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5 Fun Facts About April 18 In Tennessee History

---Learn Every Day: TN Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history tn To: 618-270-4005---

1. Tennessee became the 16th state in the Union on April 18, 1796, following the adoption of a new state constitution. The new state was formed from territory previously owned by North Carolina and was named after the Cherokee word "tanasi," meaning "meeting place."

2. On April 18, 1862, Confederate forces led by General Albert Sidney Johnston attacked Union troops at Pittsburg Landing in southwestern Tennessee. The Battle of Shiloh, as it came to be known, was the bloodiest battle in American history at that time, with over 23,000 casualties.

3. In 1935, the Tennessee Valley Authority Act was signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The act created a federal agency to oversee the development of the Tennessee River Valley, including the construction of hydroelectric dams and other infrastructure projects.

4. On April 18, 1968, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel. King had come to Memphis to support striking sanitation workers and was planning a march in the city.

5. In 2013, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed into law a bill designating the Eastern Box Turtle as the official state reptile. The bill was introduced by a group of fourth graders from Norris Elementary School who had been studying the state's native animals. The Eastern Box Turtle is known for its distinctive shell pattern and can be found throughout Tennessee's forests and fields.
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