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Birthdays happen every year. Usually we look forward to them and eagerly await a
day to celebrate ourselves or someone we care for. Certain birthday celebrations carry special weight, the day you become 10! You have two digits to describe how old you
are, small detail but still meaningful. 13 in some cultures means you’re adult enough
to be held to a higher standard for your actions. Debatable on the value of that one but at least there’s still cake. A 16th birthday can have special privileges added – driving yourself to a friends house is now possible. At 18 and you’re an adult in every legal way and you have the ability to do almost anything you want, the world is a challenge waiting for you to seize upon. Turning 21 has meaning for some while others celebrate 29 – for the third time. Hitting the mid-century 5-0 mark can cause you to think a bit more about
your past and what you have accomplished. Somewhere in your 60’s you look forward to celebrate retirement and if you are fortunate enough to have three digits to describe
your age, people you don’t even know will celebrate with you. Well, maybe you do know hem you just can’t remember…at least there’s still cake.
McMinn County is turning 200 this year and we have much to celebrate. Not just having lasted as a de ned land location somewhere in eastern Tennessee but as a place who’s in uence has affected much more than is contained in the lines drawn on a map. Take some time to celebrate and re ect on the triumphs birthed from here that have affected quite literally the world.
The county is named after Joseph McMinn who served in the revolutionary war and as the 4th governor of Tennessee. No small tasks to begin with. The actions from this community continued to take shape and form ideas that stretched beyond the county line. Many positive actions and some not so glowing events ll in our past. The Native American removal left a signi cant mark in our history we still try to understand to this day. After a civil war and rebuilding a nation this area was known as a hotbed for volunteers in both global wars. Every single person was valuable in those ghts. The letters to those troops fueled their spirits amid con ict but it was just one letter from home in this county that changed someone’s mind and allowed women the right to vote in this country. A battle in the streets here changed how those votes were handled and the resolutions formed from that skirmish still in uences voting standards throughout the United States to this day. Civil rights changes did play out here but this area is not known for the violent clashes so many other location had. Instead we are not know for them – which I think speaks better of us.
People who lived through some of these pivotal moments in McMinn’s history still walk our streets today, and if you haven’t talked to them you should. Their understanding and perspective will help guide you through the next pivotal moments McMinn residents and this region will face. In the meantime – celebrate this counties 200th birthday and celebrate what we have done as a community! And, you should even take some time to re ect on those missteps in our path from 1819 that led us to where we are today. Whatever day today happens to be when you’re reading this there is probably a bicentennial celebration somewhere in McMinn county getting ready to happen or happening. You should go out and enjoy it.
And there will most likely be cake.