SCALE is proud to host our annual conference in the Music City Center in downtown Nashville, TN. As part of our effort to explore the history and culture of the local area, today we will review a (very) brief history of the state of Tennessee. Even for we Tennesseeans, the rich history of our state is something that is often forgotten in our everyday lives. In reality, Tennessee has been at the heart of many monumental moments in American history.
For those interested in the SCALE conference, note that registration is now open for SCALE 2020 to both sponsors and attendees for our July 22-25 SCALE convention being held at the Music City Center in Nashville!
The History of Tennessee up to European Settlement
The land which is now known as Tennessee has been inhabited for approximately 20,000 years. The earliest inhabitants of Tennessee were Ice Age tribes who had made the journey across the Bering Strait Land Bridge and settled in what is now North America. These early Tennesseeans were a hunter-gatherer society, and were largely nomadic. This “archaic culture” was eventually replaced with the Woodland culture which was in turn replaced by the Mississippi culture. The Mississippian culture mastered agricultural practices and settled the area around Tennessee.
When the first Europeans made contact with Tennesseean Native Americans in 1540, they encountered a rich and flourishing Mississippian culture. However, when the first European settlers came to the area to make a home in the 1700’s the Mississipeans had been replaced by the then dominant Cherokee nation. Tennessee is actually derived from a Cherokee village called Tanasi.
Tennessee Becomes a Member of the Union
According to history.com: “Tennessee became the 16th state of the union in 1796. It is just 112 miles wide, but stretches 432 miles from the Appalachian Mountains boundary with North Carolina in the east to the Mississippi River borders with Missouri and Arkansas in the west.” Andrew Jackson AKA Old Hickory, was Tennessee’s first congressman. The first capital of Tennessee was Knoxville.
Tennessee earned its nickname as the “Volunteer State” as many of its residents volunteered for active duty in the Creek War of 1813-14. Tennessee volunteers earned a reputation as fierce and loyal soldiers, and included famous members including the American folk hero Davy Crockett.
Tennessee also played a massive role in the Civil War, where only Virgina saw more active engagement than Tennessee. Despite seceding from the North, Tennessee became a symbol of Union unity after the war with the legend of Old Glory. During the Civil War, sea captain William Driver flew the Union flag from his Nashville home in defiance of his state’s Southern ties.
The Modern History of Tennessee in the 20th Century and Beyond
The Scopes Trial of 1925
Tennessee was the home of the now famous Scopes Trial where a local educator was sued for teaching the then (and now to a lesser degree) controversial theory of evolution. The trial was a microcosm of a dichotomy in modern American society between traditional values and an acceptance of modern thinking.
Tennessee Plays a Huge Role in the Civil Rights Movement
While other southern states like Alabama and Mississippi are now associated more strongly with the civil rights movement that came to a head in the 1960’s, Tennessee was at the epicenter of sit-ins and other nonviolent protests at the time. Memphis, TN was also the location of the tragic assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King in 1968. The Memphis sanitation workers’ strike which brought Dr. King to Memphis also gained national attention at the time.
Tennessee’s Rich Musical History
Nashville is most famous for being the Music City. A rich history including the Grand Ole Opry, Fisk Jubilee Singers, and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum has led Nashville to being the epicenter of modern American music. Many legendary artists such as Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, and more recent acts like Brooks and Dunn have all come through Nashville.
Current Tennessee Culture
Tennessee currently enjoys a healthy blend of traditional values and modern idealism. The state has traditionally leaned towards a Republican government, with recent trends moving the needle slightly towards a moderate mindset. Modern cities like Nashville, Memphis, and Knoxville have all had an influx of tech company interest and along with it, an influx of young residents. Tennessee has the heart of a traditional southern state with an eye on the future.
Join us for SCALE 2020 in Downtown Nashville!
This July 22-25th, join us at the world famous Music City Convention Center in downtown Nashville for SCALE 2020! The annual Symposium for Cosmetic Advances & Laser Education is bigger and better than ever. We are proud to present a wide range of exhibitors and sponsors who will be discussing topics ranging from robotic dermatological surgeries to acne to non-invasive cosmetic procedures. Register now to reserve your spot to the premier multidisciplinary meeting for aesthetic medicine, surgery and dermatology in the United States.