appalachian Mountains, probably meaning white or fog-draped.

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.

A literary landmark in Memphis since 1875, Burke’s Book Store sells old, new and hard-to-find collectible books.

James Davis Porter elected governor of Tennessee (1875-1879)

wpe7A0.jpg (3753 bytes) -James Davis Porter served as governor of Tennessee, 1875-1879
1876 Meharry Medical 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.
1878 The Nashville 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 Chester County
Chester County was founded on March 1, 1879 from Hardman County, Madison County, Henderson County and McNairy County. This county was named in honor of Tennessee state legislator Robert I. Chester.

Pickett County
Pickett County was founded on February 27, 1879 from Fentress County and Overton County. This county was named in honor of Tennessee state legislator Howell L. Pickett.

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)

wpe7A3.jpg (3017 bytes) -Albert Smith Marks served as governor of Tennessee, 1879-1881
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.
1880 Tennessee Population, 1,542,359.

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)
wpe7A5.jpg (2890 bytes) -Alvin Hawkins served as governor of Tennessee, 1881-1883
1882 The 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)
wpe7A2.jpg (3403 bytes) -William Brimage Bate served as governor of Tennessee, 1883-1887
1884 Tennessee Brewing Company (Memphis Brewing & Malting Co.1877-1884) opens in Memphis Tennessee. The brewery closes its doors in 1955.

The colony of Rugby had 350 residents. Thomas Hughes (1822-96), English novelist, reformer, jurist, and author of "John Brown’s School Days," purchased 75,000 acres in rural Tennessee and founded the colony of Rugby. It was a school for the younger children of England’s wealthy families who were not eligible to inherit family estates. It was meant to teach farming and other useful skills.

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.
1886 George K. 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).
wpe7A4.jpg (2737 bytes) -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.
1889 Electric trolleys replace mule-drawn streetcars in Nashville.

The Tennessee legislature passes a poll tax as a prerequisite for voting.
1890 Tennessee Population, 1,767,518.

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).

Tennessee forces Mississippi to correct a survey that placed the border between the two states four mile too far north into Tennessee. The border between the two states was corrected and placed along the 35th parallel according to the charts of both states.

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)
wpe7A7.jpg (3230 bytes) -John Price Buchanan served as governor of Tennessee, 1891-1893
1892 Thomas Green 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.
1893 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)
wpe7A6.jpg (3240 bytes) -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.

George Dickel, producer of Cascade Tennessee Whisky, dies. His widow and relatives renamed the whiskey after him.

1895 The ten-story 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.
1897 The Tennessee 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 Nashville.

Cotton candy was invented in 1897 by William Morrison and John C. Wharton, candy makers from Nashville, Tennessee.

The "Million Dollar Fire of 1897" destroyed most of Gay Street in Knoxville.

Robert Love Taylor elected governor of Tennessee (1897-1899)

1898 Four regiments of Tennesseans served in the United States Army during the Spanish-American War.
1899 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)
wpe7A9.jpg (3186 bytes) -Benton McMillin served as governor of Tennessee, 1899-1903
1900 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 Established in 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.

Former outlaws Cole Younger and Frank James teamed up to tour Tennessee in their own Wild West Show.

James Beriah Frazier elected governor of Tennessee (1903-1905)

wpe7A8.jpg (2953 bytes) -James Beriah Frazier served as governor of Tennessee, 1903-1905
1904 Nashville's 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.
1905 The current Tennessee state flag was adopted in 1905.

Jack Daniel's whiskey won gold medals at Liege, Belgium, in 1905.

In 1905 in Nashville, Moses McKissack III and his brothers founded McKissack & McKissack, the country’s first minority-owned architectural and engineering firm. Their first job was Nashville’s Carnegie Library.

John Isaac Cox elected governor of Tennessee (1905-1907)

wpe7AC.jpg (3054 bytes) -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.

In 1906 the Tennessee General Assembly passed an anti-betting law, bringing an end to horse racing in Tennessee for many years.

1907 President Theodore 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.

Malcolm R Patterson elected governor of Tennessee (1907-1911)

wpe7AA.jpg (2693 bytes) -Malcom R Patterson served as governor of Tennessee, 1907-1911
1908 The statewide registration of birth and death statistics began. Most counties kept death records beginning in 1908. During the month of July, the clerk of the Board of School Directors was required to collect and report the births and deaths which occurred in his district during the previous year. Their reports were sent to the Secretary of the County Board of Health (County Clerk) and from there to the State Board of Health.

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.
1909 January - 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.

Francis Joseph Campbell, blind educator, is knighted by King Edward VII for his services to the blind.

Writer James Agee was born in Knoxville in 1909. He won the Pulitzer Prize for his novel A Death in the Family and wrote the screenplay for the film
The African Queen.

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.

1910 Tennessee Population, 2,184,789.

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.

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 elected governor of Tennessee (1911-1915)

wpe7AB.jpg (3152 bytes) -Ben Walter Hooper served as governor of Tennessee, 1911-1915
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.

During 1913, the state legislature failed to pass a statute requiring the gathering of birth and death information. However, Davidson County and Chattanooga, Knoxville, Memphis and Nashville cities all collected birth and death information during 1913.

1914 The National 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.

Beginning 1 January 1914, statewide registration of vital statistics began but was not generally complied with until 1927.

Tennessee began registration of deaths after 1914. Originally, deaths were reported by the local undertaker. If a family buried their dead without the use of an undertaker, often the death was not recorded in state records. Some deaths were unreported as late as 1936.

1915 Tennessee State 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)
wpe7AD.jpg (3576 bytes) -Thomas C Rye served as governor of Tennessee, 1915-1919
1916 Clarence 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 24, 1994.

Julius Morgan became the first person executed in the electric chair in Tennessee.

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.


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.

lbert H Roberts elected governor of Tennessee (1919-1921)

wpe7AE.jpg (3055 bytes) -Albert H Roberts served as governor of Tennessee, 1919-1921
1920 Tennessee Population, 2,337,885.

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.

Eastman Chemical Co. was founded in Kingsport as a unit of Eastman Kodak Co.

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 elected governor of Tennessee (1921-1923)

wpe7AF.jpg (2602 bytes) -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)
wpe7B0.jpg (2695 bytes) -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."
1925 The celebrated 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.

The Appalachian Trail Conference (ATC) was formed in 1925 and coordinated planning and building the trail, which was completed in 1937.

Feb. 6 - Meriwether Lewis National Monument is established in Tennessee (incorporated in Natchez Trace Parkway 1961)

1926 In Chattanooga 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)

In Bristol, Tennessee, the Carter Family (A.P., wife Sara, and cousin Maybelle) came down from the mountains of Virginia and began recording their country style "hillbilly" music for Ralph Peer of the Victor Talking Machine Co.  Jimmy Rogers (1898-1933) came from Mississippi to record.

In Nashville, Ten., after harmonica wizard DeFord Bailey played his "Pan American Blues," WSM Announcer Judge Hay got the idea to change the name of the show from the "Barn Dance" to the "Grand Ole Opry."

The fundamentalist Christian Bob Jones University in Cleveland, Tenn., was founded by Bob Jones.

Henry H Horton elected governor of Tennessee (1927-1933)

wpe7B1.jpg (2919 bytes) -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.

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.

The John H. Daniel Co. was founded in Knoxville, Tennessee, for producing men’s suits. By 2004 global competition led the company to import tailors from Turkey.

Memphis is the site of the first Welcome Wagon, founded in 1928.

1929 By agreement with North Carolina, land for Great Smoky Mountains National Park offered to Federal government and accepted.

1930's Beulah Louise 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.
1930 Tennessee Population, 2,616,556.

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.

"100 Days of Horror" drought hits Middle Tennessee. Requests for
Red Cross assistance increase 125%

1931 Tennessee votes for repeal of 18th amendment (prohibition) to Constitution.

Mar 18, Virne "Jackie" Mitchell became the 2nd female in professional baseball as she signed with the Chattanooga Lookouts, a Tennessee Class AA minor league team. In 1898, Lizzie Arlington played one game, pitching for Reading (PA) against Allentown.

Apr 2, Virne "Jackie" Mitchell, in an exhibition game against the New York Yankees, struck out both Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

1932 Krystal 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.
1933 Prohibition Ends,
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 elected governor of Tennessee (1933-1937)

wpe7B3.jpg (2936 bytes) -Bill McAlister served as governor of Tennessee, 1933-1937
1934 June 19 - Natchez Trace Parkway is established in Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee (acquired 1938).
1935 In 1935 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 Completed in 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 Museum.

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.

From 1936 to 1940 Marshall County was the leading Jersey cattle county in the nation.

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.

The Ohio River crested at 57.1 feet, almost thirty feet above flood stage. The flood of 1937 took place in late January and February. Damage stretching from Pittsburgh to Cairo, Illinois. One million persons were left homeless, with 385 dead and property losses reaching $500 million. The Mississippi River crested at 14.8 meters. Flooding left 37 people dead in Arkansas. In 2010 Patrick O’Daniel authored “Memphis and the Superflood of 1937: High Water Blues.   

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".

The Appalachian Trail was completed in 1937.

Gordon Browning elected governor of Tennessee (1937-1939)

wpe7B2.jpg (3153 bytes) -Gordon Browning served as governor of Tennessee, 1937-1939  &  1949-1953
1938 President Franklin Roosevelt signs legislation to create the Natchez 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.

George 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 lifestyle.

Prentice Cooper elected governor of Tennessee (1939-1945)

wpe7B5.jpg (3022 bytes) -Prentice Cooper served as governor of Tennessee, 1939-1945
1940 The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is dedicated by President Franklin Roosevelt.

June 11 - Cumberland Gap National Historical Park is established in Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee.

Mountain Dew beverage, a lemon-lime mixer, was trademarked by Barney and Ally Hartman of Knoxville, Tennessee. In 1948 a cartoon drawing of Willy the Hillbilly was trademarked and used on bottles until the early 1970s. Pepsi bought Mountain Dew in 1964.

Lamar Alexander - Born July 3, 1940, Maryville, TN. Was governor, university president, and U.S. secretary of education.


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.
1942 Development of 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.

The Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts was founded in Gatlinburg, TN.

By 1945, the Tennessee River was fully navigable from Paducah to Knoxville, Tennessee, at the full navigable depth of nine feet.

Beginning in 1945, Tennessee required registration of marriages with the state.

Jim Nance McCord elected governor of Tennessee (1945-1949)

wpe7B4.jpg (2564 bytes) -Jim Nance McCord served as governor of Tennessee, 1945-1949
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.

The USS Tennessee underwent the "mothballing" process and was decommissioned in February 1947. USS Tennessee was part of the Atlantic Reserve Fleet for twelve more years and was sold for scrapping in July 1959.

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.

Georgia O’Keeffe gave an art collection, that included the work of her late husband, Alfred Steiglitz, to Fisk Univ. in Tennessee. In 2012 a judge approved a deal for Fisk to sell a 50% stake to the Crystal Bridges Museum of Art in Arkansas created by Walmart heiress Alice Walton.

Gordon Browning elected governor of Tennessee (1949-1953)

wpe7B2.jpg (3153 bytes) -Gordon Browning served as governor of Tennessee, 1937-1939  &  1949-1953
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.
1951 Eccentric 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.

Tennessee Vols win national football championship.

1952 Kemmons Wilson 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.

Annie Potts - Born in Nashville, TN on October 28, 1952. Best known for her role in the television series "Designing Women."

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)
wpe7B6.jpg (2591 bytes) -Frank Goad Clement served as governor of Tennessee, 1953-1959  &  1963-1967
1954 Elvis Presley recorded a 10 minute demo in Nashville.

Elvis Presley's first commercial recording session took place at Sun Records in Memphis, Tenn. The song he recorded was "That's All Right (Mama)."

Elvis Presley made his radio debut as Memphis, Tennessee, station WHBQ played his first recording for Sun Records, "That’s All Right (Mama)."

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.

Sam Phillips launched WHER, the nation’s 1st all-woman radio station, in Memphis.

1956 Buddy Holly records "Blue Days Black Night" in Nashville, Tennessee.

Elvis Presley recorded "Heartbreak Hotel" for RCA. Truckdriver, Elvis Presley, began Rock-n-Roll with his song "Don’t Be Cruel," written by Otis Blackwell. He also appeared for the first time on the Ed Sullivan TV Show. He also recorded the song "Hound Dog" and "Heartbreak Hotel," the first of his 45 records to sell over a million copies.

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
1960 Students held 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. Jimmy Rogers was the first inductee.

The first American soldier killed in the Vietnam war was Tom Davis of Livingston, Tennessee on December 22, 1961.

1962 Danny Thomas 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 "Hostel".

Frank Goad Clement elected governor of Tennessee (1963-1967)

wpe7B6.jpg (2591 bytes) -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.
1967 Tennessee Governor 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
1968 Dr. Martin 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.

Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of Elvis Presley, is Born in Memphis, TN on February 1, 1968.

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."

1969 The Young 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."

Ina May Gaskin founded the Farm Midwifery Center in Summertown, Tennessee.

The Country Music Wax Museum opened in Nashville. It closed down in 1997.

Winfield C Dunn elected governor of Tennessee (1971-1975)

wpe7B7.jpg (2955 bytes) -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.

In Knoxville the sale of liquor by the glass was banned until this year.

The Nashville Banner, owned for over nine decades by the Stahlman family, was sold to Gannett.

Occidental Minerals under Armand Hammer bought zing-bearing property on the Caney Fork River in Carthage. The property was sold to the Gore family a year later with a $20,000 per year mineral royalty.

1973 Oprah Winfrey 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.

Friendsville Academy in Tenn. ended a 138-game basketball losing streak.

In Tennessee construction began on a nuclear reactor at Watts Bar.

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.

March 7 - Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area is established in Kentucky and Tennessee.

1975 Ray Blanton elected governor of Tennessee (1975-1979)
wpe7B8.jpg (2619 bytes) -Ray Blanton served as governor of Tennessee, 1975-1979
1976 The United 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.
Big Cypress Tree State Natural Area was named for a huge cypress tree, once the largest and oldest bald cypress tree in the United States, which was destroyed during a thunderstorm in 1976 when a lightning bolt struck the tree. This tree stood 175 feet tall with a base circumference of forty feet and was estimated to be 1,350 years old.

Oct. 12 - Obed Wild Scenic River is established in Tennessee.

1977 Elvis Presley 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.

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.”
1978 In 1978, 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.

Congress authorized funds for acquisition of a corridor for the Appalachian trail.

1979 The Tennessee 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 elected governor of Tennessee (1979-1987)

-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.

The Nashville Banner was sold by Gannett to 3 local businessmen after Gannett bought the Tennessean. Irby C. Simpkins Jr. and Brownlee O. Currey bought out the 3rd partner 2 years later.

1980 Tennessee’s wine 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.

The town of Gruetli-Laager was formed in 1980 when two Swiss communities Gruetli and Laager voted to combine. Their common heritage dates back to the 1860s

1981 Former Tennessee Governor Ray Blanton was convicted of mail fraud, conspiracy, and extortion for selling liquor licenses and served twenty-two months in a federal penitentiary.

Justin Timberlake - Pop star born in Memphis, TN on January 31, 1981. Former lead singer of boy band NSYNC.

1982 World's fair 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.

Mud Island Park and River Walk open in Memphis.

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.

Redeveloped Beale Street opens as a tourist attraction in Memphis.

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.

March 28 - Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail is established in Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee

1984 Tracy Caulkins from Nashville, Tennessee wins three Olympic gold medals.
1986 Silver Dollar City Tennessee reopens as Dollywood, a theme park owned by country singer Dolly Parton in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

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.

1987 General Motors 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
1990 Martha Craig 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.

GM’s first Saturn car rolled off the line at Spring Hill, Tennessee. In the fall, GM introduced its all-new Saturn cars to compete against the imports in the small car market. Roger Smith, GM’s CEO, announced the secret Saturn project in 1985 in order to "leap-frog" the Japanese car makers.

1992 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.

Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), founded by the Frist family and taken private in the late 1980s, launched a public offering.

1994 The Bell South Tower ("the Batman Building") in Nashville has its grand opening Oct. 20, 1994.

The most bricks ever laid in one hour was 1,048 by Arlington Tennessee native Sammy Wingfield on May 20, 1994.

The US federal government tried to seize over $500,000 from the operators of illegal bingo games in Tennessee. A federal appeals court ruled that the seizure was too late because government agents had known about the law-breaking more than 5 years earlier.

1995 Carol Buckley and Scott Blais founded the Elephant Sanctuary on a 800-acre farm in Hohenwald, Tennessee.

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
elected governor of Tennessee (1995-2003)

-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 term.

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.

Dolly Parton, American country singer, founded her “Imagination Library.” It provided free books to children in her home county of East Tennessee up to age 5. In 2000 she announced that she would make the program available for replication to any community that was willing to partner with her to support it locally.

1997 Tennessee Titans (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.
1998 The University 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.

Tennessee Oilers name changes to Tennessee Titans and new logo chosen Dec. 22, 1998.

A 13-foot bronze statue of Alex Haley (d.1992), the author of the 1976 Pulitzer Prize book "Roots," was unveiled in Knoxville.

The Lady Vols of Tennessee won a third straight NCAA basketball championship, defeating Louisiana Tech.

1999 Dell Computer 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 Gyllenhaal.

Construction begins on the $125 million Nashville Superspeedway located in Wilson County on Aug. 1999.

Popcorn Sutton (1946-2009), Tennessee moon shiner, authorized his autobiography “Me and My Likker.”

2000 Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame opens in first real home in the Gaylord Entertainment Center on January 12th.

The 2000 movie "Road Trip" with Tom Green had parts filmed at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

Tennessee Titans play in the Super Bowl on Sunday January 30th.

The Rock’n’Soul Museum opens at the new Gibson Guitar plant in Memphis.

Lynette Cole, Miss Tennessee, wins the Miss USA pageant.

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.

A 13,000-acre parcel along the Duck River was donated by the TVA to the state for public use. The Columbia Dam project on the land was scrapped in 1983 due to environmental concerns.

2002 The Bonnaroo 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.

The Tennessee Legislature passed a 1-cent sales tax increase, the highest in state history, and ended a partial government shutdown.

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 elected governor of Tennessee (2003-2011)

-Phil Bredesen served as governor of Tennessee, 2003-2011
2004 Tennessee began 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.
2006 HCA Inc., the largest US for-profit hospital operator, agreed to be purchased by a group of investors for about $21.3 billion plus the assumption of $11.7 billion in debt. Shareholders of the Nashville-based company, which was founded by the family of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, received $51 in cash for each share of common stock.

Chattanooga - Japanese eating champion Takeru Kobayashi won his third straight Krystal hamburger eating contest, setting a new world record in the process. Kobayashi ate 97 of the small burgers in eight minutes.

Middle Tennessee resident Michael Kearney is $1 million richer after winning AOL's Gold Rush, a pop culture online contest.

2007 Madison and 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.

Fred Thompson, former Tennessee Senator (1994-2002) as well as film and TV character actor, announced himself as a formal Republican candidate for the US presidency on the Jay Leno show. Thompson quit the race on Jan 22, 2008.

After a nine-year title drought, Tennessee's Lady Vols basketball team captured a seventh national title, beating Rutgers 59-46.

Tennessee Grandmother Elizabeth Green Wins $10 Million from Publishers Clearing House.

Smokers in Tennessee will have fewer places to light up. By October 1, 2007 all public places, including restaurants, must be smoke free.

Tennessee Titans, Bironas kicked an NFL-record eight field goals. The last a 29-yard game-winner that salvaged a 38-36 win in Houston. He also had a league record 26 points by a kicker, topping Dallas' Billy Cundiff's 23 against the Giants on Sept. 15, 2003.

Rachel Smith of Tennessee bested 50 other aspiring beauty queens to win the title of Miss USA.

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.

In a year when many retailers have taken it on the chin, Dollar General Corp.’s earnings rose 48 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008 compared to the same period a year ago.

2009 The Chattanooga 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.

Volkswagen Group Announces it will build a car factory in Chattanooga.

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.

US and Chilean engineers extracted Chile's last batch of highly enriched uranium (HEU), 18 kg (40 pounds), from reactors near Santiago and shipped it to the US. It was then driven to the Savannah River Site in SC and the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, TN, where much of it would be converted to safer fuel and resold for nuclear power.

2011 May 10, The Mississippi River crested at Memphis, TN, at nearly 48 feet, just inches short of the 48.7 feet record set in 1937.

Blackberry Farm in Walland, TN, was chosen as the top Resort In the U.S. by Travel & Leisure Magazine.

Bill Haslam elected governor of Tennessee (2011-Current)

-Bill Haslam is the current governor of Tennessee, 2011-
2012 It was reported that a $300,000 project by the Nature Conservancy had created an artificial bat cave deep in the Tennessee woods. Conservationists hoped to help save bats dying from a fungus that causes white-nose syndrome.
2013 Three Tennessee cities were featured on National Geographic's Top 100 "America's Adventure Towns." The cities of Gatlinburg, Knoxville, and Nashville were chosen among the top cities in Tennessee for adventure.

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