FROM JACK DANIEL’S WHISKEY AND DAVY CROCKETT TO THE REELFOOT LAKE AND LOVELY COUNTRY MUSIC
You do not need to love country music to know that Nashville is the birthplace of the best American country music. It is a Music City and the rhythm of good vibes is everywhere. While we are testing the bit of southern original Whiskey in the Bluebird Café, we can enjoy the performance of the coming generations of songwriters and their icons of country wave. Almost everyone in this city has something to do with music, whiskey or honey. Maybe Nashville is the heart of Tennessee but this Volunteer State has a long list of charming attributes that are attracting people from all over the world. In other words, American native roots give the most beautiful colours to this southern state.
The old Yuchi Indian word “Tana-see” means actually “The Meeting Place” so does not surprise the amount of visitors that meet the glorious Tennessee, searching for an adventure or hidden paradise. Located among Kentucky and Virginia on the north, North Carolina on the east, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi on the south and Arkansas and Missouri on the west, Tennessee is simply gifted by the best from all. If we add to it that Appalachian Mountains draw the line of perfection, we will understand why this state is one of the top 10 American and world’s tourist destination.
Some people visit Tennessee to seek for haunted places, to feel the autumn scary harvest and the golden-brown aura of Tennessean nature. Some other people burn for adrenaline and they will never miss the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, chance to follow the traces of the Manhattan Project in the Oak Ridge or to get drunk in Jack Daniel’s lucky town of Lynchburg.
What I find very exciting is the fact that Tennessee has been always a wild state. Since the historical moments, it has been known as voluntary participator in the Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812 and during the Gulf War, the majority of American Patriots came directly from this state of the Mocking Bird.
The musical soul of Tennessee is not only remarkable in Grand Ole Opry, Music Row, Beale Street Blues and Country Music Hall of Fame but also for being a home place of unforgettable Elvis Presley. Thousands of those who dream about becoming new American stars are actually giving their passion to Nashville and Memphis, feeding the towns and sending Tennessee into the legend.
Behind the accords, there is a real symphony of natural wonders. With more than 3,800 caves, Tennessee is leading in the world as well as with the population of turtles that have their own little heaven on the Reelfoot Lake, known as the “Turtle Capital of the World”. The same lake is also the majestic result of the largest earthquake in American history, the New Madrid Earthquake, occurred in the winter of 1811-12 in Tennessee. When you think that beauty of Tennessee is enough described, you must imagine the Lost Sea in Sweetwater, the largest underground lake in the United States and the second largest non-subglacial underground lake on the Earth, with more than 13 acres “water discovered so far with no end in sight”. The breathtaking wildlife of Tennessee is possible because of lot of the fresh water and non-polluted forests. The Ocoee River still attracts those in love with water sports and Tennessee aquarium is the biggest freshwater aquarium in entire globe, with more than 7,000 animals.
The green and misty The Great Smoky Mountains are the “Salamander Capital of the World” because almost 30 species of salamander have their home in this national park. For a winter enjoyment, there is the world’s largest artificial skiing surface at the Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort, mulled wine and the perfect combination of chocolate, graham crackers and marshmallow, first time made by Chattanooga bakery and named as American Moonpie in the early 1900s.
The great people and great things always come from Tennessee. The first American female senator was Hattie Caraway from the Whiskey’s state and even three American presidents have roots in Tennessee: Andrew Jackson, James Knox Polk and Andrew Johnson. Sequoyah was a famous Cherokee Scholar from Tennessee and the Aretha Franklin as the soul singer changed the perspective of respect for all. Nevertheless, the modern pop stars like Miley Cyrus and Justin Timberlake have also Tennessee blood in their veins and give hope to many who have desire for being celebrities. One more thing is connected with our Tennessee and that is Coca Cola and its first bottle facility in 1899, at a plant in Chattanooga. It is never late to fall in love with old good Tennessee, especially when it comes to the unique western way of life and country road that take you home: „There’s a bar in Copperhill called Patrick’s Bar & Grill. The Tennessee/Georgia state line cuts through the center of the bar, with the bar on the Tennessee side and the restaurant on the other. Oddly enough, the Georgia side is in a dry county, so alcohol can only be in Tennessee areas of the establishment.”
Just a moment of capturing the photos of the Pink Elephant mascot in Cookeville is worth of discovering and kissing the Tennessee. The state with its weird musical performances, little ghost towns, murals of Ronald Reagan, museums of salt and peppers and with the biggest treehouse in the U.S., in Crossville. If you are not into following the red, dirty roads, you can jump into the Knoxville, since it is the favorite American city, which smells on the best barbecue and has a family love for all.
The bluegrass songs are coming from the old jukebox in the authentic country bar in Memphis, gathering people who live and die through the music and patriotism. The American flag is waving proudly from the corner where one songwriter negotiates with the local successful manager about the Kathy Dixon and her angelic songs. The beautiful old woman is maybe in her 60s but still adorable and she moves the Smoky Mountains with her mesmerizing voice. She hasn’t reached the stars yet but the stars are shining her walk towards the final success. Under the neon moon of Tennessee, everything is possible…and nothing is impossible.
Welcome to Tennessee!
6 thoughts on “THE GOLDEN TENNESSEE – AMERICA AT ITS BEST”
What a beautiful and joyous article, Sarah !
I remember driving through Tennessee in the summer of 2005 on my way from Michigan to Florida. It was a very long drive as you can imagine, and I stopped for the night along the way in a town called Lenoir City which is considered part of the Knoxville metropolitan area !
I did not, however, have the time to explore the area. You have certainly made it sound so enticing that I would love to go visit Tennessee soon !
Thank you, Sarah, for your enthusiasm and your effervescence about Tennessee in particular and life in general ! Your ebullience is contagious !
Sarah’s enlightening and enthusiastic article brought to mind the city of Oak Ridge, in Tennessee: during the 20th century, Tennessee transitioned from an agrarian economy to a more diversified economy, aided by massive US-federal government investment in the Tennessee Valley Authority and, in the early-1940s, this included the city of Oak Ridge. This city was established to house The Manhattan Project’s uranium enrichment facilities; contributing to constructing the atomic bomb.
When the Governor of Tennessee, Prentice Cooper, was officially handed (by a junior military officer, a lieutenant) the July 1943 US-presidential proclamation making Oak Ridge a military district not subject to state control, he tore it up. It took some persuading.
The location and low population of Oak Ridge helped keep the town a secret; although, the population of the settlement grew from about 3,000 in 1942 to about 75,000 by 1945. The K-25 uranium-separating facility by itself covered 44 acres (18 ha) and was the largest building in the world, at that time.
The news of the use of the first atomic bomb against Japan on August 6, 1945, Hiroshima, revealed to the people at Oak Ridge what they had been working on. They were shocked.
The Vatican newspaper ‘L’Osservatore Romano’ expressed regret in August of 1945 that the atomic bomb’s inventors did not create the weapon for the benefit of humanity. In 1946, a report by The Federal Council of Churches entitled ‘Atomic Warfare and the Christian Faith’, includes the following passage: ‘as American Christians, we are deeply penitent for the irresponsible use already made of the atomic bomb. We are agreed that, whatever be one’s judgment of the war in principle, the surprise bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are morally indefensible.’
The Enola Gay’s bombers’ chaplain, Father George Benedict Zabelka, would later renounce the bombings, after visiting Nagasaki with two fellow chaplains.
Many critics of the atomic bombings point to The Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907, as setting rules in place regarding the attack of civilian populations. The Hague Conventions contained no specific air warfare provisions, but they prohibited the targeting of undefended civilians by naval artillery, field artillery or siege engines, all of which were classified as ‘bombardment’.
Even after the atomic bombs were dropped on Japan, no international treaty banning or condemning nuclear warfare has ever been ratified. The closest example is a resolution by the UN-General Assembly which states that nuclear warfare is not in keeping with the UN- charter; passed in 1953.
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