Thursday, May 22, 2014

Keep Knoxville Scruffy

Knoxville, Tennessee currently has a campaign with the odd slogan, "Keep Knoxville Scruffy.

Some other cities have followed atypical and strange claims to civic pride: "Keep Austin Weird," "Keep Portland Weird" are two that come to mind.

So how did this slogan originate? 

It seems that Wall Street Journal reporter Susan Harrigan, wrote back in 1980 a scornful piece entitled "What if you gave a World's Fair and nobody came?"  She dismissed Knoxville as "a scruffy little city on the Tennessee River."

But the World's Fair worked, and the put-down was turned into a boast of civic pride.  Knoxville boasted "The Scruffy Little City Did It" on t-shirts and pins after the 1982 World's Fair.


  1. There's a trivia question for ya'. Where was the 1982 world fair held? In Scruffytown.