Christ I Hope I Didn't Get Anything Wrong On This One: Tennessee
Tennssee is the 16th state, entering the Union on June 1, 1796. Do you know what esle happened on June 1, 1796. Damn, neither do I. I was hoping you could tell me. Unlike those traitorous bastards in South Carolina, Tenessee was the last state to leave the Union. During the Civil War several fascinating battles took place, one of which, the Battle of Shiloh, was one of the turning points of the war. As you'll discover if you click that pretty blue link there, (of course, this is Wikipedia and could be all bullshit, but it's not like they say the Confederates won, so I say "close enough"), the Confederates had a chance to annihilate Grant's army but dropped the ball, allowing the Union forces to be reinforced and then counterattack the next day, leading to a crucial Confederate defeat.
At this point I'd just like to say I feel like the old lecturing history professor in "The Holy Grail", blathering on about Arthur's defeat at the hands of the French, right before a knight gallpos up and cuts his throat.
Nonetheless, as a history geek, I've always been fascinated by that battle because it's probably the first real beat down, (that's a historical term) , that the Confederates took, (but not the last you uppity bitches!), and also because it's the emergence of Grant as the eventual commander of the Union forces. Actually, after the battle the initial reaction was to have Grant fired, with his superiors arguing that he should have retreated when attacked by superior forces with the element of surprise. Legend has it that the superior, a Gen. Halleck, argued all this to President Lincoln, and then, finishing up, spitefully said, "and the man's a drunk" To which Lincoln is rumored to have replied "Well, find out what he drinks and send a barrel of it to every general in my army" Take that Halleck!
Tennesse is tied with Missouri for bordering the most states. : Kentucky and Virginia to the north; North Carolina to the east; Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi on the south; Arkansas and Missouri on the Mississippi River to the west. Don't waste time clickling on those links; I just cut and pasted from the Wikipedia article becuase I'm lazy. And remember, it's not plagiarizing if you admit it. In a somewhat interesting note, Georgia is apparently pushing to "annex" some of Tennesee, arguing that someone fucked up the surveying 200 years ago, and they should actually get another mile north, conveniently giving them access to the Tenessee River and perhaps alleviating their complete mismanagement of development in Atlanta, which has no water.
Tennesse was apparently amost named "Franklin", which would've been easier to spell, after part of western North Carolina broke away in a short-lived attmept to form their own state, which they would have called "Franklin". But, like so many other ventures involving mountain folk in Appalachia, that venture burned down in failure. So they tried another state, and that one burned down, fell over and sank into the swamp. But the third one stayed put, and that's how Tenessee came to be. Or I may be confusing it with a Monty Python routine.
Tenessee is called the "Volunteer State" apparently because of the crucial role volunteer fighters played in the War of 1812, especially during the Battle of New Orleans. Although I hardly think that's a big deal; getting a citizen of Tennesee to shoot at something is like getting a fat kid to eat ice cream. It's gonna happen one way or the other.
Tenessee is well known for the Depression era Tennssee Valley Authority program, in which the federal government gave people jobs building dams all over the Tennsse Valley area, (hence the catchy name), which then produced electricity for rural folk, who promptly freaked out and tried to smash all the new "demon-lights" before they lost their souls. Perhaps in the next Great Depression, (coming sooner than you'd like to think!), the government can get a TVA program for indoor toilets.
There are 6,156,719 people in Tennesseee, almost all of whom are now used to 'lectricity. One of them is a smart-ass redhead who even now is combing through this entry for inaccuracies. Of which, believe me, I'm sure there's about 9011.
The state flower is the purple iris. I don't believe we've come across this one before, so congratulations to Tennesee for some originality. On the other hand, the state bird is the mockingbird, and I believe Arkansas had first dibs on that one. Anyway, here's a picture: No, look up stupid.
The highest point in Tenessee is the summit of Clingman's Dome, at 6,643 ft above sea level and fully wheelchair accessible. Or maybe not. I'm just curious is someone will try it. Let me know how it works. Actually, proving that I can in fact do some research when the spirit moves me, I looked up Clingman's Dome and it appears that it pretty much is wheel-chair accessible, what with the road to the top and the observation tower and the parking lots and the damn-near-everything-but-wilderness going on. Also it's the highest point on the Appalachian Trail, except for whatever portion of the trail Phollower happens to be standing on at any given time.
IF YOU'RE IN TENNESSEE YOU SHOULD: well, for Christ's sake, don't go here, (shit, now the margins are screwed up. Think "there" and look here>>)
It's a total cliche', the man's dead and he's not coming back. Ever.
For the temporally displaced, you could go to Dollywood's BBQ festival, which the offical Tennesee tourism site says wil occur from 9/5/08-8/28/05. No word on whether you lose weight as the festival winds its way backwards from conclusion to start. Personally I'd probably spend most of my time drinking it up on Beale St., (and if I need to tell you where Beale St. is, you suck) (oh, OK, it's in Memphis. Now please turn down the Lawrence Welk soundtrack and try to pay more attention), and checking out the music. Because that's just how I roll. Sometimes literally after staying out to late.
I do have to say that Tennesseee has one of the better tourism sites. They'll give you directions, tell you what else is in the area and hook you up with a place to stay. Although why "Tysgirl's couch" is on there is beyond me.
MISS TENNESSE LOOKS LIKE THIS:
Well, she does when she's a prize-winning heifer at the statecounty fair. I'm just surprised there's snow in the picture. Maybe they took it on top of Clingman's Dome. But no shit, her name's really "Miss Tennesee"
No, actually, Miss Tennssee looks like this:>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
And it gets even better when she gets her crown, and fake hug,from last year's winner, who has conveniently forgotten to wear a bra and has remembered to wear a dress with handy side access!
You say 'Tennessee", I say "Hooray for side-boobs!"
Actually, I say that pretty much no matter what you say. I think I may need help.
LIMPY'S CONNECTION TO STATE: A good friend of mine hails from godforsaken holler in the state. He likes guns a lot. Other than it being a state occupied by a top-quality blogger, I have no connection. EDITOR'S NOTE: Earl points out that I have neglected to mention Jack Daniel's in this post. While I've probably neglected to mention many other things as well, I should have mentioned Jack as part of my connection to the state, as a glass of JD, neat, is one of the finer things in life. So much better than a cup of sterno. Don't judge me.
HAS LIMPY EVER GOTTEN LAID IN THIS STATE: No, although I once hooked a friend of mine up with a girl to drive cross-country with, and he kicked her out in Memphis. He didn't get laid either.*
Next up, it's, uh, hmmm. well, the book I'm using to get the order of these states has been misplaced. I think it's West Virginia though, so get ready for a whole bunch of unfortunate cousin-fucking jokes. Notice I said "unfortunate", not "unwarranted."
*He actually kicked her out for being an unbridled lunatic, rather than not putting out.