Iron ore was another major mineral mined in Tennessee until the early 20th century. Tennessee is the leading producer of ball clay in the United States. In 2016, the element tennessine was named for the state, largely in recognition of the roles played by Oak Ridge, Vanderbilt University, and the University of Tennessee in the element’s discovery. Countryaah.com: Offers a full list of nationwide and statewide holidays in Tennessee starting from January 1st – New Year’s Day. Also covers the most recent three years of public holidays within the state of Tennessee.