Native people have lived in Tennessee for over 12,000 years; the name Tennessee comes from Tanasi, a Cherokee town. French and English explorers hoped to claim the land, which later became part of North Carolina for a while. Tennessee is known for the beautiful Great Smoky Mountains National Park and for country music.

Fun Facts

  • Tennessee is bordered by South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Virginia, and North Carolina. The state has hot, humid summers and mild winters.
  • More people visit Great Smoky National Park than any other U.S. national park. The park is one of the few places in the eastern United States where black bears still live.
  • Nashville is home to the Grand Ole Opry, which started as a radio show in 1925. The theater seats 4,400 and has the largest broadcasting studio in the world. Country music, which came from traditional Appalachian folk music, began here.
  • Nine dams built on the Tennessee River supply power and control floods. The dams have also created great spaces for boaters.
  • Reelfoot Lake in northern Tennessee was created by the New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811-1812.
  • One-third of the nation’s cotton crop is grown in Tennessee.
  • The Lost Sea, the country’s largest underwater lake, is in Sweetwater, Tennessee.
  • Elvis’s home, Graceland, is in Memphis, Tennessee.
  • Memphis is also the place where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated.


Tennessee Quick Stats

Population: 6,346,105

State capital: Nashville-Davidson (population, 601,222)

Largest city: Memphis (population, 646,889)

State bird: mockingbird

State flower: iris

Questions and Answers

Question:  What famous people are from Tennessee?

Answer: Daniel Boone and President Andrew Jackson, two prominent figures in history, both came from Tennessee. Country singer Dolly Parton and actor Morgan Freeman also hail from this state.


Learn More

Watch a short video about Tennessee.