• 1540 Spanish explorer, Spanish Hernando de Soto (1500-1542) explores the area in search of gold
  • 1673 James Needham and Gabriel Arthur of England sent by Virginia trader to scout trade with Cherokee Indians and explore the Tennessee River Valley
  • 1682 Claimed by the French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle (1643-1687) for France
  • 1714 Charles Charleville sets up a French trading post at French Lick
  • 1756 1756 – 1763: The Seven Years War (French and Indian War) due to disputes over land is won by Great Britain. France gives England all French territory east of the Mississippi River, except New Orleans. The Spanish give up east and west Florida to the English in return for Cuba.
  • 1769 Daniel Boone ( 1735 – 1818 ) explores the region
  • 1769 William Bean ( 1721 – 1782 ) establishes first white settlement in Tennessee
  • 1772 A group of settlers form their own government called the Watauga Association and implement one of the first written constitutions in America
  • 1775 The Transylvania Company buys land from the Cherokees
  • 1775 Daniel Boone, working for the Transylvania Company, blazes a trail called the Wilderness Road from Virginia across the mountain at Cumberland Gap to open the land to settlement
  • 1775 1775 – 1783 – The American Revolution creates the United States of America. The Revolution was due to the British burden of taxes and total power to legislate any laws governing the American colonies. George Washington led the American victory over Great Britain in the America Revolutionary War (American War of Independence). Timeline of Wars
  • 1776 July 4, 1776 – United States Declaration of Independence
  • 1778 July 10, 1778 – France declares war against Britain and makes an alliance with the American revolutionary forces
  • 1783 September 3, 1783 – The Treaty of Paris is signed by the victorious United States and the defeated Great Britain
  • 1784 3 counties in East Tennessee form the short-lived State of Franklin, which secedes from North Carolina for 4 years
  • 1796 Statehood – The Date that Tennessee was admitted to the Union – June 1, 1796. Constitution – Tennessee was the 16th State to be admitted to the Union. State Motto – ” Agriculture and Commerce “.
  • 1799 Smith County was founded and named for Daniel Smith (surveyor), a Revolutionary War veteran who made the first map of Tennessee and served as a United States Senator.
  • 1803 The Louisiana Purchase – In 1803, the United States bought the Louisiana Territory from France. The U.S. Secretary of State, James Madison paid 15 million dollars for the land
  • 1812 1812 – 1815: The War of 1812 between U.S. and Great Britain, ended in a stalemate but confirmed America’s Independence
  • 1820 Maine becomes its own state
  • 1861 1861 – 1865: The American Civil War. In 1859 John Brown raided Harpers Ferry and set in motion events that led directly to the outbreak of the Civil War. outbreak of the Civil War. Abraham Lincoln, a known opponent of slavery, was elected president and in 1861 the South Secedes. The initial Secession of South Carolina was followed by the secession of Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina. These eleven states eventually formed the Confederate States of America. The bombardment of Fort Sumter was the opening engagement of the American Civil War.
  • 1865 The surrender of Robert E. Lee on April 9 1865 signalled the end of the Confederacy
  • 1865 1865 December 6 – The Abolishment of Slavery. The Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is ratified, thus officially abolishing slavery.
  • 1865 The surrender of Robert E. Lee on April 9 1865 signalled the end of the Confederacy
  • 1898 1898-1901 The Spanish American War. On December 10, 1898 the Treaty of Paris the US annexes Puerto Rico, Guam, Philippines.
  • 1917/18 Around 100,000 of the state’s young men volunteered or were drafted into the armed services during World War I.
  • 1920 Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment, giving women the right to vote.
  • 1925 The celebrated trial of John T. Scopes, the so-called “Monkey Trial” took place in Dayton.
  • 1925 Reelfoot Lake was established as a state game and fish preserve, marking the first step toward the conservation of Tennessee’s natural resources.
  • 1933 The Tennessee Valley Authority built its first hydroelectric dams in Tennessee.
  • 1940 The Great Smoky Mountains National Park was dedicated by President Franklin Roosevelt.
  • 1941/45 During World War II, over 300,000 Tennesseans served in the armed forces while others served at home in war related industries.
  • 1950/53 10,500 Tennesseans served in the Korean War.
  • 1953 The Tennessee State Library and Archives building was dedicated to the men and women from Tennessee who served in WWII.
  • 1960 Students held the first Nashville sit-in at downtown luncheon counters.
  • 1965 A. W. Willis, Jr., from Memphis, became the first African American representative elected to the General Assembly in 65 years.
  • 1968 Dr. King was assassinated at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, where he had gone in support of the strike of the local sanitation workers.
  • 1977 Tennessean Alex Hailey won the Nobel Prize for his book Roots.
  • 1987 General Motors opened the new Saturn Corporation auto plant in Spring Hill.
  • 1990 Martha Craig Daughtrey became the first woman to serve on the Tennessee Supreme Court.
  • 1992 Albert Gore, Jr. was elected Vice-President of the United States.
  • 1998 The University of Tennessee football team became the national champions, going undefeated for the season.
  • 2002 Former Nashville Mayor, Phil Bredesen was elected Governor.
  • 2010  William Edward “Bill” Haslam is the 49th and current Governor of Tennessee. A member of the Republican Party, Haslam was elected to office in 2010.

 

http://www.state.tn.us/sos/symbols/timeline.htm