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5 Fun Facts About May 5 In Tennessee History

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

1. In 1960, Nashville-born Wilma Rudolph became the first American woman to win three gold medals in track and field at a single Olympics. Rudolph, who overcame polio as a child, won the 100 meters, 200 meters, and 4x100 meter relay at the Rome games.

2. On May 5, 1862, during the Civil War, Union forces under General Henry Halleck captured New Madrid, Missouri, after a month-long siege. The victory helped secure control of the Mississippi River and pave the way for the Union's eventual victory.

3. Tennessee-born playwright and screenwriter Tennessee Williams was born on March 26, 1911, but his play 'A Streetcar Named Desire' opened on Broadway on December 3, 1947. However, on May 5, 1949, the play won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, solidifying Williams' reputation as one of America's great playwrights.

4. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, located in both Tennessee and North Carolina, was created on May 22, 1926, by an act of Congress. Since its creation, the park has become one of the most popular national parks in the country, attracting millions of visitors each year.

5. On May 5, 1864, during the Civil War, Confederate General Patrick Cleburne proposed enlisting slaves to fight for the South. While his proposal was initially rejected, it sparked a debate over the role of slavery in the war and helped to push the issue of abolition to the forefront. Today, Cleburne is remembered as a controversial figure who challenged the status quo and promoted bold ideas for the Confederacy.
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