ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Size: Chattanooga is 140.7 square miles in size. You could fit San Francisco, Manhattan and Brooklyn inside Chattanooga's sprawling boundaries, which makes the "Scenic City" sound huge. Yet Chattanooga is dwarfed by its neighbor to the west, Nashville, which merged with Davidson County in 1963 and contains a whopping 523 square miles.

Relative size: Chattanooga has the fourth-largest population in Tennessee and is the 139th most populated city in the United States, according to the 2010 census.

Population: 173,778 according to the most recent U.S. Census estimate.

Date incorporated: 1839

History: On Dec. 20, 1839, the legislature granted a charter to the city of Chattanooga, and James Berry became the city's first mayor. In 1843, when the legislature convened to select a permanent state capital, Chattanooga came within a few votes of winning that distinction. Chattanooga got its name, according to Joshua Ross, a nephew of Cherokee Chief John Ross, from the Creek Indian word "Chat-to-to-noog-gee" which means "rock rising to a point" and is a good description of Lookout Mountain.

Government: Strong mayor system — A nine-member, part-time City Council adopts ordinances, while the mayor sets priorities, approves the budget and is responsible for overseeing the operation of city government.

Unique events: The Cotton Ball, one of the South's oldest debutante balls which describes itself as a "presentation of college-age debutantes, a festive celebration of a young woman's coming out," will mark its 82nd year in August.

Famous residents past and present: Debra McKee, also known as "Little Debbie," since her likeness graces the snacks named for her, NFL star Reggie White, singer Usher Raymond, actor Samuel L. Jackson and early blues singer Bessie Smith.

Fun Fact: The Glen Miller Orchestra won the first gold record awarded by the music industry for the song, "Chattanooga Choo Choo."

Quote: "I'm an only child. Growing up for me was kind of fun. I never went to school with a white kid. I never had a white teacher until I got to college. So, my whole existence was in this black cocoon but it was a loving and nurturing environment." — Samuel L. Jackson, in a TV interview on "Live! With Kelly and Michael" in February 2015

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT