Numerous music venues and retail establishments line the famous music district of Beale Street in downtown Memphis.(GETTY STOCK IMAGES)
1. Tennessee became the 16th state in June 1796 and borders eight states: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina and Virginia.
2. About 10.8 million acres of Tennessee’s land area is occupied by farms. The farming industry annually contributes about $74.8 billion to the state’s economy.
3. Elvis Presley’s former estate, Graceland, is located in Memphis and is the second-most visited home in the U.S. (The White House is the first.)
4. Nashville is home to the Grand Ole Opry, the longest-running radio broadcast in American history. It began in 1925 as a live concert called the “WSM Barn Dance.”
5. Milk is Tennessee’s official state beverage. Milk is recognized as a state drink or beverage in 20 states.
6. The Volunteer State is the third most religious state in the U.S., with more than three-fourths adults there saying they believe in God with absolute certainty, according to Pew Research Center.
7. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968 outside of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. In 1991, the motel was converted into the National Civil Rights Museum.
8. FedEx, Dollar General, AutoZone, Tractor Supply and HCA Holdings, a health care and medical facility firm, are among the Fortune 500 companies headquartered in Tennessee.
9. Famous Tennesseans include frontiersman Davy Crockett, singers Aretha Franklin, Dolly Parton, Kenny Chesney, Tina Turner and Justin Timberlake, actor Morgan Freeman, athlete Wilma Rudolph and poet Nikki Giovanni.
10. Coca-Cola was first bottled under contract in Chattanooga in 1899. Two Tennessee attorneys purchased the exclusive rights to bottle Coca-Cola across much of the U.S. for $1.