54 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About TennesseeWe’re dropping some Volunteer State knowledge.
1. Creator of the world famous Tennessee Whiskey, Jack Daniel’s died after angrily kicking a safe and hurting his toe, leading to the blood infection that would be his demise.
2. Next time you’re heading to your favorite fishing hole, leave the lasso at home. It’s illegal to catch a fish by this means in the Volunteer State.
3. Bonnaroo in Manchester takes place on over 500 acres of farmland making it one of the largest festivals in the world.
4. A whale is the only animal you’re allowed to hunt from a moving vehicle in Tennessee.
5. A lot of places claim they invented Mountain Dew, but according to the company the neon syrupy goodness was first created in Knoxville in the ’30s as a new drink to mix with whiskey.
6. Next time you’re digging into a Snickers bar, thank the standard candy company of Nashville for popularizing the idea of a combination candy bar with their Goo-Goo clusters in 1912.
7. Before you post that potentially disturbing picture on your Facebook wall, reconsider. Posting something that could cause emotional distress without a purpose in Tennessee is against the law.
8. In Tennessee, it’s against the law for students to hold hands while at school as this is considered a “gateway” sexual activity.
9. Don’t go sharing your Netflix password in Tennessee, this can get you in big trouble.
10. Kooky Canuck of Memphis has a 12 pound burger on the menu.
11. Theodore Roosevelt coined the phrase “good to the last drop” after tasting a cup of coffee at the Maxwell House Hotel.
12. There’s a giant Renaissance-style castle in Arrington, unfortunately it’s only open to visitors during the Renaissance Festival.
13. Just a heads up, if you get caught stealing a horse in Tennessee, there’s a chance you’ll be hung for your crimes.
14. Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort has the world’s largest artificial skiing surface, with over five acres of skiing, regardless of the weather.
15. If you’ve ever heard a Tennessean referred to as a Butternut, it dates back to the tan color of their uniforms during the civil war.
16. Tennessee aquarium is home to the largest freshwater aquarium in the entire world, with over 7,000 animals housed in the entire complex.
17. The Millennium Manor in Alcoa was built in 1938 to last over 1,000 years. Only time will tell if William Nicholson is the expert builder he claimed to be.
18. Chattanooga was home to first patented miniature golf course, Tom Thumb Golf on lookout mountain. It was created in 1927 to attract traffic to the creator’s hotel.
19. If you come back to your parking spot and your cars not there, it was probably either stolen by thieves or towed by a descendent of the first tow trucks created in Chattanooga in 1913.
20. Camden is home to North America’s only fresh water pearl farm.
21. Hungry while you’re road tripping through Tennessee? It’s completely legal to pick up some roadkill to feast on.
22. What are three of the tastiest things in the world? Chocolate, graham crackers, and marshmallow. Chattanooga bakery decided to combine all three, giving America the Moonpie in the early 1900s.
23. Tennessee has some weird speed limits. It’s 19 mph in some areas of Collierville and 31 mph in some areas of Trenton.
24. Shady Valley is home to the world’s shortest highway tunnel. Cutting through the 75 foot backbone rock, it’s only a few feet long.
25. Shelby County has more horses per capita than other county in America.
26. The Lost Sea in Sweetwater is the largest underground lake in the United States and the second largest non-subglacial underground lake in the entire world, with over 13 acres of water discovered so far with no end in sight.
27. Originally called The Volunteer State for the state’s participation in the Battle of New Orleans, more National Guard soldiers from Tennessee fought in the Gulf War than any other state.
28. The geographical center of Tennessee is Murfreesboro, Tenn.
29. Headquartered in Memphis, Fedex accounts for around 50 percent of all ground shipping in the U.S.
30. Sugar lovers, thank Nashville, they gave you cotton candy. In 1897, William Morrison and John C. Wharton found a method of spinning heated sugar into what that originally called “fairy floss.”
31. Famous for her role in “Misery” and her recent role as a murderous socialite in “American Horror Story,” Kathy Bates is a Tennessean.
32. Despite popular beliefs, Coca-Cola was bottled for the first time in Vicksburg, Miss. However, the first bottling rights were purchased for $1.00 in Chattanooga, which was home to the first bottling facility.
33. Grand Ole Opry is home to the longest running live radio broadcast in the entire world, starting in 1925.
34. That souvenir skunk will have to stay behind after your next vacation. It’s illegal to bring skunks into the state.
35. Tennessee is bordered by more states than any other state, except for Missouri, with which it ties at eight. The states are Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Missouri.
36. The first American killed during the Vietnam War, James Davis, was from Livingston. After perishing while sacrificing himself to draw fire away from his men, a monument now stands in town honoring him.
37. The founder of Cracker Barrel was from Smithville, so it’s no surprise he chose Lebanon to build the first restaurant.
38. Columbia, Tenn. is the mule capital of the world, with thousands of mules present at the Mule Day Parade, including events like the Mule Day Queen contest and the mull pull.
39. 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.
40. While Nashville is known nationwide as a country music mecca, it’s actual birthplace was in Bristol.
41. Tennesseans aren’t just famous for their country music. They’ve also produced genre leaders like the rap group Three 6 Mafia, the singer Justin Timberlake, and the rock group Paramore.
42. There’s only one monument in America honoring both the soldiers from the Confederacy and the Union. It’s located in Greeneville at the Green County Courthouse.
43. The world’s largest teapot collection is in the council chambers of the Trenton City Hall, with over 525 rare pots donated by Dr. Frederick C. Freed.
44. Famous for his velvety smooth voice, Morgan Freeman took his first breath in Memphis in 1937.
45. Over 50 percent of Tennessee residents say they are “very religious”, making it the sixth most religious place to be in the nation, safely securing it’s spot in the bible belt.
46. “R-E-S-P-E-C-T, don’t know what it means to me!” But what I do know is that Aretha Franklin was born in Memphis in 1942.
47. Dyersburg women have to wait to hear back from their man. After all, it’s technically against the law for Dyersburg women to call a man for a date.
48. Don’t head to the arcade in Nashville until you’re at least 18. You must be at least that old to play pinball, as it’s legally considered a coin-operated gaming machine.
49. It’s somewhat predictable, but still cool that there’s a Eiffel Tower replica there that’s seven stories tall in Paris, Tenn.
50. In 1937, Knoxville became known as the “first dumpster city”, with the first dumpsters being created in 1935, quickly catching on and implemented city wide.
51. Miley Cyrus first came in like a wrecking ball in Nashville, born in 1992, daughter of the man with the original “Achy Breaky Heart,” Billy Ray Cyrus.
52. Before Piggly Wiggly started letting customers do the shopping for themselves in 1916 in Memphis, there was no such thing as a self service grocery store.
53. The world’s largest cedar bucket is in Murfreesboro, capable of holding 1,566 gallons. That’s 16,704 cans of Coke, enough to last 45 years at one can a day. With wacky laws, tasty creations, a few world records, Tennessee is a lot more interesting than they teach in school. What’s your favorite fun fact about Tennessee? Tell us in the comments below!