On Friday Brian still had work that he needed to do, so he instructed me to "visit places he probably wouldn't care about going to". No problem... Tennessee State Capitol it is. I knew we would travelling through the states and so this trip was perfect for Sophie since we were talking about states.
Tenneesse was the 16th state to enter the United States and it's capital is located in Nashville. Construction on the capitol building began in 1845 and was completed in 1859, mostly using slaves and convicts as the primary source of labor. William Strickland was the architect responsible for the capitals design.
I was unaware that 3 of our nations' presidents were from Tennessee. I think most people knew Andrew Jackson 'Old Hickory' (7th President) was from Tennessee, but I didn't know that James K. Polk (11th President) and Andrew Johnson (17th President) also considered this their home state.
In walking around with all the paintings, frescos, sculptures, etc... I thought they would have had something on another famous man from Tenneseeian- David Crockett. Nope.... nada. But hey they had William Bedford Forrest so all is right with the world right? My opinion.... I would have rather seen a statue of Davy Crockett, but that's just me.
The state flag has 3 white stars inside a blue circle. The stars represent 3 landforms (mountains in the east, higlands in the middle, and lowlands in the west) and they remain in the circle to show unity amongst the 3 areas of Tennessee.
Since it was a Friday and we were allowing Sophie to skip school for this, we did figure we'd try and make this experience educational as well.
We visited the House of Representatives which seats 99 members. I think I would have gotten along splendidly with the representative who had 4 plastic pigs at his/her unmarked desk.
Next we went to the Senate, which has 33 members serving. These desks were marked as you can tell.
Across the hall from the Senate was the library. The most impressive feature.... the spiral staircase!
It was a much smaller capital building than I remember Texas' and Kansas' capitol building to be, but it still had very impressive features and the government officials were very kind and welcoming.
We spent the rest of our time there walking along the grounds. We saw the Moltov tunnel, which was closed.
Saw the tomb of James K. Polk (11st president who annexed Texas in 1845 for my Dallas ISD students). Not sure why he chose to be buried on the grounds of the state capitol.
And scoped out the surrounding buildings, such as the Tennessee Supreme Court....
And the State Library.
We also spent some time looking at the various statues and monuments on the grounds.
The kids enjoyed the beautiful iron gates. Said it looked like "jail".
In finishing, I figured I'd also share some fun facts about Tennessee.
State Motto- Agriculture and Commerce
State Flower- Iris
Nickname- The Volunteer State
Highest Point- Cingmans' Dome
Lowest Point- Mississippi River
For more information about the Volunteer State, click HERE.