Thursday, September 10, 2015

The E.M.T.'s Prayer

Dedicated to all those in the medical field.
What would we do without them!!
EMT's Prayer

As I perform my duties Lord
Whatever be the call.

Help to guide and keep me safe
From danger big and small.

I want to serve and do my best,
No matter what the scene.

I pledge to keep my skills refined,
My judgment quick and keen.

This calling to give of myself,
Most do not understand.

But I stand ready all the time,
To help my fellow man.

To have the chance to help a child,
Restore his laugh with glee.

A word of thanks I may not hear,
But knowing is enough for me.

The praise of men is fine for some
But I feel truly blessed,
That you, Oh Lord have chosen me
To serve in EMS.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

15 Places In South Carolina Will Absolutely Terrify You

I don’t know about you, but growing up in South Carolina (in the Low Country, I might add) I was inundated with ghost stories, haunted houses, and haunted places. Much to my delight, a lot of them were right outside my back door so to speak. However, it didn’t frighten me in the least, on the contrary, I became absolutely enthralled in the history of them and growing up did not diminish my interest. Here are 15 places that will send chills down your spine.

There are so many more stories to be told than just these 15. As I said, South Carolina is a very historical-rich state with numerous stories to be told. I’m sure that I have missed one or two of your favorite stories and I would absolutely love to hear them. If you would, please comment on your favorite ghost story, haunted building, or haunted place below and if you have a picture then it is even better!

On a side note, please understand that some of these locations are closed to the public. I, in no way, encourage you to break those rules to go ghost hunting. If you do visit any sites that are open at night, please be careful and take precautions such as a buddy or two, a phone, etc.


Peabody Hotel Memphis Tennessee

Since its opening on September 2, 1925, the Peabody Hotel has been the place to be seen for wealthy and fashionable society in Memphis and the Mississippi River Delta area of West Tennessee, eastern Arkansas, and northern Mississippi. Chicago architect Walter Ahlschlager was the hotel's designer. Terra cotta cornices and balustrades decorate the exterior, and the interior recalls a Spanish hunting lodge. The centerpiece of the two-story lobby is a large fountain carved from a single block of travertine marble and is the home of the famous Peabody ducks. They have paddled there since 1932, when hotel manager Frank Schutt returned from a hunting trip and put some live ducks in the fountain. The twice-daily duck march has become a Memphis tradition, as visitors flock to see the Peabody's most famous residents waddle from elevator to fountain across a red carpet. The fantastic quality of the Peabody extends from the lobby to the top floor, which features an Art Deco skyway, a circular dance floor, and a roof garden.

After a period of declining fortunes in the wake of World War II, this National Register-listed hotel underwent a major rehabilitation in 1980, injecting new life into downtown Memphis and reestablishing the Peabody as a Southern institution and one of America's grand city hotels. Today it lies in the center of several late twentieth-century developments such as the AutoZone park and the Peabody Place development.


Pink Palace Museum, Memphis

Description Pink Palace Museum and Planetarium Memphis TN cropped.jpg

The Pink Palace is both a house and a museum. In 1922 Clarence Saunders, the father of self-service grocery shopping and founder of Piggly Wiggly, began building a mansion. Memphians called his 36,500-square-foot house, faced with pink Georgia marble, his "Pink Palace," and the name stuck. In 1923 he lost a battle on the New York Stock Exchange, was forced to declare bankruptcy, and never finished his house. The land was sold to developers. The unfinished mansion was donated to the City of Memphis, which turned it into a museum. It opened in March l930 as the Memphis Museum of Natural History and Industrial Arts. The public, though, still called it "the Pink Palace," and in 1967 the museum formally became the Memphis Pink Palace Museum.

... museum is part of a larger family of museums in the pink palace family

Its early exhibits featured a collection of North American game animals, stuffed fish, and the remarkable Boshart collection of eight hundred taxidermied birds. For several decades the museum's collections could best be described as eclectic, as the staff accepted almost any artifact someone offered. Today's museum exhibits focus on the cultural and natural history of the Memphis region, interpreting the history of Memphis, medicine in the Mid-South, and the geology and wildlife populations of the area. There is a replica of the first Piggly Wiggly grocery store, a turn-of-the-century country store, and the hand-carved, automated Clyde Parke Circus.

Memphis Museum, Pink Palace

The mansion has been renovated and contains exhibits on the history of Memphis in the twentieth century and the evolution of the museum. One wing houses the Entrepreneur Hall of Honor, which salutes Memphians who have had an impact on business worldwide. After several expansions, the museum now contains over 170,000 square feet, making it one of the largest in the Southeast. In addition to the permanent collection, there are regularly scheduled traveling exhibits. The Sharpe Planetarium and the Union Planters IMAX Theater also enhance the museum's role and audience.

Memphis Pink Palace Family of Museums Memphis, Tennessee

In addition to the Pink Palace, the Pink Palace Family of Museums includes two nineteenth-century historic properties, the Magevney and Mallory-Neely Houses, and the Lichterman Nature Center in Memphis, as well as the Coon Creek Science Center in McNairy County, a major invertebrate fossil-collecting site and education facility.


FedEx Memphis Tennessee

Frederick W. Smith

The largest express transportation company in the world is FedEx, headquartered in Memphis. Frederick W. Smith, a Memphis businessman and U.S. Marine Corps veteran, began a company named Federal Express in April 1973 with fourteen small aircraft flying from the Memphis International Airport. Smith wanted to build a reliable overnight delivery system; few others thought it was possible. Smith had hoped to attract the business of the Federal Reserve System, but when that business failed to develop--the bankers and their advisers did not see how the company could ever work or make a profit--Smith began to develop other markets in commerce, medical supplies, computer parts, and electronics. He also turned to aggressive advertising to sell his delivery service to potential customers.

The company reported its first profits in July 1975, but not until the deregulation of air cargo in 1977 did Federal Express experience rapid expansion. Deregulation allowed the company to use larger jets for transport. In 1978 the company was listed in the New York Stock Exchange. Three years later, in 1981, the company established its first international service (to Canada) and launched its very popular "overnight letter" delivery. By 1983 Federal Express had become the first U.S. corporation to achieve $1 billion in revenues within a decade without relying on mergers or acquisitions. The next year, however, the corporation acquired Gelco Express International in order to expand overseas operations to Europe and Asia; direct scheduled service to Japan began in 1988.

The personal computer revolution of the early to mid-1980's spurred Federal Express's next growth phase as the company established its PC-based automated shipping system in 1984 and then in 1986 instituted the "SuperTracker" system of handheld bar-code scanners that allows the company and individual customers to track the shipping progress of any item in the system.

Federal Express's acquisition of Tiger International in 1989 made the company the world's largest full-service all-cargo airline; six years later it bought Evergreen International Airlines, giving Federal Express aviation rights in China.

In 1994 the company officially changed its name to FedEx and also launched its Web site. In addition to its world headquarters in Memphis, FedEx established an Asian headquarters in Hong Kong, a European headquarters in Brussels, and a Latin American headquarters in Miami. Its 1997 fiscal year revenues were $11.5 billion. The following year, 1998, brought major changes to the company. After its acquisition of Caliber Systems, it created a holding company named FDX Corporation. Two years later, that corporation was renamed FedEx Corporation, and by year's end the corporation listed six independent operating companies: Fed Ex, FedEx Express, FedEx Ground, FedEx Freight, FedEx Custom Critical, and FedEx Trade Networks.

In a generation FedEx has become an economic giant as a worldwide brand name and the second largest private employer in Tennessee. Its impact on the economy of Memphis and surrounding counties cannot be overemphasized. In the Memphis Business Journal of June 3, 2000, Larry Henson, research director for the Memphis Area Chamber of Commerce, noted that between 1995 and 1999 major clients of FedEx were directly or indirectly tied to $462 million in capital investment and the addition of 6,400 jobs to the local economy. FedEx itself employed over 26,000 at its Memphis operations and 30,000 total statewide. The company has been so successful in its twenty-five years of existence that the name "FedEx" has become synonymous with the overnight delivery of packages and mail, representing a level of corporate identity shared by a mere handful of major American companies.

FedEx's facilities at the Memphis International Airport serve as its central distribution point and have expanded from a small space within an old hangar to a vast complex of buildings on the edge of the airport property. Federal Express's Aircraft Maintenance Facility, which opened in 1995, services most of the company's huge fleet of airplanes, including approximately 160 727's and 60 DC-10's. Its many late-night flights have made Memphis one of the busiest airports in the nation. The average package volume of the entire Federal Express system in early 2001 was 5 million shipments every business day, with another 100 million transactions occurring daily through the company's virtual networks.


Frederick W. Smith

Frederick W. Smith

Frederick W. Smith was born on August 11, 1944, in Marks, Mississippi, to Frederic C. and Sally (Wallace) Smith. He earned a B.A. in economics from Yale University in 1966 and earned a Silver Star, a Bronze Star, and two Purple Hearts during his time as a Marine Corps officer in Vietnam from 1966 until 1970. A successful athlete and student despite a childhood struggle with an arthritic condition in his hips, Smith ultimately found his calling in aviation. After a brief stint with Ark Airlines from 1969 until 1971, he founded Federal Express (which became FedEx in 1994).

Smith’s idea for FedEx was originally explained in an undergraduate economics paper. The popular legend is he received a “C” for his work, but Smith has suggested that he does not recall his grade on the paper. Smith combined his idea with his experience in military logistics to create Federal Express in 1971, focusing the company’s attention on high-value electronics, medical supplies, and cancelled checks for the Federal Reserve.

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FedEx’s main innovation was twenty-four-hour overnight delivery. FedEx used the “hub-and-spoke” system--which Smith credits to Delta Airlines--to maximize the effectiveness of its fleet of planes and trucks.
FedEx was not an overnight success. The company started operations in 1973 with a few vans and fourteen jets operating out of twenty-five cities. They flew at night to take advantage of lower air traffic, and Smith chose Memphis as its center of operations because of its location and an available labor supply. The company carried 186 packages on its first day and endured twenty-six months of losses before showing a profit, and Smith risked alienating two sisters over the alleged misuse of their trust fund money.

His persistence paid off handsomely: FedEx grew to become the first American company to show a profit of $10 billion. By 2004, FedEx’s 141,000 employees were operating 600 planes and 46,000 vehicles in 210 countries. Today, FedEx has built Smith’s P-S-P philosophy--“People, Service, Profit”--into a $34 billion company.

Smith has received numerous honors for his work in the business community. He is a member of the Aviation Hall of Fame, and he received the Peter F. Drucker Strategic Leadership Award in 1997. He was named “CEO of the Year” by Chief Executive in 2004 and “Person of the Year” by the French-American Chamber of Commerce in 2006. Smith has served as the “chairman of the Board of Governors for the International Air Transport Association” as well as chair of the “Business Roundtable’s Security Task Force.” He is a past chairman of the U.S.-China Business Council, and as of 2007, Smith was serving as chairman of the French-American Business Council. Meanwhile, FedEx remains one of Fortune magazine’s most decorated companies.

Smith is an active member of the global philanthropic community as well as one of the most involved community leaders in Memphis. He has also been co-chairman of the U.S. World War II Memorial Project. Smith is also a member of the Business Roundtable and the Cato Institute, and he currently serves on the boards of directors for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Mayo Foundation.


Beale Street, Memphis Tennessee

Stretching from the Mississippi River toward the east, Beale Street is Memphis's most famous avenue. On the infamous section of Beale Street between Main and Lauderdale Streets, the "Blues was born," and as Beale Street's reputation for a culturally rich, African American urban life spread, visitors arrived from all over the region.

For decades, the area beyond Beale Street was the southern boundary of downtown Memphis. Racial segregation prohibited African Americans from the main business district except as workers and customers who entered side ("Colored") entrances to be waited on last. As a result, African Americans frequented Beale Street, where Jewish immigrants, other European Americans, and black businessmen offered them exclusive services and low-priced goods. Just a few blocks away on Lauderdale Street, wealthier African American families built fine homes and extended their community further into South Memphis.

From 1862 to 1867 Civil War displacements and Union army occupation produced a phenomenal growth in the African American population of the city; by 1865 the number of blacks had tripled, and they accounted for 16,509 of Memphis's 27,703 inhabitants. Almost all these rural migrants lived in contraband camps, including Camps Dixie and Shiloh ("New Africa"), south of Beale Street near Fort Pickering and President's Island. Some of the migrants would make their fortunes in Memphis, providing goods and services to the large, postwar freedmen population.
Beale Street soon became the cultural center and the local headquarters for civil rights, politics, and religion for African Americans. Joseph Clouston, an African American barber, invested in Beale Street real estate. From 1866 to 1874, twenty black-owned businesses and a Freedman's Bank existed in the area. African Americans controlled the barbering and local taxi (hack) and freight (dray) businesses until the streetcar system and immigrant competition put them out of business in the 1880's.

Tennessee's oldest surviving African American church edifice was built on Beale Street in 1864, when Beale Street Baptist Church erected a frame structure. In October 1866 the congregation and the Reverend Morris Henderson (1802-1877) purchased a lot and began construction of a brick and stone building. At the time of Henderson's death the building had not been completed, but the congregation numbered over 2,500 members. Former president of the United States Ulysses S. Grant visited the church on April 14, 1880, escorted by Edward Shaw, Memphis's leading African American politician. Pastor Taylor Nightingale ran for the city Board of Education in January 1886. Ida B. Wells, later a nationally known civil rights activist, assumed coeditorship in the Free Speech and Headlight newspaper as a result of her friendship with Nightingale and her attendance at the Beale Street Baptist Church. After the turn of the twentieth century, Beale Street Baptist Church's George A. Long led the opposition against Mayor Edward H. Crump, the Democratic leader of the corrupt political machine that ruled Memphis for decades. Crump and the local police were infuriated when Pastor Long allowed the radical Negro union leader and civil rights activist A. Philip Randolph to hold a rally in the church. But Long replied that "Christ, not Crump, is my Boss."

Robert R. Church Sr. (1839-1912), a freedman who migrated into the city during the Civil War, helped to transform Beale Street from an upper-middle-class neighborhood for European Americans to a commercial street for Negroes. By the 1880s European-American families had started their flight from Beale Street, and in 1899 Church responded to the city's segregation practices by purchasing six acres of land to build Church Park and Auditorium for Negroes. The two-story auditorium seated two thousand persons and included a parlor, meeting rooms, and a refreshment stand. Church hired W. C. Handy as the park's orchestra leader. A college-educated man who put the rural blues to written music, Handy became known as the "Father of the Blues." Among the famous visitors to the park was President Theodore Roosevelt, who addressed some ten thousand people in 1902. Church's auditorium became the meeting place for the Lincoln Republican League under the leadership of Robert R. Church Jr. (1895-1952), who kept his offices at 392 Beale. During the 1940s, after a racially motivated city hall changed Church Park and Auditorium's name to Beale Avenue Park in retaliation against the younger Church, Matthew Thornton (1873-1963), "Mayor of Beale Street," led a successful African American movement to restore the Church name. In 1969, the Memphis Sesquicentennial Commission erected a plaque on the Church Park grounds. The city redeveloped the park in 1987.

In his book Beale Street: Where the Blues Began, George W. Lee recalled "all nite Halloween Balls, and Big Jitterbug Contests" on the famed thoroughfare. Mac Harris, "King of the Gamblers," strutted down Beale in a cutaway coat, striped trousers, a wide felt hat, sporting a twisted mustache, a beard, and a cane. Jimmy Turpin ran the Old Monarch gambling joint. During the early 1880s, Lymus Wallace operated a saloon at 117 Beale Street. George Jackson opened the first black drugstore on Beale by 1893. Around 1903 Lucie E. Campbell (1885-1963), Tennessee's famous writer of gospel songs and music pageants, organized a group of Beale Street musicians into the Music Club. Bert Roddy (1886-1963) and Robert Lewis Jr. opened the Iroquois Cafe across from Church Park. Roddy was the first president of the Memphis branch of the NAACP. In 1917 Beale Street's African American businessmen included William Burrows (contractor), George R. Jackson (pharmacist), L. J. Searcy (real estate broker), Paul Sneed (bookkeeper), A. F. Ward (cashier), and C. A. Terrell (physician). Church's Solvent Savings Bank and Trust Company was also on Beale. During the Great Depression, owners of the secondhand clothing stores on Beale stood on the sidewalks and enticed customers inside to buy coats for $1.95 and dresses for twenty-five cents. Before his exile to Chicago during the 1940's, Elmer Atkinson, a political ally to Church Jr., operated his Beale Street Cafe. By the 1960's pawn shops, clothing stores, movie theaters, nightclubs, restaurants, and backstreet apartments filled Beale Street. Blues singer B. B. King and gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, among others, performed in Church's Auditorium. There also the annual Negro Cotton Carnival ("Cotton Makers' Jubilee") and parade were held.

After the riots of 1968 Beale Street and the downtown area began to decline. Businessmen and developers shifted their center of operations to East Memphis. In 1969 the city undertook urban renewal projects, including Beale Street I and Beale Street II, which erased the area's housing, demolished 474 buildings, and placed a block-wide barrier of empty lots and parking spaces between African Americans and Beale Street. This project left a thin commercial (blue light) district between Second and Fourth Avenues, where African American businesses were forced out through condemnation of buildings and high property resale prices. The Memphis Press-Scimitar (June 10, 1979) declared the "Urban renewal destroyed Beale Street." In 1979 a preservation and neighborhood revitalization movement emerged too late to save the Beale Street local African Americans had known.

Beale Street became a National Historic Landmark historic district, with businesses reopened to attract tourists. Beale Street remained home to several African American institutions, however, including Church Park, the Beale Street Baptist Church, the R. Q. Venson Center for the Elderly, the Mohammed Ali Movie Theater, and the main branch of Tri-State Bank, among a few others. The Beale Street Baptist Church, isolated by vacant lots at the far end of the street and outside the Beale Street historic district, was listed individually in the National Register of Historic Places. Although the auditorium no longer exists, Church Park was placed on the National Register in 1994 and became part of the Beale Street historic district.


Memphis Tennessee

The Fourth Chickasaw Bluff, which rises high above the Mississippi River even at flood stage, has long presented a logical place for settlement. Though they had departed prior to Hernando de Soto's expedition through the area in the 1540's, Native Americans dwelt there, and ongoing settlement began again in 1795 when Spain built Fort San Fernando on the bluffs. Soldiers, traders, and squatters occupied the area until the formal founding of Memphis.

Prior to Spanish occupation, John Rice and John Ramsey claimed five-thousand-acre tracts based on North Carolina's British-based titles. John Overton purchased Rice's tract from his heirs, and Andrew Jackson and James Winchester bought into the venture. In 1819 they founded Memphis, named for ancient Egypt's capital.

For a variety of reasons, Memphis grew slowly. A national economic depression, a river sandbar, loss of the county seat designation to neighboring Raleigh, yellow fever, a severely restricted hinterland, depredations by raucous flatboatmen, and competition from other ports all retarded growth. By the early 1840's, however, the city's fortunes improved. Northern Mississippi opened to settlement, doubling the settled hinterland. The city became a post and stagecoach terminus, and by 1842 six miles of railroad had been laid eastward. Upstream, Randolph lost its river access with the development of a mile-wide sandbar, and Memphis quelled its flatboatmen's antics. Citizens organized a fire department, built a wharf, established a board of health, and undertook many other reforms. Moreover, they initiated such amenities as a bank, a thespian society, newspapers, and a truly grand hotel, the Gayoso House.

The 1850's brought even more explosive growth and considerable ethnic diversity to the "Bluff City." Three western rail routes converged on Memphis as the result of military planning. By 1861 the Memphis and Charleston and the Memphis and Ohio Railroads connected the city to the Southeast and Midwest. Slower development of a line to Little Rock may have cost the town its chance to become the first eastern terminus of a transcontinental railroad, but the city did serve as an eastern terminus of the Butterfield overland mail coaches.

Despite its uneven record, Memphis grew at a faster rate than any other American city in the mid-1850s. From a population of fewer than 1,800 in 1840, the city swelled to 22,000 inhabitants in 1858. In addition to Anglo-American migrants, Irish and German immigrants contributed to the population rise.
The Irish arrived first, refugees from English oppression and successive famines following the potato blight. Displaced and largely illiterate farmers with few marketable skills, the Irish provided the labor for cutting roads, erecting buildings, and constructing railroads, levees, and canals. Irish crews also manned the area's trains and boats, and handled their cargoes. They entered politics enthusiastically and filled municipal jobs, especially fire and police ranks.

Germans came for reasons similar to those of the Irish, though after the revolutions of 1848, political motives dominated. Generally more urban and propertied than the Irish, Germans found a niche in the city's retail, commercial, and small industries sectors. They guarded their ethnic traditions more closely than the Irish and furnished many of the city's artists, musicians, and teachers.

African Americans, both slave and free, also contributed to the boom decades. Unlike European immigrants, African Americans received few rewards for their work, and racial prejudice intensified as their scope of opportunities shrank. An 1840s repeal of Tennessee's ban on the domestic slave trade made Memphis a slave trading center during the 1850's.

Most urban blacks were domestic servants, but many others worked as draymen, roustabouts, and barbers, as well as in the mechanical trades and crafts. The mobility demanded in these jobs threatened whites, and the city imposed a curfew and pass system with harsh penalties for violators.

In the generation following the boom era, Memphis suffered a succession of disasters. Prior to the election of 1860, Memphians remained loyal to the Union. Once Lincoln called for volunteers to subdue the rebellion, however, they abruptly and wholeheartedly switched to secession and the Confederacy. Styling their city the "Charleston of the West," Memphis leaders squelched all dissent and prepared for war. Men volunteered for military service and converted local facilities and services to meet wartime needs.

Initial confidence in a quick victory soon gave way to a more sobering evaluation as Tennessee's defenses fell early in 1862. The Confederate retreat at Shiloh left Memphis vulnerable to attack from the north and east. Confederate troops in Memphis destroyed local stores and abandoned the unfortified city. Many civilians followed the army south. With only a makeshift naval fleet left to protect the city, Memphis fell quickly on June 6, 1862. Eight converted steamboats faced twenty-four new Union warships, as 10,000 citizens watched the ninety-minute battle from the bluff. Upon sinking or disabling seven Confederate vessels, Union forces demanded surrender and occupied the city.

Military occupation lasted more than three years and affected local attitudes more than the war itself. Memphians chafed against occupation rule and operated the city as a center of smuggling and profiteering. Approximately 15,000 African American refugees poured into the city, and many aided the Union war effort as auxiliaries or soldiers. In August 1864 Nathan Bedford Forrest's dramatic raid on Memphis raised Confederate morale but had no effect on the war's outcome.

As war gave way to Reconstruction, a white backlash to radical rule often made bad situations worse. In 1866 the city experienced three days of racial rioting set off by tensions between Irish immigrants and African American soldiers. Forty-four blacks died in the violence, and twelve schools and four churches burned. Approximately three-quarters of the city's African Americans departed in the riot's aftermath. In the late 1860s former Confederate President Jefferson Davis made his home in Memphis. His daughter Margaret married Addison Hayes at St. Lazarus Episcopal Church in 1876; his son Jefferson Davis Jr. died in Memphis during the yellow fever epidemic of 1878.

Yellow fever, indeed, posed a worse problem than Reconstruction for many Memphis families. The city suffered through epidemics in 1867, 1873, 1878, and 1879. Thousands of people died despite the heroic efforts of physicians, clergy, volunteers, and black militia units. To escape the repeated epidemics, many Memphians abandoned the city, some permanently. Declining property values and a generation of poor fiscal management ended in bankruptcy and the loss of the city's charter in 1879.

Under the rule of the "Taxing District of Shelby County," the bluff community revived and became a modern city. Frugal government repaid municipal debts; the state restored home rule in 1893; and economic growth returned. Railroading (Memphis had eleven trunk lines and a bridge across the Mississippi by the early 1900's), hardwood lumber, cotton, and hardwood and cotton byproducts contributed to the city's economic well-being. Technology revolutionized urban life: electricity, trolleys, skyscrapers, artesian wells, sewerage and sanitation facilities, and the automobile restructured Memphis lifestyles. Rural in-migration and extensive annexation sent the city's population past 100,000 by 1900.

As Memphis rose from disease and debt, the city undertook progressive reforms. Edward Hull Crump, a rural transplant and Horatio Alger success story, gained control over local politics. In 1915 his failure to comply with state prohibition laws led to his removal from office by the courts, but he continued to exercise strong influence over municipal politics. After 1927, and for the next twenty-one years, his rule was unchallengeable in Shelby County and across much of Tennessee.

Memphis acquired a mixed reputation in the early decades of the century. On the one hand, it became recognized as the nation's murder capital. On a more positive note, the city lobbied for the Tennessee ratification of woman suffrage, promoted blues music, and initiated the self-service supermarket, the Piggly-Wiggly stores of Clarence Saunders. When the boom times of the 1920's gave way to the Great Depression, Memphis promoted its economic future through the organization of the Cotton Carnival. During the 1930's, Crump's political power brought many New Deal dollars for public buildings, public housing, and improvements in urban structure. World War II brought enormous military and industrial expansion, including the Memphis Defense Depot and even a German POW camp.

After the death of E. H. Crump in 1954, Memphians entered a new political era as African American demands for full political participation emerged. Memphis promoted a policy of gradual interracial cooperation until the mid-1960s, when racial integration intensified emotions and polarization replaced accommodation.

In 1967-68 Memphis replaced its city charter and instituted a mayor-city council form of government. Almost immediately the city faced the challenge of a "budget busting" sanitation workers strike. When Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. arrived to support the strike, an assassin's bullet struck him down, and the city erupted in riot. Television provided the nation with a much-needed lesson on racial oppression, but it polarized Memphis. Race baiters, both black and white, used divisiveness to personal advantage. The election of a black mayor, William Herenton, in 1991 and a black majority in the city council in 1995 restored a measure of restraint.

Post-World War II Memphis gave the world important innovations in lodging and shipping as the birthplace of Holiday Inn and Federal Express. Elvis Presley put Memphis on the map in rock music, and St. Jude Hospital made important strides in the battle against catastrophic childhood diseases. The city has lost several large corporations in recent decades but has strengthened the local economy and maintained a high employment rate by encouraging the growth of numerous small businesses. Moreover, the corporate headquarters for FedEx and AutoZone, two internationally recognized corporations, have located in Memphis. Both corporations were instrumental in bringing the National Basketball Association Memphis Grizzles to the city to begin play at the Memphis Pyramid for the 2001-2002 season.

Such symbols give the city hope in an atmosphere of racial mistrust, declining population, and political cynicism. As Memphis rejects race-baiting opportunists and embraces equality for all, it anticipates a reversal of its postwar decline and a return to its reputation as a "city of good abode."