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Amazing Johnson County and Tennessee

I consider myself fortunate to be a citizen of Tennessee — especially Johnson County, Tennessee. Most of the time I love the climate. But, last winter was a little too severe to suit me. Was northern Alaska any colder? When it gets really cold here, I imagine myself in Michigan or North Dakota or one of the other northern or north central states and it doesn’t feel so cold here then.
I love the friendliness of Johnson County folks. Most of them smile and wave their hand when they see you. They ask about your health and sometimes stop to chat a spell. And what scenery Johnson County has to offer! The time worn mountains, the rippling streams, and the valley vis-tas all remind me that John-son County is a very special place in the world.
As I was deciding what to write about this week, I thought about Johnson County and its unique heri-tage. But I also was re-minded that the state of which Johnson County is a part is very unique as well. I have written several col-umns about Johnson County but few about Ten-nessee. In the rest of this column, I want to mention some of the interesting facts about my state.
Tennessee came into being twenty years after the sign-ing of the Declaration of Independence. Admitted as the 16th state to the Union in 1796, Tennessee was carved from what was then North Carolina Territory. It is a long state that includes two time zones. Eastern Tennessee is in the Eastern Time zone and western Tennessee is in the Central time zone. The state has an odd shape. It is shaped somewhat like a trapezoid. Some of you may remember when the Tennessee license plates were cut in the shape of the state. That was from 1936 until 1956. After that the shape of the state was embossed upon the metal plate.
One important fact about Tennessee is that it voted to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment that allowed women to vote. That his-toric vote took place on August 18, 1920 and passed by a one-vote mar-gin. Tennessee was the 36th of the then 48 states to approve the amendment which made the ¾ majority required to amend the Con-stitution.
The name Tennessee is de-rived from the Indian name “Tenase,” which was the principle village of the Cherokee.
Capitals of Tennessee have varied. The capital was Knoxville from 1796 to 1812 except for in Kingston one day (1807). Nashville was the capital from 1812 until 1817. Knoxville again became the capital (1817). Murfreesboro was the capi-tal from 1818 until 1826. Nashville has been the capital since then. Tennes-see was the last state to se-cede from the Union during the lead up to the American Civil War and was the first one to be readmitted.
State songs include the fol-lowing: “When It’s Iris Time In Tennessee”; “The Ten-nessee Waltz”; “My Home-land, Tennessee”; and “Rocky Top”. The state bird is the Mockingbird. The state cultivated flower is the Iris. The state wildflower is the Passion Flower. The state gem is the Tennessee Pearl. The state earned its nickname “Volunteer” due to the readiness of its citi-zens to answer the call to arms when that call was necessary.
These are just a few of facts about Tennessee that I thought were interesting. I hope they are interesting to you as well.