Cookeville, Tennessee, is a small city located in the Upper Cumberland region of the state. Despite its size, Cookeville has seen its fair share of historical events throughout the years. From civil war battles to presidential visits, here are 7 historical events that have taken place near Cookeville, TN.
1. Battle of Wildcat Mountain: On October 21, 1861, Union and Confederate troops clashed in a battle at Wildcat Mountain, just over an hour's drive from Cookeville. The Union forces, under the command of Colonel Joshua W. Sill, emerged victorious in the battle.
2. Alvin C. York's birthplace: Alvin C. York, one of the most decorated American soldiers of WWI, was born in a log cabin near Pall Mall, TN, which is about 30 miles from Cookeville. York was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in the Argonne Forest, France, in 1918.
3. Tennessee Tech University's founding: In 1909, the Tennessee legislature passed a bill to establish a school for teacher training in Cookeville. This school eventually became Tennessee Technological University, which is still in operation today.
4. Presidential visits: Both Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman visited Cookeville during their respective presidencies. Truman attended a political rally at the Cookeville Courthouse in 1948, while Roosevelt passed through Cookeville on his way to the Great Smoky Mountains in 1933.
5. Train derailment: In 1973, a train carrying hazardous chemicals derailed near Livingston, TN, which is just over 20 miles from Cookeville. The accident released poisonous gas into the air, leading to the evacuation of nearby communities.
6. Upperman High School shooting: In 2018, a 15-year-old student opened fire in the cafeteria of Upperman High School, located just outside Cookeville. One student was killed and several others were injured in the tragedy.
7. Putnam County tornado: In March 2020, a tornado hit Putnam County, where Cookeville is located, killing 19 people and causing widespread destruction. The tornado was part of a larger outbreak that affected several southern states.
In conclusion, Cookeville may be a small city, but it has seen significant historical events throughout the years. From civil war battles to presidential visits and natural disasters, these events have shaped the community and its people.
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