Waring, Jr. Construction of the sewers began in January , and by had expanded to over 50 miles of sewers. It is likely that survivors' acquired immunity from the s epidemics contributed more to lesser fatalities from the disease in future years. In the first Mississippi River bridge at Memphis opened. As a result, the city began to prosper again, and it regained its charter and home rule in State law and local custom imposed a system of Jim Crow based on white supremacy , and in the late s the police force was closed against blacks. In as a conspicuous claim to its revival, Memphis had a pyramid -shaped pavilion prominently displayed at the Tennessee Centennial exposition.
Memphis developed as the world's largest spot cotton market and the world's largest hardwood lumber market, both commodity products of the Mississippi Delta. Into the s, it was the world's largest mule market.
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Memphis developed an extensive network of parks and public works as part of the national City Beautiful Movement. King Riverside Park was designed as a comprehensive plan by landscape architect George Kessler at the beginning of the 20th century. Clarence Saunders , a Memphis inventor and entrepreneur, opened a self-service grocery store in and founded the first supermarket chain, Piggly Wiggly. The Pink Palace was adapted for use as the City's historical and natural history museum. Other parts of the Saunders estate were developed for upscale residences, known as Chickasaw Gardens.
The storied Peabody Hotel opened in and became a symbol of upper-class Southern elegance. In Mississippi author David Cohn wrote,. If you stand near its fountain in the middle of the lobby, where ducks waddle and turtles drowse, ultimately you will see everybody who is anybody in the Delta. To the east of the city lay a large railroad yard, with tracks of four railroads of that era. While the railroads were integral to the city's commerce, by the late s the yard had become a barrier to automobile traffic and, hence, to eastward expansion of the city. In - the "Poplar Boulevard Viaduct" was constructed to span the railyards and allow eastward expansion.
The viaduct was a joint effort between the City of Memphis and the railroads. From the s to the s, Memphis was a locus of machine politics under the direction of E. The city retained a form of commission government until But Crump was in full control at all times, Using all the familiar techniques of the big city boss, who is willing to engage in ballot manipulation, patronage for friends, and frustrating bureaucratic obstacles for the opposition.
Crump build a complex alliance with established power figures at the local state and national levels. He ensured the dissidents had little or no voice.
At the center of his network was Cotton Row—The business elite that dominated the cotton industry. Second he included the modernizers, the business-oriented progressives who were most concerned with upgrading the infrastructure in terms of the waterfront, parks, highways and skyscrapers, as well as a moderately good school system. Working-class whites got their share of jobs.
In turn the city received ample relief programs — which provided jobs for the unemployed, as selected by local machine lieutenants. As well the city was provided with major federal building projects, which helped fund the business community.
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Crump successfully lobbied Washington for large-scale public housing projects. The city installed a revolutionary sewer system and upgraded sanitation and drainage to prevent another epidemic. Pure water from an artesian well was discovered in the s, securing the city's water supply. The commissioners developed an extensive network of parks and public works as part of the national City Beautiful movement , but did not encourage heavy industry, which might have provided substantial employment for the white working-class population.
The lack of representation in city government resulted in the poor and minorities being underrepresented.
The majority controlled the election of all the at-large positions. The Memphis Army Depot also served as a prisoner-of-war camp, housing Axis prisoners. Its flight facilities have been transferred to civilian use as the Millington Regional Jetport. His first inn was located in Berclair near the city limit on Summer Avenue, then the main highway to Nashville, Tennessee.
In , the Census Bureau reported Memphis' population as After the riots and court-ordered busing in to achieve desegregation of public schools, "about 40, of the system's 71, white students abandon[ed] the system in four years. Memphis is well known for its cultural contributions to the identity of the American South. Many renowned musicians grew up in and around Memphis and moved to Chicago and other areas from the Mississippi Delta , carrying their music with them to influence other cities and listeners over radio airwaves. Handy , B. Aretha Franklin was born in Memphis.
At the start of the s, Memphis was a compact city with limited boundaries, compared to the sprawl seen today. The northern boundary was close to Chelsea Avenue, not much south of the Wolf River but with an unpopulated wetland area beyond the city before reaching the Wolf River. The Eastern Boundary of the city was near Highland Street. By the mids Memphis stretched southward to the Mississippi State Line, but only directly south of President's Island.
Such communities as West Junction , Nonconnah , Raines and Oakville still remained beyond the city boundaries, with the southern city line running on the north side of Nonconnah Creek. On the east, most of White Station, Tennessee had been annexed. The Northern boundary of Memphis was the Wolf River. It had also annexed Berclair, Tennessee and all of White Station on its eastern border, extending south-westward along Poplar Avenue, past the recently built freeway that is today designated I, and bordering on Germantown, Tennessee , Memphis' current eastern limit.
During the s, the city was a center of activity during the Civil Rights Movement , as its large African-American population had been affected by state segregation practices and disenfranchisement in the early 20th century. African-American residents drew from the civil rights movement to improve their lives.
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In , the Memphis sanitation strike began for living wages and better working conditions; the workers were overwhelmingly African American. They marched to gain public awareness and support for their plight: the danger of their work, and the struggles to support families with their low pay. Their drive for better pay had been met with resistance by the city government.
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Martin Luther King Jr. He stayed at the Lorraine Motel in the city, where he was assassinated by a sniper on April 4, , the day after giving his prophetic " I've Been to the Mountaintop " speech at the Mason Temple. Grief-stricken and enraged after learning of King's murder, some in the city rioted, looting and destroying businesses and other facilities, some by arson.
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The governor ordered Tennessee National Guardsmen into the city within hours, where small, roving bands of rioters continued to be active. The entertainer and philanthropist Danny Thomas helped open St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in downtown Memphis in Jude specializes in the study and treatment of catastrophic diseases affecting children, especially leukemia and other childhood cancers, AIDS, sickle cell disease , and inherited immune disorders.
Its success rates and free treatment for its patients have made it one of the most reputable children's hospitals in the world. FedEx Corporation originally, Federal Express was founded in Little Rock, Arkansas in , but moved its operations to Memphis in to take advantage of its more extensive airport facilities. As Memphis developed as the major hub of operations for FedEx, the Memphis International Airport became the largest airfreight terminal in the world.
In Harold Ford, Sr.
In the city of Memphis elected its first African-American mayor, Dr. Memphis is well known for its cultural contributions to the identity of the American south. The Commercial Appeal was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in for its coverage of, and editorial opposition to, the activities of the Ku Klux Klan , which was at a peak in urban areas following the Klan's revival in From the earliest days of the steamboat , through the present day, Memphis has been a major center of river transportation.
Passenger steamers linked Memphis with river ports up and down the Mississippi , Ohio and Missouri Rivers as late as the s. Tom Lee Park on the Memphis riverfront is named for an African-American riverworker who became a civic hero. Tom Lee could not swim. But, he single-handedly rescued thirty-two people from drowning when the steamer M. Norman sank in Today, Memphis Riverboats offers tourist excursions from the Memphis waterfront on paddlewheel steamers. Beginning in the early 20th century, Memphis became famous for its innovative strains of African-American music, including gospel , blues , jazz , soul , and Rhythm and Blues genres, a tradition that continues to this day.
Many notable blues musicians grew up in and around the Memphis and northern Mississippi, and performed there regularly. King , and Howlin' Wolf. Stax Records , which opened in Memphis in , produced almost exclusively African-American music. Stax was a major factor in the creation of the Southern soul and Memphis soul music styles, also releasing gospel, funk, jazz, and blues recordings.
The young Elvis Presley frequently listened to gospel and soul music, and many of his early recordings were inspired or written by African-American composers and recording artists in the Mid-South area.
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