Celebrating 225 Years in 2021
Two hundred twenty-five years ago, fifty-five men made history when they put quill to parchment and boldly declared that Tennessee was a state. It was an audacious plan: brazenly electing a governor, two senators and one at-large congressman, and simply showing up at the United States capital—then in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania before the creation of Washington, DC—and essentially saying, “Hi—we’re you’re sixteenth state!” But that’s exactly what William Blount and his compatriots did. The “Tennessee Plan,” as it came to be known, eventually worked; after dithering for a few weeks about whether to accept this upstart state into the family, both houses of congress granted their consent, and Tennessee was admitted to the union on June 1, 1796—known thereafter as “Statehood Day” in Tennessee. You might say Tennessee broke the mold!
Become Part of the Story of Tennessee
The Historic House Museums of Knoxville invite you to join in the celebration. On Tuesday, June 1, 2021, Blount Mansion and nearby James White’s Fort - the birthplace of Knoxville, which existed as the federal territorial capital prior to statehood - will partner with the City of Knoxville to host a once-in-a-lifetime birthday party celebrating Tennessee’s 225th anniversary. The event will include a short parade from the fort to the mansion, led by historical reenactors and school children wearing period clothing. Participants will enjoy birthday cake and hear short celebratory remarks from Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon, Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs and other leaders, after which folks may pick up a quill and sign their name to paper on the desk on which the dream of Tennessee became a reality 225 year ago. The big day will be preceded by a months-long series of special events at historic sites throughout Knox County, including open houses at several of the Historic House Museums of Knoxville on Saturday, May 30th.