Tennessee is in the South Eastern section of the United States. It is home to around 6.5 million people, predominately White and African American. The state spans around 2000 square miles of land that encompasses rivers, mountains, dozens of lakes, and dense forestry. The state's economy is a mixture of business, farming, agriculture, and tourism. Founded in the late 1700s, Tennessee is central to the rest of the United States and serves as a hub for major manufacturing firms for its ease of access to Interstates 40 and 24. Automotive manufacturers have made Tennessee their home, including Nissan and Saturn, and until recently Peterbilt owned a large facility in Madison, TN. There are also hundreds of smaller manufacturers scattered throughout the state that contribute to state's reputation as a good choice for small business.
There are a great deal of secondary education institutes in the state. Most notably Vanderbilt University, Middle Tennessee State University, the University of Tennessee Knoxville, Tennessee State University, and Sewanee otherwise known as the University of the South. Vanderbilt University is part of Vanderbilt Hospital, and many famous and well respected public figures have attended Vanderbilt, including Al Gore and Amy Grant. Tennessee is a major tourist state with Nashville, Memphis, and Pigeon Forge being popular vacation destinations. Nashville is home to the Grand Ol' Opry, Union Station Hotel, and the Parthenon - a full sized replica of the original temple in Greece. Memphis' rich musical history and world famous barbecue will have you chewing on bones while you visit Graceland, the sprawling mansion owned by Elvis Presley. Pigeon Forge is geared for family fun with Dollywood and the Smokey Mountains. Other major cities in Tennessee include Knoxville and Chattanooga.
Key figures in the state's history are Andrew Jackson, the seventh President of the United States; Al Gore, Vice President under Bill Clinton; Reese Witherspoon, actress; and from the relatively unknown Haywood County, Tina Turner. Tennessee's climate is as diverse as its history. Summers can range from 75 to 100 degrees and with the abundance of lakes and streams, it is almost always muggy in June, July, and August. Winters can be mild with temperatures in the 40s off and on from December to March. The state is on the buckle of the Bible Belt and the majority of its residents are Christian. Thomas Nelson, one of the largest publishers of Christian manuscripts has made Nashville its home.