The gentle town of Pulaski, which sits in middle Tennessee’s southern region, about 80 miles south of Nashville, was named for an exiled Polish count, who died fighting for American independence in 1779. Founded in 1809, Pulaski flourished as a center servicing the surrounding plantations.
Now a town of 9,181 people, Pulaski’s most popular attraction is the Sam Davis Museum. The Confederate hero, Sam Davis, was executed by Union troops for spying, and the museum is located at the site of his execution. Other attractions are the Giles County Historical Museum, and the Milky Way Farm, built by Mars Candy Company founder, Frank Mars, 8 miles from Pulaski.
Pulaski is the birthplace of the Ku Klux Klan, formed as a social club in a law office off Madison Street in 1865. Shrouded in white sheets and secrecy, the KKK built up momentum and created a wave of terror over the South.
In more recent times, Pulaski is remembered for taking a dramatic step against the Klan with great success. The town’s people, both white and black, had had enough of the hate-filled rhetoric that they witnessed each year during the KKK’s annual march, so in 1989, the entire town, including the commercial center, shut its doors as the Aryan Nation and KKK marched through the deserted streets. Every January, the town celebrates Martin Luther King Day with the Brotherhood Parade, a united gathering that declares that racism is no longer tolerated on the town’s streets.
Located at the junction of Hwy 64 and Hwy 31, Pulaski is 21 miles from Lawrenceburg, onetime home of Davy Crockett and Tennessee’s Amish community.