Columbia is a city in and the county seat of Maury County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 34,681 at the 2010 census and in 2013 the population was 35,558.
The "Mule capital of the world," Columbia annually celebrates the city-designated Mule Day each April. Columbia and Maury County are acknowledged as the "Antebellum Homes Capital of Tennessee", with more pre-Civil War homes than any other county in the state. The city is home to one of the last two surviving residences of the 11th President of the United States, James Knox Polk, the other being the White House.
Historically, Columbia was the site of significant racial violence against African Americans: three black men were lynched in the early 20th century, and a race riot was conducted against blacks in 1946 that resulted in two deaths and destroyed their business district. Twenty-five black men were charged with attempted murder of four police who were wounded, and were defended by civil rights lawyer Thurgood Marshall of the NAACP. He gained acquittals for most of the men, even with all-white juries.
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