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Tennessee was first explored by the famous Spaniard Hernando de Soto in 1540. Originally formed as the state of "Franklin" in 1784, the state was disbanded and reorganized as the state of Tennessee when it joined the Union in 1796. Tennessee saw extensive military action during the American Civil War as a Confederate state.
Predominantly an industrial state, Tennessee produces such important products as furniture, textiles, and clothing, electrical machinery, lumber and wood products, primary metals and metal products, and chemicals. Tennessee is also a leading producer of tobacco and tobacco products. An extensive number of dams and reservoirs in the state are operated and controlled by the Tennessee Valley Authority.
Famous in modern times for Bluegrass Music and Barbeque, Tennessee is a popular tourist destination. Points of interest include the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Hermitage, the home of Andrew Jackson, Chattanooga's Rock City Gardens, and pop culture destinations like Dollywood and Graceland in Memphis.