x
Breaking News
More () »

Knoxville Breaking News, Weather, Traffic, Sports | WBIR.com

Tennessee is turning 225 and everyone is invited to celebrate

On June 1, 1796, President George Washington made Tennessee the 16th state to join the United States. Did you know--- Knoxville was the first state capital?

TENNESSEE, USA — Tennessee will turn 225 this year.

Governor Bill Lee announced a yearlong celebration to mark the anniversary of Tennessee becoming a state called “Untold Tennessee.” There will be events and activities scheduled in all 95 counties throughout the year.

“Since 1796, Tennessee has been the portrait of perseverance, character and hope because of everyday heroes,” said Gov. Lee. “As we reflect on 225 years of statehood, I encourage Tennesseans to join us on the road and share their untold stories of people, places and events that have shaped our state since its beginning.” 

The governor will kick off a 95-county tour by visiting Bicentennial Mall in Nashville and the Blount Mansion in Knoxville on June 1, 2021, Tennessee’s 225th birthday. Additional events will be announced as they are scheduled.  

The event in Knoxville is free and open to the public. Blount Mansion is the birthplace of Tennessee, so the governor will be visiting it alongside city and county leaders to celebrate.

Lee will join Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon and Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs on June 1 for the historic occasion. The event will begin at James White's Fort at 205 East Hill Avenue with a short procession to Blount Mansion led by the Watauga Fife and Drum Corps, students from South Knoxville Elementary School, and other living history interpreters dressed in 18th century attire.

People will have the opportunity to use a quill pen to sign their name on parchment on the 1796 Statehood Desk in Governor Blount's office. 

There will also be plenty of Tennessee-themed refreshments such as Moon Pies for people to enjoy. 

Businesses and communities are also invited to incorporate the Tennessee 225 brand into their celebrations throughout the year.

It was a long road to statehood for Tennessee, according to the Tennessee State Museum. Before the Revolutionary War, the British reserved the land that makes up Tennessee today for Native Americans only. 

After the war, the state of North Carolina claimed all that land just west of the Appalachian Mountains from them and opened it up to settlers, causing years of conflict and war with the Native Americans. The settlers also complained the state wasn't protecting them.

North Carolina gave up the land to the federal government to pay off war debts, and the settlers' first attempt to form a new state was called the State of Franklin. Despite having a state constitution and a governor and being in existence from 1785-1788, the federal government did not recognize Franklin and instead relegated the land as part of the Southwest Territory.

Eventually, with Gov. John Sevier leading the way, Tennessee completed the new steps outlined in the U.S. Constitution to become a state, and it worked!

On June 1, 1796, President George Washington made Tennessee the 16th state to join the United States. Did you know--- Knoxville was the first state capital?

For more information and event updates, visit www.Tennessee225.com.