Joe Lowry has donated a small collection of 70 photographs that feature some incredible aerial shots of Memphis. A label on the box suggested that these photos were shot by the Secret Service in preparation for a visit from President Nixon in 1968. Actually, the photos date to about 10 years later, and it is very likely that they were shot in preparation for President Carter’s visit to Memphis in December of 1978 for the Democratic Midterm Convention. Included in the images are numerous shots of the interior and exterior of Cook Convention Center, where the convention was held, and photos of the Holiday Inn Rivermont, where the President and First Lady spent the night.
Take a look at the photos and you’ll be able to see some pretty great views of Memphis as it was growing and changing.
There are a couple of very striking images of downtown that show the immediate aftereffects of urban renewal:
Or, check out Poplar and Park near St. Francis Hospital:
Several photos cover the Medical District. Here is Baptist Hospital with its very visible helipad:
There are even a few color photos to round out the collection.
Enjoy! And thank you, Joe!
Check out the first episode of our new podcast – the Memphis Room Music Show. Eldon “Chip” Holliday has been hard at work creating a show that will allow everyone to get to know more about Memphis’ musical heritage. The first episode is all about the history of the Memphis Jug Band, and several of their tracks are included.
After you’ve listened to the show, be sure to check out the Spotify playlist of music mentioned in the episode and a bibliography of bonus materials related to the episode.
Many thanks to Gil Worth at OAM Audio for production assistance.
We are very excited to host two screenings of the 1929 classic film Hallelujah! this month. Want to know more about the film? Take a look at the Hallelujah! Collection.
Black Monday Arrests
Marching on Beale Street
Freedom Sunday Meeting
Picketing on Main Street
This week we launch a new Civil Rights Collection, combining materials from various manuscript collections, including the Frank Holloman Collection, the George W. Lee Collection, the A.W. Willis, Jr. Collection, the Arthur L. Webb Collection, and the Catholic Human Relations Council Papers.
Eldon Holliday began curating this collection as an intern, but in the process of working on it we hired him to work full-time in the History Department. (And we started calling him “Chip.” He’s okay with that, but not “Chipper.” Just an FYI.) It is all a well-developed plan to make sure that he keeps doing great work like this and that he continues to add to this particular collection along the way.
This digital collection also contains a slide show, entitled The Unfulfilled Dream: A History of Race Relations and Civil Rights in Memphis since the Civil War, and images from an earlier version of the Civil Rights Digital Collection.
As Veterans Day approaches, it seems like a great time to talk about Luke Weathers, Jr.
As one of the original Tuskegee Airmen, Lt. Col. Luke Weathers, Jr., received the Purple Heart and the Distinguished Flying Cross with seven clusters for the dozens of missions he flew over Europe and North Africa during World War II. He was honored with a parade on Beale Street for “Luke Weathers Day” on June 25, 1945, and received the keys to the city — all part of a larger effort to raise money for the war effort. The campaign raised enough to pay for a B-24 Liberator, and it was named “The Spirit of Beale Street” in honor of the community that funded it.
After the war, Lt. Col. Weathers continued to break barriers, becoming the first African-American air traffic controller at the Memphis Airport, and helping to bring other minorities into the field.
Lt. Col. Weathers was buried at Arlington National Cemetery on January 20, 2012, with the full honors he deserved: a four-jet flyover in “missing man” formation, a horse-drawn caisson, a 21-gun salute, and the playing of “Taps.” We are extremely grateful to the Weathers family, especially his son, Luke III, for sharing these photos and stories with us.
Click here to view all of the images in Dig Memphis related to Luke Weathers, Jr.