9 Tennessee History Facts From the Tennessee State Museum

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The Tennessee State Museum showcases thousands of artifacts related to Volunteer State history. In October 2018, the museum moved to a new location at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park. Check out nine fascinating Tennessee history facts you’ll learn at the Tennessee State Museum below. Then, plan your visit by discovering four ways to experience history at the Tennessee State Museum.

Tennessee history

Photo by David Duplessis

– After fighting together in WWII, whites and African Americans refused to return to the segregated status quo. Tennessee’s Columbia Race Riot in 1946 was an example: after an African American was arrested for fighting an abusive white clerk and a white mob formed, the community fought back.

– By 2010, foreign-born Tennesseans made up nearly 5% of the state’s population.

– In the 1950s, Tennessee’s music industries began focusing more on teen culture, producing rockabilly and rock and roll recordings. Hybrid musical genres and fashions appealed to whites and African Americans alike, breaking down barriers.

Tennessee history

Photo by David Duplessis

– On April 6, 1917, the U.S. entered WWI – 61,000 Tennesseans were drafted and another 19,000 volunteered. Six Tennesseans were awarded the Medal of Honor.

– In 1899, efforts to privatize Reelfoot Lake threatened hunting and fishing rights. In 1908, night riders used arson, kidnapping and murder to stop changes to the lake and enforce values. The state militia ended the violence and Reelfoot Lake became a state park.

– John Clem was only 9 years old when he attempted to join a Union regiment in the Civil War. Legend has it he fought at Shiloh, earning him the nickname “Drummer Boy of Shiloh.” He joined later, fought at Chickamauga and was promoted to sergeant.

Civil War Event

Photo courtesy of Murray Lee, TSPS

– During the Civil War, Tennessee was second only to Virginia in the number of battles fought within its borders.

– Tennesseans supported the War of 1812, and joined the army in overwhelming numbers, earning Tennessee the nickname the “Volunteer State.”

– In 1791, George Roulstone began printing The Knoxville Gazette in Rogersville. When he died in 1804, he left his pregnant widow, Elizabeth Gilliam Roulstone, with four children and the printing business. She became one of the first female publishers in the country. The Tennessee General Assembly appointed her State Printer in 1805.

See more: What to See at the New Scopes Trial Museum

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