Known all over the world for its music and honky-tonks, Nashville also has its fame as the “Country Music Capital of the World”. Even though in this cosmopolitan city, music influences virtually every feature of modern life, Nashville also carries a diverse and storied history.
Important Facts about Nashville
If you have a trip to the Music City planned or if you’re simply curious, go through the facts given below to have a better idea of this city with a colorful history.
1. Named After a Revolutionary War General
Going back to the late 1700s, the name Nashville was coined when colonists formed Fort Nashborough where the modern-day city is situated now. The fort got its name after Francis Nash. Nash was from North Carolina and he fought during the American Revolution. In 1784, Nashborough was later changed to Nashville.
2. Tennessee Capitol’s Designer is Buried in Nashville
Best known for his work as the architect and designer of the Tennessee Capitol in Nashville, William Strickland held pride from his crowning achievement. So much that he selected to be buried near the structure’s cornerstone. An important Tennessee businessman, Samuel Morgan is also entombed at the Capitol. It might be surprising that US President James Polk is also buried in a freestanding tomb on the Tennessee Capitol grounds. The tomb was also designed by Strickland.
3. Largest Population of Kurds
Even though some call Nashville a “big city trapped in a small town,” the surprising fact is that this city is home to the largest population of Kurds. Around 15,000 in the nation, to be exact. Many of these immigrants came to Nashville to find refuge from the Kurdish-Iraqi wars in the ’70s, they are originally known to be from northern Iraq and Iran.
While in the 1990s, others appeared when their villages were being torn down by Saddam Hussein.
At present, Kurds still flock to the area because of the Syrian civil war and the fight against the Islamic State. South Nashville even has a segment called Little Kurdistan, which is a location for Kurdish food markets and most of Nashville’s Kurdish population live there.
4. FM Radio
Nationwide, Nashville was the first city to have an access to FM-broadcasting license. In the 1950s, David Cobb, who’s an original WSM and radio announcer called Nashville “Music City” for the first time.
5. Centennial Park
The only genuine replica of the Greek Parthenon is located in this park. Sometimes known as the Athens of the South, the city of Nashville constructed it in 1897 for the World Exposition. It is the tallest enclosed sculpture in the Western Hemisphere and contains a full-scale replica of the statue.
These are iconic local candies made from the blend of caramel, marshmallow, milk chocolate, and peanuts. Most believe that the name stands for “Grand Ole Opry.”
7. The Amazing Nashville Zoo
Located 10 kilometers (6 miles) southeast of Downtown Nashville, the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere comes off as a zoological garden and historic plantation farmhouse The zoo has been considered middle Tennessee’s most paid attraction and it is home to 6,230 individual animals, surrounding 339 species. The site of the zoo is approximately 76 hectares (188 acres) in size. It is an attributed member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
8. Nashville had the First Seeing-Eye Dog School
The idea of using seeing-eye dogs first struck Morris Frank in 1928 after he read a magazine article featuring guide dogs in Switzerland. They were first brought back to the country by a blind Vanderbilt University student after he traveled to Europe to train with a German Shepherd. In less than a year, he returned and established The Seeing Eye, Inc., which is the first seeing-eye dog training school in the nation.
9. Tin Pan South
Known for being the largest songwriter’s festival in the world, Tin Pan has almost 350 songwriters performing original music in several venues around Nashville. In springtime, the festival lasts for a whole week.
10. Hot Chicken
It might be surprising to fans that this local culinary tradition was initially created to cause pain. In the 1930s, Thornton Prince’s girlfriend thought he was cheating on her, and so making an attempt to punish him, she added extra seasoning to the chicken batter. On the contrary, he happened to like the fiery flavor so much that he changed his recipe and founded Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack.
11. Oprah Winfrey
Nashville’s WLAC-TV was where she got her big break in television becoming the first black female news anchor. At that time, she was still a student at Tennessee State University.
12. Vinyl Records
Among the only four remaining companies in the country that are still producing vinyl records; United Records Pressing might be the most well known. Inside of Jack White’s Third Man Records, a live venue called The Blue Room can be located. Globally, it is the only venue that is still recording music directly on vinyl.
13. A Guitar Shaped Driveway
There is a driveway shaped like a guitar located in The Hermitage, which is Andrew Jackson’s estate. Initially, the design was supposed to help carriages move easily through the grounds, but Nashville residents have come to believe it was a good omen for the city’s future.
14. Rocking Healthcare
The music industry in Nashville doesn’t shine as much when compared to the healthcare industry as this city has Vanderbilt University, as well as Hospital Corporation of America along with more than 300 other healthcare facilities that have been providing more than 200,000 local jobs.
15. Home of William Walker
William Walker, a local of Nashville happened to be the first American to become president of another nation.
William Walker was born in Nashville and he was known for being a lawyer, physician, and soldier. In the mid-19th century, he attempted to conquer Born in Nashville, William Walker was a lawyer, physician, and soldier who attempted to conquer sections of Latin America.
In 1855, he then made his way to Nicaragua with 57 men and succeeded in defeating the Nicaraguan national army. On July 12, 1856, he was declared the president of Nicaragua and he kept the title through 1857.