Originally inhabited by the Cherokee Indians, European contact began in the late 17th Century. By the 1780's, settlement of the area was well under way. In 1786, which many consider the official year of the city's founding, Knoxville was named the first capital city of Tennessee.
Today, it is known for its southern atmosphere, pictaresque downtown, and its surrounding mountains.
People Born in Knoxville
Knoxville in People's Lives
Jake Gyllenhaal: I traveled here in 1998 to film scenes of the movie October Sky. It was my first major movie role.
Sam Houston: After returning from three years of living in the wilderness as part of a Cherokee Indian tribe, I returned to normal life by way of this city. I reached here in 1812, at the age of nineteen, and founded the first school in Tennessee - a one-room schoolhouse. With the outbreak of the War of 1812, I enlisted in the 39th Infantry Regiment, and trained in this city - the beginning of my decorated military career.