Thursday, July 24, 2008

13 Things About Knoxville

1) Knoxville downtown is mostly Democratic and the surrounding rural area is Republican.

2) I couldn't find an internet cafe in Knoxville, appparently there isn't enough of a demand. I did use an internet cafe last year in Asheville Tn. Meanwhile the coffee shops did have Wifi.

3) Famous writers from Knoxville include Cormac McCarthy (Suttree, James Agee (A Death In The Family), and Alex Haley (Roots). All three of those books have been highly inspirational and influencial on me.

4) Johnny Knoxville (comic), Quentin Tarantino (film director), Dolly Parton (singer/songwriter, actress), Patricia Neal( actress), Polly Bergen (actress), Dave Thomas (Wendy's founder), Tina Wesson (winner of Survivor) and Brownie McGhee (blues musician), Everly Brothers (pop folk singers) and Hank Williams (classic country singer), are all from Knoxville. Not only was Hank Williams from Knoxville, he spent his last night there, before his fatal accident.

5) Knoxville is home to the The Body Farm, considered to be an birthplace of modern forensics. The Body Farm (Anthropology Research Facility of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville) is an outdoor facility used for researching the decomposition of human remains in varying environmental conditions. It provides crucial information to law enforcement investigating murders and provides a real life instruction to Forensics Anthropology students and researchers.
In other words, they stick a lot of dead bodies out in the woods and see what happens to them.
Now, isn't that an ideal destination for a old school goth like me? And a CSI fan! We drove by the facility one day in our travels. I know it's sick, but I was pretty thrilled, got a neck cramp from craning my head to gawk.

6) For the past several years an award-winning listener-funded radio station, WDVX, has broadcast weekday lunchtime concerts of bluegrass music, old-time music and more from the Knoxville Visitor's Center on Gay Street, as well as streaming its music programming to the world over the Internet. I will post a picture of a lunch time performance I saw, later this week.

7) Native Americans settled in Tennessee around 12000 years ago . The first humans to live in what is now Knoxville were of the Woodland tribe, a group of hunters and trappers driven south from the Great Lakes region by climatic changes, probably about 1000 B.C. Their culture eventually gave way to that of the more sophisticated mound builders, whose influence was felt throughout most of the South. The Shawnee and Creek briefly occupied small areas in the state, but little archaeological evidence has been found. By the 18th century, the only native peoples living permanently around what would later be Knoxville were the Cherokee. The Cherokee people called this area Shacomage, or "Place of Blue Smoke." from here

8)With the creation of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) in 1933, there arose an immediate concern for the thousands of prehistoric and historic Native American sites that would be inundated by reservoirs along the Tennessee River and its tributaries. In 1934, the University of Tennessee (and the University of Alabama) entered into agreements with TVA to conduct archaeological surveys, investigations, and excavations in the reservoir areas to be impacted, prior to their inundation.

From 1934 to 1942, ten reservoirs were constructed on the Tennessee River and its tributaries, and archaeological work was conducted in nine of them -- Norris, Wheeler, Pickwick, Guntersville, Chickamauga, Watts Bar, Fort Loudoun, Douglas, Cherokee, and Kentucky Reservoirs; no archaeological work was done in Cherokee Reservoir. Hundreds of sites were recorded, and archaeologists from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, exposed and excavated more than 1.5 million square feet of prehistoric and historic Native American occupations. From McClung Museum web page.

Excavations at the Cox Site in Anderson County, Tennessee, exposed cedar log steps leading to the summit of a Mississippian Period mound.

9) Every hour in Tennessee, a child is abused or neglected. Every 35 minutes, a child is born into poverty. Tennessee ranks 36th in the nation for children living at or below the poverty level with 45% enrolled in the Free and Reduced-Price Lunch Programs. In Knox County alone, 365 students are homeless, living in shelters, in cars, or on the streets. Among Tennessee fourth graders, 74% read below grade level, and 76% score below grade level in math. Only 60% of high school students in Tennessee graduate. from The First Baptist Church of Knoxville

10) Knoxville area has a fascinating history with the TVA. From Wikipedia: The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is a federally owned corporation in the United States created by congressional charter in May 1933 to provide navigation, flood control, electricity generation, fertilizer manufacturing, and economic development in the Tennessee Valley, a region particularly impacted by the Great Depression. The TVA was envisioned not only as an electricity provider, but also as a regional economic development agency that would use federal experts and electricity to rapidly modernize the region's economy and society.

11) Knoxville was settled in 1791.

12) Knoxville used to be known as "The Marble City" because it had a number of quarries mining pink marble. Other nicknames are K-Ville, 865, Knoxvegas and it's population is 173, 890.

13) Knoxville's Secret History by Jack Neely. I was lucky to meet Jack Neely last October in Knoxville. He writes a weekly article in MetroPulse.

Thursday Thirteen is fun way to meet other bloggers. Please leave your URL address in comment: Visitors who comment will be linked here:1) You're first!


pjazzypar said...

Hey Candy, were you visiting Tennessee? I been through there, traveling quite fast I might add. But seriously I didn't know Tarentino was from Knoxville because he usually references Southern California as his home. Nice factoids about the city though.

Candy Minx said...

Yes Pjazzypar, I was in Knoxville all last week. Had a great time! I was surprised when I first heard Tarantino had ahiled from Knoxville too!

Anonymous said...

Fascinating! I have a book about the body farm called Death's Acre. very interesting and it has provided invaluable information for the use of forensic investigators. Not the sort of place you'd want to eat lunch while you work, but a vital scientific establishment.

Lori said...

It sounds like a wonderful place to visit. BTW, thanks for stopping by my TT:)

Joy Renee said...

blogger seems to have ate my first attempt. if not feel free to trash this extra one.

i've seen the Body Farm referenced in novels and TV stories but had not realized it was near Knoxville

BTW I'm hosting a book giveaway this week. Four copies of Still Summer by Jacquelyn Mitchard. Four chances to enter until Saturday 3PM PST.

Chelle Y. said...

My son was born in Knoxville, TN. :)

Red said...

Some fascinating and some disturbing facts there, Candy. You have to wonder... if Tennessee ranks 36th out of 50 states and has such scary statistics in terms of child poverty... just how bad is it in the top ten states?!? Or did I understand this the wrong way?

I love the research you put into your destinations!

rs said...

i met you very briefly at the blue plate special show after i played. just as a point of interest, hank williams is from alabama; but did spend his last night in knoxville. we would claim him if we could.

richard stooksbury

Gardenia said...

I had no idea Tennessee was so interesting and that the state had produced so many interesting and talented folks...I always thought of horse farms and green pastures when I thought of Tennessee - would like to go there someday as well.

Also sounds like Tennessee is miserably failing young people -

I just found out our county is the poorest one in Florida.....interesting as well...

REX said...

Dolly Parton's actually from Sevierville...but close enough.

Didn't know Tarantino was from Knoxville. He should know you can't buy liquor in a convenience store in Tennessee (ala Death Proof).