History of Nashville-Davidson
The original settlement in the area of present-day Nashville was Fort Nashborough. The town of Nashville was founded in 1779 near the fort, by John Donelson, James Robertson and a group of Overmountain Men. The city, like the fort, was named after Francis Nash, a hero of the American Revolutionary War. Nashville had a good position on the river and later became a major railroad center, which all contributed to its rapid growth and development. It was incorporated as a city in 1806 and became the seat of Davidson County. In 1843, it was chosen as a permanent capital of Tennessee.
Before the Civil War, Nashville was a rich and prosperous city, a shipping port and a major transportation hub. It was the first U.S. state capital to be seized by Union troops in 1862. The Battle of Nashville in 1864 was one of the most important battles of the Civil War and, according to many historians, the most decisive one.
Even though Nashville suffered significant damage during the war, it managed to rebuild itself again and become a major center once again. During this period, the city got a number of grandiose classical buildings, many of which are still standing.
After the World War II, Nashville started establishing itself as the country music capital. The Grand Ole Opry was established in 1925 and after the war the musicians who played there regularly (Patsy Cline, Hank Williams, Roy Acuff, the Carter Family and others) started gaining national and international fame.
Nashville was also a major center of the Civil Rights Movement. The student sit-in campaigns against segregation started in 1960 and their members went on to establish one of the most influential organizations of the movement, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.
The second half of 20th century was a period of extraordinary growth for Nashville, especially the 1990s, under the mayor and, later, Governor Phil Bredesen. During this period of urban renewal, the city got many of its current landmarks, such as the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, the Bridgestone Arena and the Nashville Public Library.
Today, Nashville with its metropolitan area is one of the fastest-growing ones in the Upland South region and a crossroads of American culture.
Geography and Climate
With 527.9 square miles, Nashville is one of the largest U.S. cities in terms of area. It is located in central Tennessee on the Cumberland River. Its topography ranges from 385 feet at the river to 1,160 feet at the city’s highest point.
The city has a humid subtropical climate. The winters are cool, sometimes cold, and the summers are hot and humid. The driest season is autumn and most of the precipitation occurs during winter and spring. The city is prone to severe thunderstorms, especially in spring and autumn, and it is also prone to tornadoes.
Population of Nashville-Davidson
According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the racial makeup in Nashville is 56.3% non-Hispanic White, 28.4% African American, 10% Hispanic or Latino, 3.1% Asian, 0.3% Native American, 0.1% Pacific Islander and 2.5% from some other race.
Nashville has a large job market and relatively low cost of living, which is why it continues to attract immigrants from different parts of the world. The city is home to large Mexican, Kurd, Cambodian, Laotian, Vietnamese and Arab communities, as well as many other, smaller groups.
In 2010, the median household income in Nashville was $46,280 and the per capita income was $28,056.
Music industry is a major contributor to the economy of Nashville. The city has offices of four of the Big Four record labels (Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and EMI Group) as well as a number of independent ones. Strong music scene is one of the reasons why tourism is one of the largest industries in the city.
However, the largest industry in Nashville is actually health care, with more than 250 companies in the sector, including Hospital Corporation of America.
Other major industries include finance, insurance and publishing, especially religious. Several major denominations have headquarters in Nashville, including Southern Baptist Convention and United Methodist Church.
Culture and Attractions
As for the cultural life in Nashville, much of it is centered on university activities. Two famous literary groups of the 1920s, the Agrarians and the Fugitives, were associated with the Vanderbilt University.
Of course, music is the largest part of the cultural life in the city. Nashville is basically a symbol of country music and some of its main attractions include Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Belcourt Theatre and Ryman Auditorium, which used to host Grand Ole Opry until it was moved to Grand Ole Opry House in 1974. In addition to country music, Nashville is important center of honky tonk, Christian pop and rock, as well as jazz, rock and roll and, lately, various independent music genres. Nashville is also home of the Nashville Opera, Nashville Symphony Nashville Ballet and the Music City Drum and Bugle Corps, all of which are performing at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center.
Other tourist attractions in the city include Tennessee State Capitol, Tennessee State Museum, The Parthenon, Forth Nashville, Fort Negley, the Music Valley with the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, the Opry Mills and the General Jackson showboat.
Some of the major events in the city include Nashville Film Festival, Country Music Marathon, Country Music Association Awards, CMA Music Festival and many more.
Because of a large number of colleges and universities in the city, Nashville is often called “Athens of the South.” The city is home to the Belmont University, Lipscomb University, Fisk University, Nashville State Community College, Tennessee State University, Vanderbilt University, American Baptist College, Nashville School of Law, Watkins College of Art, Design and Film, Aquinas College and others.
As for the sports, Nashville is home to the NFL’s Tennessee Titans and the NHL’s Nashville Predators, as well as Nashville Sounds of the Pacific Coast league, Nashville Metros of the premier Development League and Nashville Soul of the American Basketball League.
Nashville is situated at the intersection of I-40, I-24 and I-65. It is served by Nashville International Airport. Even though it is a major railroad hub, Nashville is not served by Amtrak. The passenger commuter rail system in the city is called Music City Star and the Metropolitan Transit Authority provides bus service within the city.