Tennessee and its people draw inspiration from a variety of cultures. Learn about Native Tennesseans at attractions such as Chucalissa Archaeological Museum, Old Stone Fort and Sequoyah Birthplace Museum. The African American story is one of struggle, achievement and heroism. Visit the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis; follow the trail blazed by the Clinton Twelve at Green McAdoo Cultural Center in Clinton.
Our artistic heritage alone reflects the variety of our state’s history. In Memphis, several museums tell the story of how Tennesseans melded old sounds into new ones: at Stax, Sun, Rock ’n’ Soul and historic Beale Street. In Nashville, devote time to the Ryman, the “Mother Church of Country Music,” the Grand Ole Opry, and halls of fame for songwriters and country music artists. Follow the sounds of that “high, lonesome sound” in East Tennessee on walking tours, at radio shows and in clubs and museums.
To find your own history, start with East Tennessee History Center in Knoxville, or the State Library and Archives in Nashville. Beautiful and well-preserved cemeteries throughout the state are the resting places of many Tennesseans, perhaps your own relatives, who contributed to the culture of our state through exploration, innovation, courageous action and forward thinking.
Our historic sites are the keys to understanding Tennessee’s rich and varied culture. Explore the ways our past influences and enriches our present.