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Pulaski, Tennessee
Town Square in Pulaski
Town Square in Pulaski
Location of Pulaski in Giles County, Tennessee.
Location of Pulaski in Giles County, Tennessee.
Country United States
State Tennessee
County Giles County
Incorporated 1809
Named for Kazimierz Pułaski
Area
 • Total 7.51 sq mi (19.44 km2)
 • Land 7.51 sq mi (19.44 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
Elevation
699 ft (213 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 7,870
 • Estimate 
(2019)
7,597
 • Density 1,012.12/sq mi (390.77/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
38478
Area code(s) 931
FIPS code 47-61040
GNIS feature ID 1298659

Pulaski is a city in and the county seat of Giles County, located on the southern border of Tennessee, United States. The population was 7,870 at the 2010 census. It was named after the Polish-born American Revolutionary War soldier Casimir Pulaski.

During early years of Reconstruction, in late 1865, it was the site of Confederate veterans organizing the first chapter of what became known as the Ku Klux Klan, a secret, white supremacist group. In 1870 Martin Methodist College was founded in Pulaski for white students in the area.

History

Pulaski was founded in 1809.

The vicinity of Pulaski was the site of a number of skirmishes during the Franklin–Nashville Campaign of the Civil War. In 1863, Confederate courier Sam Davis was hanged in Pulaski by the Union Army on suspicion of espionage.

In 1865, during the early days of the Reconstruction Era, the city became the birthplace of the first Ku Klux Klan (KKK), founded by six Tennessee veterans of the Confederate Army. John C. Lester, John B. Kennedy, James R. Crowe, Frank O. McCord, Richard R. Reed, and J. Calvin Jones established the Ku Klux Klan (K.K.K) in Pulaski on December 25, 1865. The Pulaski riot was a race riot that occurred in Pulaski in the summer of 1867.

Martin Methodist College was founded in Pulaski in 1870.

Geography

Pulaski is located in central Giles County at 35°11′45″N 87°2′4″W / 35.19583°N 87.03444°W / 35.19583; -87.03444 (35.195786, -87.034328). The downtown area is on the north side of Richland Creek, a south-flowing tributary of the Elk River.

U.S. Route 31 passes through the center of Pulaski as First Street, leading north 30 miles (48 km) to Columbia and southeast 19 miles (31 km) to Ardmore at the Alabama border. U.S. Route 31 Alternate (E. Grigsby Street) leaves U.S. 31 in the north part of Pulaski and heads northeast 23 miles (37 km) to Lewisburg. U.S. Route 64 passes south of Pulaski on a bypass route; it leads east 29 miles (47 km) to Fayetteville and west 18 miles (29 km) to Lawrenceburg.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.2 square miles (18.7 km2), all land.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 1,137
1870 2,070
1880 2,089 0.9%
1890 2,274 8.9%
1900 2,838 24.8%
1910 2,928 3.2%
1920 2,780 −5.1%
1930 3,367 21.1%
1940 5,314 57.8%
1950 5,762 8.4%
1960 6,616 14.8%
1970 6,989 5.6%
1980 7,184 2.8%
1990 7,895 9.9%
2000 7,871 −0.3%
2010 7,870 0.0%
2019 (est.) 7,597 −3.5%
Sources:

2020 census

Pulaski racial composition
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 5,644 67.21%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 1,828 21.77%
Native American 37 0.44%
Asian 71 0.85%
Pacific Islander 6 0.07%
Other/Mixed 557 6.63%
Hispanic or Latino 254 3.02%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 8,397 people, 3,189 households, and 1,746 families residing in the city.

Transportation

Airport

Abernathy Field
Abernathy Field, May 2014. ICAO Code: KGZS

Abernathy Field is a public-use airport owned by the City of Pulaski and Giles County. It is located three nautical miles (6 km) southwest of the central business district of Pulaski.

Events

Pulaski is home of the semi-annual Diana Singing, sponsored by the Churches of Christ, which attracts over 3,000 people to the town in June and September.

Sports

In 1903, Pulaski was home to the Pulaski Baseball Club, an independent Minor League Baseball team that played in the Tennessee–Alabama League.

Education

Martin Methodist College
University of Tennessee Southern, May 2014

Pulaski is home to two high schools, Giles County High School and Richland High School (Lynnville). Pulaski is also home to Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Pulaski (TCAT) and to University of Tennessee Southern.

Notable people

  • Walter Beech (born in Pulaski), pioneer aviator, founder of Beech Aircraft and Travel Air Manufacturing
  • Bobby Gordon, football player
  • Wayne Peterson, longtime racecar driver and team owner in NASCAR and the ARCA Menards Series
  • John Crowe Ransom (born in Pulaski), winner of National Book Award for poetry (1964)
  • Tyler Smith, basketball player, University of Tennessee; played professionally in Europe
  • Bo Wallace, former University of Mississippi Rebels three-year starting quarterback
  • David Wills, country music singer
  • John Frank Wilson (born in Pulaski), Civil War officer, Arkansas and Arizona politician
  • Doug Wolaver, horse trainer who won the Tennessee Walking Horse World Grand Championship three times
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