By Jack Swift

I count it a high privilege to have been born and raised in the great state of Tennessee. While I have not widely traveled in Tennessee, I have acquired a great amount of interest in the state I call home. In fact, I am fascinated by many of the attributes of that land called Tennessee.
Rolling farmland, foothills and pastures covers much of the state. Tennessee has many and varied enterprises going for it including manufacturing, a primary activity for the state.
The name Tennessee is taken from Tanasi, a Cherokee settlement along the banks of the Little Tennessee River.
My home state is beautiful in that it contains majestic mountains and silvery lakes and rivers. Within it’s borders there is also a variety of wildlife. One of its main attractions is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, so named for the haze that sometimes hugs the mountain ridges.
It is interesting to note that in about the 1540s the Spanish explorer Hernando do Soto is thought to either came into what is now Tennessee or came close to what would be its borders.
The famous explorer, Daniel Boone explored eastern Tennessee. Tennessee became the 16th state on June 1, 1796.
Having been born and raised in the great county of Johnson County that lies in the Northeastern section of the state, I realize the value of having the beauties of nature nearby.
In 1861, Tennessee was the last state to leave the Union during the American Civil War and in 1866 was the first state to be re-admitted.
The mockingbird is the State Bird, the Iris is the State Flower. The Tulip Poplar is the State Tree. The State Motto is Agriculture and Commerce,” The State Song is “The Tennessee Waltz.” The area of the state is 42,146 square miles. I am happy with my home in Tennessee, Johnson County and Mountain City. Other areas may be good to visit, but for me not to stay.