NASHVILLE (/næʃˈvɪl/ ) is the capital and most populous city of
U.S. state of
Tennessee and the seat of Davidson County . It is
located on the
Cumberland River in northern Middle
Tennessee . The
city is a center for the music, healthcare, publishing, private
prison, banking and transportation industries, and is home to
numerous colleges and universities.
Nashville has had a consolidated city-county government,
which includes six smaller municipalities in a two-tier system. The
city is governed by a mayor, a vice-mayor, and a 40-member
Metropolitan Council; 35 of the members are elected from single-member
districts, while the other five are elected at-large . Reflecting the
city's position in state government,
Nashville is home to the
Tennessee Supreme Court 's courthouse for Middle
Tennessee . According
to 2016 estimates from the
U.S. Census Bureau
U.S. Census Bureau , the total consolidated
city-county population stood at 684,410. The "balance" population,
which excludes semi-independent municipalities within Davidson County,
was 660,388. The 2015 population of the entire 13-county Nashville
metropolitan area was 1,830,345, making it the largest metropolitan
statistical area in Tennessee. The 2015 population of the
Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Columbia combined statistical area
, a larger trade area, was 1,951,644.
* 1 History
* 1.1 20th century
* 1.2 21st century
* 2 Geography
* 2.1 Topography
* 2.2 Climate
* 2.3 Cityscape
* 2.4 Neighborhoods
* 3 Demographics
* 4 Economy
* 4.1 Top employers
* 5 Culture
* 5.1 Dining
* 5.2 Entertainment and performing arts
* 5.3 Tourism
* 5.3.1 Major annual events
* 5.4 Nicknames
* 6 Sports
* 6.1 Professional
* 6.2 College and amateur
* 7 Parks and gardens
* 8 Law and government
* 8.1 Politics
* 9 Education
* 9.1 Public schools
* 9.2 Private schools
* 9.3 Colleges and universities
* 10 Media
* 11 Transportation
* 11.1 Road
* 11.2 Bus
* 11.3 Air
* 11.4 Rail
* 11.4.2 Commuter
* 11.5 Bridges
* 12 Sister cities
* 13 See also
* 14 Notes
* 15 References
* 16 Further reading
* 17 External links
Main articles: History of Nashville,
Tennessee and Timeline of
The town of
Nashville was founded by James Robertson , John Donelson
, and a party of
Overmountain Men in 1779, near the original
Cumberland settlement of
Fort Nashborough . It was named for Francis
Nash , the
American Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War hero.
Nashville quickly grew
because of its strategic location, accessibility as a port on the
Cumberland River , a tributary of the
Ohio River ; and its later
status as a major railroad center. By 1800, the city had 345
residents, including 136
African American slaves and 14 free blacks.
Nashville was incorporated as a city and became the county
seat of Davidson County, Tennessee. In 1843, the city was named the
permanent capital of the state of Tennessee.
shortly after the
American Civil War
American Civil War
By 1860, when the first rumblings of secession began to be heard
across the South , antebellum
Nashville was a prosperous city. The
city's significance as a shipping port made it a desirable prize as a
means of controlling important river and railroad transportation
routes. In February 1862,
Nashville became the first state capital to
fall to Union troops. The state was occupied by Union troops for the
duration of the war. The
Battle of Nashville (December 15–16, 1864)
was a significant Union victory and perhaps the most decisive tactical
victory gained by either side in the war; it was also the war's final
major military action, which afterward became almost entirely a war of
attrition consisting largely of guerrilla raids and small skirmishes,
with the Confederate forces in the
Deep South almost constantly in
Within a few years after the Civil War, the
Nashville chapter of the
Ku Klux Klan was founded by Confederate veteran John W. Morton .
Meanwhile, the city had reclaimed its important shipping and trading
position and developed a solid manufacturing base. The post–Civil
War years of the late 19th century brought new prosperity to Nashville
and Davidson County. These healthy economic times left the city with a
legacy of grand classical-style buildings, including the
Centennial Park , which can still be seen around the downtown area.
Circa 1950 the state legislature approved a new city charter that
provided for the election of city council members from single-member
districts , rather than at-large voting. This change was supported
because at-large voting diluted the minority population's political
power in the city. They could seldom gain a majority of the population
to support a candidate of their choice. Apportionment under the
single-member districts meant that some districts had black
majorities. In 1951, after passage of the new charter,
Z. Alexander Looby and Robert E. Lillard
were elected to the city council.
The years after World War II were a time of rapid suburbanization as
new housing was built outside the city limits. This resulted in a
demand for many new schools and other support facilities, which the
county found difficult to provide. At the same time, suburbanization
led to a declining tax base in the city, although many suburban
residents used unique city amenities and services supported only by
city taxpayers. After years of discussion, a referendum was held in
1958 on the issue of consolidating city and county government. It
failed to gain approval although it was supported by elected leaders
of both jurisdictions: County Judge
Beverly Briley of Davidson and
Ben West of Nashville.
Following the referendum's failure,
Nashville annexed some 42 square
miles of suburban jurisdictions to expand its tax base. This increased
uncertainty among residents, and created resentment among many
suburban communities. Under the second charter for metropolitan
government, which was approved in 1962, two levels of service
provision were proposed: the General Services District and the Urban
Services District, to provide for a differential in tax levels.
Residents of the Urban Services District had a full range of city
services. The areas that made up the General Services District,
however, had a lower tax rate until full services were provided. This
helped reconcile aspects of services and taxation among the differing
jurisdictions within the large metro region.
On April 19, 1960, African-American council member Looby's house was
bombed by segregationists. Protesters marched to the city hall the
next day, and Mayor
Ben West said he supported the de-segregation of
Nashville consolidated its government with Davidson County,
forming a metropolitan government . The membership on the Metro
Council, the legislative body, was increased from 21 to 40 seats. Of
these, five members are elected at-large and 35 are elected from
single-member districts, each to serve a term of four years.
On April 8, 1967, a riot occurred on the college campuses of Fisk
Tennessee State University after Stokely Carmichael
spoke at Vanderbilt University. Although it was viewed as a "race
riot", it had classist characteristics.
In 1979, the
Ku Klux Klan burnt crosses outside two African-American
locations in Nashville, including the
Nashville headquarters of the
Since the 1970s, the city and county have experienced tremendous
growth, particularly during the economic boom of the 1990s under the
leadership of then-Mayor and later-
Tennessee Governor , Phil Bredesen
. He made urban renewal a priority, and fostered the construction or
renovation of several city landmarks, including the Country Music Hall
of Fame and Museum , the downtown
Nashville Public Library , the
Bridgestone Arena , and
Nissan Stadium .
Nissan Stadium (formerly Adelphia Coliseum and LP Field) was built
National Football League
National Football League 's (NFL)
Houston Oilers agreed to
move to the city in 1995. The NFL team debuted in
Nashville in 1998 at
Vanderbilt Stadium , and
Nissan Stadium opened in the summer of 1999.
The Oilers changed their name to the
Tennessee Titans and finished the
season with the
Music City Miracle and a close Super Bowl game in
St. Louis Rams ' win was secured in the last play .
Nashville was awarded a
National Hockey League
National Hockey League expansion
team; this was named the
Nashville Predators . Since the 2003–04
season, the Predators have made the playoffs all but three seasons. In
2017, they made the
Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in franchise
history, but ultimately fell to the
Pittsburgh Penguins , 4 games to
2, in the best-of-seven series.
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The city bounced back with relative ease from the
Great Recession .
In March 2012, a Gallup poll ranked
Nashville in its top five regions
for job growth.
Nashville was described as "Nowville" and "It City" by GQ ,
The New York Times
The New York Times .
Nashville elected its first female mayor,
Megan Barry , on September
25, 2015. As a council member, Barry had previously performed the
first same-sex wedding in
Nashville on June 26, 2015.
In 2017, Nashville's economy was deemed the third fastest growing in
the nation, and also was named the "hottest housing market in the US"
by Freddie Mac realtors.
A satellite image of
Nashville lies on the
Cumberland River in the northwestern portion of
Nashville Basin . Nashville's elevation ranges from its lowest
point, 385 feet (117 m) above sea level at the Cumberland River, to
its highest point, 1,163 feet (354 m) above sea level in the Radnor
Lake State Natural Area .
According to the
United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau , the city has a total
area of 527.9 square miles (1,367 km2), of which 504.0 square miles
(1,305 km2) of it is land and 23.9 square miles (62 km2) of it (4.53%)
Nashville has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa), with hot,
humid summers and generally cool to mild winters typical of the Upper
South . Monthly averages range from 37.7 °F (3.2 °C) in January
to 79.4 °F (26.3 °C) in July, with a diurnal temperature variation
of 18.2 to 23.0 °F (10.1 to 12.8 °C).
Snowfall occurs during the winter months, but it is usually not
heavy. Average annual snowfall is about 6.3 inches (16 cm), falling
mostly in January and February and occasionally in March and December.
The largest snow event since 2003 was on January 22, 2016, when
Nashville received 8 inches (20 cm) of snow in a single storm; the
largest overall was 17 inches (43 cm), received on March 17, 1892,
during the St. Patrick\'s Day Snowstorm .
Rainfall is typically greater in November and December, and spring,
while August to October are the driest months on average. Spring and
fall are prone to severe thunderstorms , which occasionally bring
tornadoes —with recent major events on April 16, 1998 ; April 7,
2006 ; February 5, 2008 ; April 10, 2009 ; and May 1–2, 2010 .
Relative humidity in
Nashville averages 83% in the mornings and 60% in
the afternoons, which is considered moderate for the Southeastern
United States. In recent decades, due to urban development, Nashville
has developed an urban heat island (UHI); especially on cool, clear
nights, temperatures are up to 10 °F (5.6 °C) warmer in the heart of
the city than in rural outlying areas. The
Nashville region lies
within USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 7a.
Nashville's long springs and autumns combined with a diverse array of
trees and grasses can often make it uncomfortable for allergy
sufferers. In 2008,
Nashville was ranked as the 18th-worst spring
allergy city in the U.S. by the Asthma and
Allergy Foundation of
The coldest temperature ever recorded in
Nashville was −17 °F
(−27 °C) on January 21, 1985 , and the highest was 109 °F (43 °C)
on June 29, 2012 .
CLIMATE DATA FOR NASHVILLE (NASHVILLE INT\\'L ), 1981–2010
NORMALS, EXTREMES 1871−PRESENT
RECORD HIGH °F (°C)
MEAN MAXIMUM °F (°C)
AVERAGE HIGH °F (°C)
AVERAGE LOW °F (°C)
MEAN MINIMUM °F (°C)
RECORD LOW °F (°C)
AVERAGE PRECIPITATION INCHES (MM)
AVERAGE SNOWFALL INCHES (CM)
AVERAGE PRECIPITATION DAYS (≥ 0.01 IN)
AVERAGE SNOWY DAYS (≥ 0.1 IN)
AVERAGE RELATIVE HUMIDITY (%)
MEAN MONTHLY SUNSHINE HOURS
PERCENT POSSIBLE SUNSHINE
Source: NOAA (relative humidity and sun 1961−1990),
Nashville See also: List of tallest buildings in
Nashville's downtown area features a diverse assortment of
entertainment, dining, cultural and architectural attractions. The
Broadway and 2nd Avenue areas feature entertainment venues, night
clubs and an assortment of restaurants. North of Broadway lie
Nashville's central business district, Legislative Plaza, Capitol Hill
Tennessee Bicentennial Mall . Cultural and architectural
attractions can be found throughout the city.
Three major interstate highways (I-40, I-65 and I-24) converge near
the core area of downtown, and many regional cities are within a day's
Nashville's first skyscraper, the
Life & Casualty Tower , was
completed in 1957 and launched the construction of other high rises in
downtown Nashville. After the construction of the AT"> Nashville
skyline in 2009
* Cane Ridge
* Green Hills
* The Gulch
* Old Hickory
* Whites Creek
See also: List of people from Nashville,
The data below is for all of Metropolitan Nashville-Davidson County,
including other incorporated cities within the consolidated
city-county (such as Belle Meade and Berry Hill ). See
Nashville-Davidson (balance) for demographic data on
Nashville-Davidson County excluding separately incorporated cities.
According to the 2009
American Community Survey
American Community Survey , there were 628,434
people residing in the city. The population density was 1,204.2
inhabitants per square mile (464.9/km2). There were 282,452 housing
units at an average density of 560.4 per square mile (216.4/km2).
Hispanic or Latino (of any race)
Map of racial distribution in Nashville, 2010 U.S. Census. Each
dot is 25 people: WHITE, BLACK, ASIAN HISPANIC, or OTHER (yellow)
Population density map per 2000 census
At the 2010 census, the racial makeup of the city was 61.4% White
(57.4% non-Hispanic white ), 27.7%
African American , 0.3% American
Alaska Native, 3.0% Asian, 0.1% Native Hawaiian and Other
Pacific Islander, 2.5% from two or more races. 9.8% of the total
population was of Hispanic or Latino origin (they may be of any race).
The non-Hispanic White population was 79.5% in 1970.
There were 254,651 households and 141,469 families (55.6% of
households). Of households with families, 37.2% had married couples
living together, 14.1% had a female householder with no husband
present, and 4.2% had a male householder with no wife present. 27.9%
of all households had children under the age of 18, and 18.8% had at
least one member 65 years of age or older. Of the 44.4% of households
that are non-families, 36.2% were individuals and 8.2% had someone
living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household
size was 2.38 and the average family size was 3.16.
The age distribution was 22% under 18, 10% from 18 to 24, 33% from 25
to 44, 24% from 45 to 64, and 11% who were 65 or older. The median age
was 34.2 years. For every 100 females there were 94.1 males. For every
100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.7 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $46,141, and the
median income for a family was $56,377. Males with a year-round,
full-time job had a median income of $41,017 versus $36,292 for
females. The per capita income for the city was $27,372. About 13.9%
of families and 18.2% of the population were below the poverty line,
including 29.5% of those under age 18 and 9.9% of those age 65 or
over. Of residents 25 or older, 33.4% have a bachelor's degree or
Because of its relatively low cost of living and large job market,
Nashville has become a popular city for immigrants . Nashville's
foreign-born population more than tripled in size between 1990 and
2000, increasing from 12,662 to 39,596. The city's largest immigrant
groups include Mexicans , Kurds , Vietnamese , Laotians , Arabs , and
Somalis . There are also smaller communities of
Pakistan concentrated primarily in Antioch .
Nashville has the largest Kurdish community in the United States,
numbering approximately 11,000. In 2009, about 60,000 Bhutanese
refugees were being admitted to the U.S., and some were expected to
resettle in Nashville. During the Iraqi election of 2005 , Nashville
was one of the few international locations where Iraqi expatriates
could vote. The American Jewish community in
Nashville dates back
over 150 years, and numbered about 8,000 in 2015, plus 2,000 Jewish
Nashville metropolitan area
As of 2015 ,
Nashville has the largest metropolitan area in the state
of Tennessee, spanning 13 counties and an estimated population of
Nashville metropolitan statistical area encompasses 13
of 41 Middle
Tennessee counties: Cannon , Cheatham , Davidson ,
Dickson , Hickman , Macon , Robertson , Rutherford , Smith , Sumner ,
Trousdale , Williamson , and Wilson . The 2015 population of the
Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Columbia combined statistical area
was estimated at 1,951,644.
Signs welcoming motorists into
Nashville on major roadways
include the phrases "Music City" and "Home Of The Grand Ole Opry".
See also: List of companies based in Nashville,
As the "home of country music",
Nashville has become a major music
recording and production center. The Big Four record labels , as well
as numerous independent labels, have offices in Nashville, mostly in
Music Row area.
Nashville has been the headquarters of guitar
company Gibson since 1984. Since the 1960s,
Nashville has been the
second-largest music production center (after New York) in the United
States. As of 2006, Nashville's music industry is estimated to have a
total economic impact of $6.4 billion per year and to contribute
19,000 jobs to the
In recent times
Nashville has been described as a "southern boomtown"
by numerous publications, with it having the third fastest growing
economy in the
United States as of 2017. It has been stated by the US
Census bureau that
Nashville "adds an average of 100 people a day to
its net population increase". The
Nashville region was also stated to
be the "Number One" Metro Area for Professional and Business Service
Jobs in America, as well as having the "hottest Housing market in
America" as stated by
Nashville is renowned as a music recording center and
tourist destination, its largest industry is health care.
home to more than 300 health care companies, including Hospital
Corporation of America (HCA), the world's largest private operator of
hospitals. As of 2012 , it is estimated the health care industry
contributes US$30 billion per year and 200,000 jobs to the
CoreCivic , formerly known as Corrections Corporation of America and
one of the largest private corrections company in the United States,
was founded in
Nashville in 1983.
Vanderbilt University was one of
its investors prior to the company's initial public offering . The
City of Nashville's pension fund includes "a $921,000 stake" in the
company as of 2017. The
Nashville Scene notes that, "A drop in
CoreCivic stock value, however minor, would have a direct impact on
the pension fund that represents nearly 25,000 current and former
The automotive industry is also becoming increasingly important for
Nissan North America moved its corporate
headquarters in 2006 from
Gardena, California (Los Angeles County ) to
Franklin , southwest of Nashville.
Nissan also has its largest North
American manufacturing plant in Smyrna,
Tennessee . Largely as a
result of the increased development of
Nissan and other Japanese
economic interests in the region, Japan moved its former New Orleans
consulate-general to Nashville's
Palmer Plaza .
Bridgestone has a strong presence with their North American
headquarters located in Nashville, with manufacturing plants and a
distribution center in nearby counties.
Other major industries in
Nashville include insurance, finance, and
publishing (especially religious publishing). The city hosts
headquarters operations for several Protestant denominations,
United Methodist Church
United Methodist Church ,
Southern Baptist Convention ,
National Baptist Convention USA , and the National Association of Free
Will Baptists .
Nashville is also known for some of their famously popular Southern
confections, including Goo Goo Clusters (which have been made in
Nashville since 1912).
Fortune 500 companies with offices within
Community Health Systems
Community Health Systems ,
Dollar General ,
Hospital Corporation of America ,
Nissan North America,
Tractor Supply Company , and
UBS . Of these, Community Health Systems,
Dollar General, Hospital Corporation of America, and Tractor Supply
Company are headquartered in the city.
In 2013, the city ranked No. 5 on
Forbes ' list of the Best Places
for Business and Careers. In 2015,
Nashville as the 4th
City for White Collar Jobs.
In 2015, Business Facilities' 11th Annual Rankings report named
Nashville the number one city for Economic Growth Potential.
Real estate is becoming a major driver for the city's economy. Based
on a survey of nearly 1,500 real estate industry professionals
PricewaterhouseCoopers and the
Urban Land Institute ,
Nashville ranked 7th nationally in terms of attractiveness to real
estate investors for 2016. As of October 2015 , according to city
figures, there is more than $2 billion in real estate projects
underway or projected to start in 2016. Due to high yields available
Nashville has been attracting a lot of capital from
out-of-state. A key factor that has been attributed to the increase in
investment is the adjustment to the city's zoning code. Developers can
easily include a combination of residential, office, retail and
entertainment space into their projects. Additionally, the city has
invested heavily into public parks. Centennial Park is undergoing
extensive renovations. The change in the zoning code and the
investment in public space is consistent with the millennial
generation's preference for walkable urban neighborhoods.
According to the city's 2016 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,
the top employers in the city are:
# OF EMPLOYEES
Vanderbilt University and Medical Center
Metropolitan Nashville-Davidson County government and public
U.S. federal government
Nissan North America
Saint Thomas Health
Community Health Systems
Community Health Systems
Much of the city's cultural life has revolved around its large
university community. Particularly significant in this respect were
two groups of critics and writers who were associated with Vanderbilt
University in the early 20th century: the Fugitives and the Agrarians
Popular destinations include
Fort Nashborough and
Fort Negley , the
former being a reconstruction of the original settlement, the latter
being a semi-restored Civil War battle fort; the
Museum ; and The
Parthenon , a full-scale replica of the original
Parthenon in Athens. The
Tennessee State Capitol is one of the oldest
working state capitol buildings in the nation. The Hermitage , the
former home of President
Andrew Jackson , is one of the largest
presidential homes open to the public, and is also one of the most
Some of the more popular types of local cuisine include hot chicken ,
hot fish , barbecue , and meat and three . Thanks in part to
Nashville's foodie culture, the city was ranked as the 13th
"snobbiest" city in America according to
Travel + Leisure magazine.
ENTERTAINMENT AND PERFORMING ARTS
Ryman Auditorium , the "Mother Church of Country Music"
Nashville has a vibrant music and entertainment scene spanning a
variety of genres. The
Tennessee Performing Arts Center is the major
performing arts center of the city. It is the home of the Nashville
Repertory Theatre, the
Nashville Opera , the Music
City Drum and Bugle
Corps , and the
Nashville Ballet . In September 2006, the Schermerhorn
Symphony Center opened as the home of the
Nashville Symphony .
As the city's name itself is a metonym for the country music
industry, many popular tourist attractions involve country music ,
Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum , Belcourt Theatre
Ryman Auditorium . The Ryman was home to the Grand Ole Opry
until 1974 when the show moved to the
Grand Ole Opry
Grand Ole Opry House, 9 miles
(14 km) east of downtown. The Opry plays there several times a week,
except for an annual winter run at the Ryman.
A multitude of music clubs and honky-tonk bars can be found in
downtown Nashville, particularly the area encompassing Lower Broadway
, Second Avenue, and Printer\'s Alley , which is often referred to as
Each June, the
CMA Music Festival (formerly known as Fan Fair) brings
thousands of country fans to the city. The
Tennessee State Fair is
also held annually in September.
Nashville was once home of television shows such as
Hee Haw and Pop!
Goes the Country , as well as
The Nashville Network and later, RFD-TV
Country Music Television and
Great American Country currently
operate from Nashville. The city was also home to the Opryland USA
theme park , which operated from 1972 to 1997 before being closed by
its owners (
Gaylord Entertainment Company ) and soon after demolished
to make room for the
Opry Mills mega-shopping mall.
Contemporary Christian music industry is based along Nashville's
Music Row , with a great influence in neighboring Williamson County .
The Christian record companies include
EMI Christian Music Group ,
Provident Label Group and
Word Records .
Music Row houses many gospel music and Contemporary Christian music
companies centered around 16th and 17th Avenues South. Kirk
Whalum visiting the audience at a riverfront concert in 2007
Nashville was never known as a jazz town, it did have many
great jazz bands, including The
Jazz Machine led by Dave
Converse and its current version, the
Jazz Orchestra, led by
Jim Williamson, as well as The Establishment, led by Billy Adair. The
Francis Craig Orchestra entertained Nashvillians from 1929 to 1945
from the Oak Bar and Grille Room in the
Hermitage Hotel . Craig's
orchestra was also the first to broadcast over local radio station
WSM-AM and enjoyed phenomenal success with a 12-year show on the NBC
Radio Network. In the late 1930s, he introduced a newcomer, Dinah
Shore , a local graduate of Hume Fogg High School and Vanderbilt
Radio station WMOT-FM in nearby Murfreesboro , which formerly
programmed jazz almost exclusively and still does so on the weekends,
aided significantly in the recent revival of the city's jazz scene, as
has the non-profit
Jazz Workshop, which holds concerts and
classes in a renovated building in the north
Nashville neighborhood of
Fisk University also maintains a jazz station,
Nashville has an active theatre scene and is home to several
professional and community theatre companies.
Nashville Repertory Theatre , the
Festival , the Dance Theatre of
Tennessee and the
Theater Project are among the most prominent professional companies.
One community theatre, Circle Players, has been in operation for over
Perhaps the biggest factor in drawing visitors to
Nashville is its
association with country music. Many visitors to
Nashville attend live
performances of the Grand Ole Opry, the world's longest-running live
radio show. The
Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is another major
attraction relating to the popularity of country music. The Gaylord
Opryland Resort ">
A free event held in the historic Germantown neighborhood since
1980 celebrating the culture and customs of Germany. Oktoberfest is
Nashville's oldest annual festival and is one of the largest in the
South. In 2015, over 143,000 people attended the three-day event
which raised $60,000 for
Southern Festival of Books
A festival held in October, featuring readings, panels, and book
Country Music Association Awards
Award ceremony normally held in November at the
and televised to a national audience.
Veterans Day Parade
A parade running down Broadway on 11/11 at 11:11.11 am since 1951.
101st Airborne Division
101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Tennessee
National Guard , veterans from wars past and present, military plane
fly-overs, tanks, motorcycles, first responder vehicles, marching
bands and thousands of spectators.
Nashville is a colorful, well-known city in several different arenas.
As such, it has earned various sobriquets, including:
* MUSIC CITY, U.S.A.: WSM-AM announcer David Cobb first used this
name during a 1950 broadcast and it stuck. It is now the official
nickname used by the
Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Nashville is the home of the
Grand Ole Opry
Grand Ole Opry , the Country Music Hall
of Fame, and many major record labels . This name also dates back to
1874, where after receiving and hearing a performance by the Fisk
Jubilee Singers ,
Queen Victoria of England is reported as saying that
"These young people must surely come from a musical city."
* ATHENS OF THE SOUTH: Home to 24 post-secondary educational
Nashville has long been compared to Athens, the ancient
city of learning and site of
Plato 's Academy. Since 1897, a
full-scale replica of the Athenian
Parthenon has stood in Nashville,
and many examples of classical and neoclassical architecture can be
found in the city. The term was popularized by Philip Lindsley
(1786–1855), President of the
University of Nashville , though it is
unclear whether he was the first person to use the phrase.
* THE PROTESTANT VATICAN or THE BUCKLE OF THE BIBLE BELT :
Nashville has over 700 churches, several seminaries, a number of
Christian music companies, and is the headquarters for the publishing
arms of the
Southern Baptist Convention (LifeWay Christian Resources
United Methodist Church
United Methodist Church (
United Methodist Publishing House )
and the National Baptist Convention (Sunday School Publishing Board).
It is also the seat of the National Baptist Convention , the National
Association of Free Will Baptists , the
Gideons International , the
Gospel Music Association , and Thomas Nelson , the world's largest
producer of Bibles.
Nashville has several professional sports teams, of which two, the
Nashville Predators of the NHL and the
Tennessee Titans of the NFL ,
play at the highest professional level of their respective sports.
Nashville MLS team
Nashville Fairgrounds Stadium
Nashville hosts the second oldest continually operating race track in
the United States, the
Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway . It hosted
NASCAR Winston Cup races from 1958 to 1984, and NASCAR Busch Series
NASCAR Truck Series in the 1980s and 1990s, and later the NASCAR
Whelen All-American Series and
ARCA Racing Series .
Nashville hosted a team called the
Nashville Rebels which
participated in the 1938 American Football League , and two Arena
Football League teams named the
Nashville Kats : one that ran from
1997 to 2001 until they were sold to
Atlanta and renamed as the
Georgia Force ; and another expansion franchise that competed from
2005 to 2007.
Nashville Invitational was a golf tournament on the
PGA Tour from
1944 to 1946. The
Sara Lee Classic was part of the L
PGA Tour from 1988
to 2002. The
Music City Championship at Gaylord Opryland of the
Champions Tour was held 1994 to 2003. The
Nashville Golf Open is part
Web.com Tour since 2016. The 1961 Women\'s Western Open and
1980 U.S. Women\'s Open Golf Championship were also held at Nashville.
In December 2017,
Nashville was awarded a Major League Soccer
COLLEGE AND AMATEUR
Nashville is also home to four Division I athletic programs.
Nashville is also home to the NCAA college football
Music City Bowl .
2004 Vanderbilt-Navy Game
Division I (FBS )
Tennessee State Tigers
Division I (FCS )
Ohio Valley Conference
Division I (non-football )
Ohio Valley Conference
Division I (non-football )
Atlantic Sun Conference
Nashville Kangaroos are an Australian Rules Football team that
compete in the
United States Australian Football League . The
Kangaroos play their home games at Elmington Park. The team is the
reigning USAFL Central Region Champions.
Little League Baseball teams from
Nashville (one in 1970 ; one
in 2013 ; and, one in 2014 ) have qualified for the Little League
World Series . A team from neighboring
Goodlettsville qualified for
the 2012 series, giving the metropolitan area teams in three
consecutive years to so qualify.
PARKS AND GARDENS
Parthenon in Nashville's Centennial Park is a full-scale
reconstruction of the original Greek
Metro Board of Parks and Recreation owns and manages 10,200 acres
(4,100 ha) of land and 99 parks and greenways (comprising more than 3%
of the total area of the county).
Warner Parks , situated on 2,684 acres (1,086 ha) of land, consists
of a 5,000-square-foot (460 m2) learning center, 20 miles (32 km) of
scenic roads, 12 miles (19 km) of hiking trails, and 10 miles (16 km)
of horse trails. It is also the home of the annual Iroquois
United States Army Corps of Engineers maintains parks on Old
Hickory Lake and
Percy Priest Lake . These parks are used for
activities such as fishing, water skiing , sailing and boating . The
Harbor Island Yacht Club makes its headquarters on Old Hickory Lake,
Percy Priest Lake is home to the Vanderbilt Sailing Club and
Nashville Shores .
Other parks in
Nashville include Centennial Park , Shelby Park ,
Cumberland Park , and
Radnor Lake State Natural Area
Radnor Lake State Natural Area .
On August 27, 2013,
Nashville mayor Karl Dean revealed plans for two
new riverfront parks on the east and west banks of the Cumberland
River downtown. Construction on the east bank park began in the fall
of 2013, and the projected completion date for the west bank park is
2015. Among many exciting benefits of this Cumberland River
re-development project is the construction of a highly anticipated
outdoor amphitheater. Located on the west bank, this music venue will
be surrounded by a new 12-acre (4.9 ha) park and will replace the
previous thermal plant site. It will include room for 6,500 spectators
with 2,500 removable seats and additional seating on an overlooking
grassy knoll. In addition, the 4.5-acre (1.8 ha) east bank park will
include a river landing, providing people access to the river. In
regard to the parks' benefits for Nashvillian civilians, Mayor Dean
remarked that "if done right, the thermal site can be an iconic park
that generations of Nashvillians will be proud of and which they can
LAW AND GOVERNMENT
See also: List of mayors of Nashville,
Tennessee and Metropolitan
Nashville and Davidson County The State Capitol in
The city of
Nashville and Davidson County merged in 1963 as a way for
Nashville to combat the problems of urban sprawl . The combined entity
is officially known as "the Metropolitan Government of
Davidson County", and is popularly known as "Metro Nashville" or
simply "Metro". It offers services such as police , fire , electricity
, water and sewage treatment . When the Metro government was formed in
1963, the government was split into two service districts—the "urban
services district" and the "general services district." The urban
services district encompasses the 1963 boundaries of the former City
of Nashville, approximately 72 square miles (190 km2), and the
general services district includes the remainder of Davidson County.
There are six smaller municipalities within the consolidated
city-county: Belle Meade , Berry Hill , Forest Hills , Oak Hill ,
Goodlettsville (partially), and Ridgetop (partially). These
municipalities use a two-tier system of government, with the smaller
municipality typically providing police services and the Metro
Nashville government providing most other services. Previously, the
city of Lakewood also had a separate charter. However, Lakewood
residents voted in 2010 and 2011 to dissolve its city charter and join
the metropolitan government, with both votes passing.
Nashville is governed by a mayor, vice-mayor, and 40-member
Metropolitan Council. It uses the strong-mayor form of the
mayor–council system . The current mayor of
Nashville is Megan
Barry . The Metropolitan Council is the legislative body of government
Nashville and Davidson County. There are five council members who
are elected at large and 35 council members that represent individual
districts. The Metro Council has regular meetings that are presided
over by the vice-mayor, who is currently David Briley. The Metro
Council meets on the first and third Tuesday of each month at 6:00 pm,
according to the Metropolitan Charter.
Nashville is home to the
Tennessee Supreme Court 's courthouse for
Tennessee and the Estes Kefauver Federal Building and United
States Courthouse , home of the
United States District Court for the
Middle District of
Megan Barry , elected Mayor in 2015
Nashville has been a Democratic stronghold since at least the end of
Reconstruction , and has remained staunchly Democratic even as the
state as a whole has trended strongly Republican . Pockets of
Republican influence exist in the wealthier portions of the city, but
they are usually no match for the overwhelming Democratic trend in the
rest of the city. The issue of school busing roiled politics for years
but subsided after the 1990s. While local elections are officially
nonpartisan, nearly all of the city's elected officials are publicly
known as Democrats. The city is split between 10 state house
districts, all but one of which are held by Democrats (Republican
Speaker of the House
Beth Harwell holds the only Republican house
seat). Three state senate districts and part of a fourth are within
the county; two are held by Democrats and two by Republicans.
In the state legislature,
Nashville politicians serve as leaders of
both the Senate and House Democratic Caucuses. Representative Mike
Stewart serves as Chairman of the House Caucus. Senator Jeff Yarbro
serves as Chairman of the Senate Caucus.
Democrats are no less dominant at the federal level. Democratic
presidential candidates have only failed to carry Davidson County five
times since reconstruction; in 1928, 1968, 1972, 1984 and 1988. In
most years, Democrats have carried
Nashville at the presidential level
with relatively little difficulty, even in years when they lose
Tennessee as a whole. This has been especially true in recent
elections. In the 2000 presidential election, Tennessean Democrat Al
Nashville with over 59% of the vote even as he narrowly
lost his home state. In the 2004 election, Democrat
John Kerry carried
Nashville with 55% of the vote even as
George W. Bush
George W. Bush won the state by
14 points. In 2008,
Barack Obama carried
Nashville with 60% of the
vote even as Republican
John McCain won
Tennessee by 15 points.
Despite its large size,
Nashville has been in a single congressional
district for most of the time since Reconstruction; it is currently
the 5th District , represented by Democrat
Jim Cooper . A Republican
has not represented a significant portion of
Nashville since 1874.
Republicans made a few spirited challenges in the mid-1960s and early
1970s. The Republicans almost won it in 1968; only a strong showing by
a candidate from Wallace's
American Independent Party kept the seat in
Democratic hands. However, they have not made a serious bid for the
district since 1972, when the Republican candidate gained only 38% of
the vote even as Nixon carried the district in the presidential
election by a large margin. The district's best-known congressman was
probably Jo Byrns , who represented the district from 1909 to 1936 and
was Speaker of the House for much of Franklin Roosevelt 's first term
as President. Another nationally prominent congressman from Nashville
Percy Priest , who represented the district from 1941 to 1956 and
was House Majority Whip from 1949 to 1953. Former mayors Richard
Bill Boner also sat in the U.S. House before assuming the
Metro mayoral office.
From 2003 to 2013, a sliver of southwestern
Nashville was located in
the 7th District , represented by Republican
Marsha Blackburn . This
area was roughly coextensive with the portion of
represented in the state senate from 1998 to 2002. However, the 5th
regained all of
Nashville after the 2010 census.
The city is served by
Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools .
Christ Presbyterian Academy
Donelson Christian Academy
* Ensworth School
Father Ryan High School
Franklin Road Academy
Goodpasture Christian School
* Harding Academy
Harpeth Hall School
* Madison Academy
Montgomery Bell Academy
Nashville Christian School
* Pope John Paul II High School
* St. Cecilia Academy
St. Paul Christian Academy
University School of Nashville
COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES
Vanderbilt University Campus Center,
Tennessee State University
Nashville is often labeled the "
Athens of the South" due to the many
colleges and universities in the city and the metropolitan area. The
colleges and universities in
American Baptist College
United Church of Christ (HBCU )
John A. Gupton College
Churches of Christ
Meharry Medical College
United Methodist Church
United Methodist Church (HBCU )
Nashville School of Law
Nashville Auto Diesel College (a
NAFTC Training Center)
Nashville State Community College
Tennessee State University
Trevecca Nazarene University
Watkins College of Art, Design "> Offices for
The daily newspaper in
The Tennessean , which until 1998
competed with the
Nashville Banner , another daily paper that was
housed in the same building under a joint-operating agreement . The
Tennessean is the city's most widely circulated newspaper. Online news
NashvillePost.com competes with the printed dailies to break
local and state news. Several weekly papers are also published in
Nashville, including The
Nashville Pride ,
Nashville Business Journal
Nashville Scene and The
Tennessee Tribune . Historically, The
Tennessean was associated with a broadly liberal editorial policy,
while The Banner carried staunchly conservative views in its editorial
pages; The Banner's heritage had been carried on, to an extent, by The
City Paper which folded in August 2013 after having been founded in
October 2000. The
Nashville Scene is the area's alternative weekly
Nashville Pride is aimed towards community development
and serves Nashville's entrepreneurial population.
Nashville Post is
an online news source covering business, politics and sports.
Nashville is home to eleven broadcast television stations, although
most households are served by direct cable network connections.
Comcast Cable has a monopoly on terrestrial cable service in Davidson
County (but not throughout the entire media market ).
ranked as the 29th largest television market in the United States.
Major stations include
WKRN-TV 2 (ABC ),
WSMV-TV 4 (
WTVF 5 (CBS
), WNPT 8 (
WZTV 17 (Fox ),
WNPX-TV 28 (ion ),
WPGD-TV 50 (TBN
WLLC-LP 42 (
WUXP-TV 30 (
MyNetworkTV ), and
WNAB 58 (CW
Nashville is also home to cable networks Country Music Television
(CMT), among others. CMT's master control facilities are located in
City with the other
Viacom properties. The Top 20 Countdown
and CMT Insider are taped in their
Nashville studios. Shop at Home
Network was once based in Nashville, but the channel signed off in
Several dozen FM and AM radio stations broadcast in the Nashville
area, including five college stations and one LPFM community radio
Nashville is ranked as the 44th largest radio market in the
WSM-FM is owned by
Cumulus Media and is 95.5 FM. WSM-AM
, owned by Gaylord Entertainment Company, can be heard nationally on
650 AM or online at WSM Online from its studios located inside the
Gaylord Opryland Resort "> A
Music City Star
Music City Star commuter train beneath
Shelby Street Bridge Interior of an airport terminal
Nashville is centrally located at the crossroads of three Interstate
Highways : I-40 , I-24 , and I-65 . Interstate 440 is a bypass route
connecting I-40, I-65, and I-24 south of downtown Nashville. Briley
Parkway connects the north side of the city and its interstates.
Interstate 840 provides a southern Bypass for the city, and a Bypass
for I-40 for the city and its suburbs. A number of arterial surface
roads called "pikes" radiate from the city center; many carry the
names of nearby towns to which they lead. Among these are Clarksville
Pike, Gallatin Pike, Lebanon Pike, Murfreesboro Pike, Nolensville
Pike, and Franklin Pike.
The Metropolitan Transit Authority provides bus transit within the
city, out of a newly built hub station downtown. Routes utilize a hub
and spoke method. Expansion plans include use of
Bus rapid transit
Bus rapid transit for
new routes, with the possibility for local rail service at some point
in the future.
Nashville is considered a gateway city for rail and air traffic for
Piedmont Atlantic Megaregion .
The city is served by
Nashville International Airport (BNA), which
was a hub for
American Airlines between 1986 and 1995 and is now a
focus city for
Southwest Airlines . During 2011, Nashville
International was the 34th busiest passenger airport in the U.S. with
a total of 4,673,047 passenger boardings. Major airlines serving
Nashville include American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier
Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, WestJet, Alaska
Airlines, JetBlue Airways, British Airways and AirCanada. AirTran
Airways offered limited routing to the airport until it was deemed
unprofitable. In late 2014, BNA became the first major U.S. airport to
authorize ridesharing services with dedicated pick-up and drop-off
Although a major freight hub for
CSX Transportation ,
not currently served by
Amtrak , the second-largest metropolitan area
in the U.S. to have this distinction. Amtrak's Floridian (Chicago to
Miami and St. Petersburg,
Florida via Louisville and Nashville) served
Nashville until its cancellation on October 9, 1979 due to poor track
conditions resulting in late trains and low ridership.
While there have been no proposals to restore
Amtrak service to
Nashville, there have been repeated calls from residents. However,
Tennessee state officials have advised it will not be happening
anytime soon due to scarce federal funding. "It would be wonderful to
say I can be in Memphis and jump on a train to Nashville, but the
volume of people who would do that isn't anywhere close to what the
cost would be to provide the service", said Ed Cole, chief of
environment and planning with the
Tennessee Department of
Transportation. Ross Capon, executive director of the National
Association of Railroad Passengers, said rail trips would catch on if
routes were expanded, but conceded that it would be nearly impossible
Amtrak service to
Nashville without a substantial investment
from the state because federal money has dried up.
Nashville launched a passenger commuter rail system called the Music
City Star on September 18, 2006. The only currently operational leg of
the system connects the city of Lebanon to downtown
Nashville at the
Nashville Riverfront station . Legs to Clarksville, Murfreesboro and
Gallatin are currently in the feasibility study stage. The system plan
includes seven legs connecting
Nashville to surrounding suburbs.
Bridges within the city include:
Korean War Veterans Memorial Bridge
1,660 feet (510 m)
May 19, 2004
Kelly Miller Smith Bridge
Jefferson Street Bridge
March 2, 1994
Old Hickory Bridge
Martin Luther King Jr. Bridge
September 18, 1980
John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge
Shelby Street Bridge
3,150 feet (960 m)
July 5, 1909
Silliman Evans Bridge
2,362 feet (720 m)
Victory Memorial Bridge
July 2, 1956
William Goodwin Bridge
Hobson Pike Bridge
2,215 feet (675 m)
Woodland Street Bridge
639 feet (195 m)
Nashville is an active participant in the sister cities program and
has relationships with the following towns and cities:
Belfast , Northern Ireland (United Kingdom)
Edmonton , Alberta (Canada)
* Mendoza (Argentina)
Tamworth, New South Wales (Australia)
Gwangjin-gu (South Korea)
Municipality United in Friendship
El Port de la Selva (Spain)
* List of people from Nashville,
* National Register of Historic Places listings in Davidson County,
* Geography portal
* North America portal
United States portal
* ^ Consolidated refers to the population of Davidson County;
Balance refers to the population of
Nashville excluding other
incorporated cities within the Nashville-Davidson boundary.
* ^ Mean monthly maxima and minima (i.e. the expected highest and
lowest temperature readings at any point during the year or given
month) calculated based on data at said location from 1981 to 2010.
* ^ Official records for
Nashville were kept at downtown from May
1871 to December 1939, and at
Nashville Int'l since January 1940. For
more information, see Threadex
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