Read this profile of Tennessee to learn about the state's history, points of interest, and government. Also find interesting facts about each state, including the state's motto, symbols, and when it entered the union.
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Flag of TN

Capital: Nashville

State abbreviation: Tenn.

Postal code: TN

Population est.: 5,962,959

Largest City (2005 est.): Memphis, 672,277

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

U.S. Representatives: 9

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

Motto: Agriculture and Commerce

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

State symbols:

flower: iris
bird: mockingbird
song: "My Homeland, Tennessee"; "When It's Iris Time in Tennessee"(; "My Tennessee" "Tennessee Waltz"; "Rocky Top"; "Tennessee"; "The Pride of Tennessee"
tree: tulip poplar

Nickname: Volunteer State

Residents: Tennessean, Tennesseean

Did you know: Tennessee is home to Graceland, the estate and gravesite of Elvis Presley

Map of TN


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

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

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

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

Tennessee is a leading tobacco-producing state. Other farming income is derived from livestock and dairy products, as well as greenhouse and nursery products and cotton.

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

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

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