Tennessee September 12, 2017
10 Awesome Things Tennessee Has Given the World – And 3 of the Worst
Tennessee is home to some truly amazing things and some ever more amazing people. Of course, like any place, it has its share of bad things, too. Nevertheless, you’ll be amazed at some of the great things that have come out of our fair state – many of which you can visit the birthplaces of today! How many of these things did you know are from our fair Volunteer State…?
1. Good: Country Music
Bristol, Tennessee is the true birthplace of country music, and the Grand Ole Opry (pictured) in Nashville helped spread it to the world.
2. Good: Goo Goo Clusters
While these candy bars may be relatively unknown, especially outside of Tennessee, they were revolutionary in their day. They were the first ever combination candy bar, paving the way for modern favorites like Snickers.
3. Good: Cotton Candy
Machine-spun cotton candy was invented in Nashville in 1897 by a local man who happened to be a dentist, of all things. He named his invention "fairy floss," but the name "cotton candy" was later popularized by a manufacturer in the early 1900s.
4. Bad: The Fast Food Killer
Paul Dennis Reid is likely Tennessee's most infamous serial killer. He killed seven people in brutal ways at various fast food restaurants in the Nashville and Clarksville areas in 1997.
5. Good: The Great Smoky Mountains
Tennessee shares this one with neighbor North Carolina, but there's plenty to go around. The Great Smoky Mountain National Park is the most visited national park in the country, and for good reason.
6. Good: Bottled Coke
Two lawyers in Chattanooga secured the first ever rights to bottle Coca-Cola across the United States. Needless to say, they made a ton of money and a ton of history along the way. The next time you drink Coke out of a bottle, you can thank Tennessee!
7. Bad: Nuclear Weapons
The only atomic bombs to ever be used in warfare were created at Oak Ridge in Tennessee. The two bombs killed between 100,000 and 250,000 people, but their effects were felt for years and years.
8. Good: Piggly Wiggly
Did you know that Piggly Wiggly was the first grocery store to ever be self-service? When it was opened in 1916, customers would have to give their orders to the clerks who would gather all of their goods off the shelves for them. Piggly Wiggly changed all of that, and now self-service groceries are all we know.
9. Good: Hot Chicken
Nashville-style hot chicken has started to gain more and more fame outside of the South, and all we can say is that its about time. While the dish's origins aren't exactly known, it's generally accepted that Prince's in Nashville was the first restaurant to serve the dish.
10. Bad: The Ku Klux Klan
The first Klan meeting was in Pulaski, Tennessee shortly after the Civil War ended. They're now labelled as a hate group by the US government and are known particularly for their terror tactics during the Civil Rights movement.
11. Good: Miniature Golf
Did you know that the first patented Miniature Golf course was located on Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga? That's right - the Tom Thumb golf course was opened in Chattanooga in 1927.
12. Good: Davy Crockett
Davy Crockett is widely known as the "King of the Wild Frontier" for his many exploits. He served in the Tennessee House of Representatives and the US House of Representatives. He died in the Battle of the Alamo in 1835.
13. Good: Jack Daniel's
Some people might not see Jack Daniel's as a good thing, but there's no denying that this Tennessee whiskey has helped put our state on the map across the world.
Don’t let the bad things get you down. Try visiting one of the friendliest towns in the state.