Thursday, March 24, 2016

World War II And Korean Memorial

During the late 1950’s, early 1960’s, private citizens of Memphis raised money for a Memorial for those that fought in World War II and the Korean War. After considering many different designs they picked a modern stainless steel fountain to be erected in front of the Front Street Post office [now the University of Memphis Law School]. Besides mixed feelings from the public, the fountain also had other problems. During the cold months a solid sheet of ice would form on the sidewalks from the spray. Soap suds were dumped into it and the bubbles would cover the street and street lights. The homeless would bathe and wash clothes in the fountain and children would jump into the fountain and play in it like it was a kiddy pool. An iron fence was placed around the fountain to stop these actions, but to no avail. The city ordered the fountain removed and taken to the Goldsmith Botanic Gardens where the memorial could be enjoyed. Like a lot of things in Memphis, the fountain was taken down but it either never made it to the gardens or was taken down shortly after. Its current whereabouts are still in question. Today we have Veterans’ Plaza at Overton Park to honor those from Shelby County that fought and died for their country.

Source: Shelby County Archives

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