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5 Fun Facts About January 1 In Tennessee History

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

1. On January 1, 1863, Tennessee became the first Confederate state to abolish slavery. The Emancipation Proclamation had been issued by President Lincoln on January 1, 1863, and Tennessee was one of the first states to enact the new law.

2. January 1, 1916, marked the beginning of Tennessee's state park system. The first state park was established at Cumberland Gap National Historic Park, and it now boasts over 50 state parks and recreational areas throughout the state.

3. On January 1, 1947, Tennessee joined the Southern Conference, a collegiate athletic conference. The Volunteers (Vols) of the University of Tennessee were one of the founding members of the conference, and they have been a dominant force in SEC athletics ever since.

4. January 1, 1961, was the day that the Interstate Highway System was officially inaugurated in Tennessee. The first project was the 1.7-mile section of I-40 from downtown Knoxville to James White Parkway, and it was completed in just two years.

5. Finally, on January 1, 1980, the famous New Year's Day Bowl Game was inaugurated in Tennessee. The Sugar Bowl, also known as the Battle for the Bourbon Barrel, is an annual game that pits the University of Tennessee Volunteers against a team from the Southeastern Conference. The game is held in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.
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