Aerial Photographs of Memphis

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 renewalAerial view of downtown from Union to Huling.

Or, check out Poplar and Park near St. Francis Hospital:

Very little development around St. Francis Hospital

Several photos cover the Medical District. Here is Baptist Hospital with its very visible helipad:

Baptist Hospital and the Medical Center

There are even a few color photos to round out the collection. Downtown skyline with Mississippi River

Enjoy!  And thank you, Joe!

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Filed under Digital Archive, Memphis History, Photographs

New Podcast! Memphis Room Music Show!

MRMS Logo

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.

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Filed under Audio, Music

In Memoriam: John J. Shea, Jr., 1924 – 2014

John J. Shea, Jr.

For more information on Dr. Shea:

The John J. Shea, Jr. MD Collection finding aid

Memphis Business Journal

Commercial Appeal (Subscribers Only)

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Filed under Collections, In Memoriam

Hallelujah! Screenings

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.

Hallelujah!-Screening---HIS----f&p---02.10.15

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Filed under Black History, Collections, Events, Memphis History

Odds and Ends… And New Collections!

Screenshot of collection landing page.

 

New finding aids have been added to the Manuscript Collection Finding Aids digital collection:
The Benjamin L. Hooks Collection
Memphis Park Commission Minute Books
The Bishop Daniel Buechlein Collection
Memphis Sheet Music Collection
Miss Tommye Russell Collection
Rabbi Max Samfield Collection
Peabody Hotel Highlights Collection
Robert Lanier Collection
Marion Scudder Griffin Collection
Wesley McDaniel Collection
Henry Kahn Collection
The Renaissance Music Circle Collection
Marilyn J. Califf Collection
1620 Vance Collection
Dilettante Club Collection
American Snuff Company Collection
John J. Shea, Jr., MD Collection
Memphis Authors Collection
Memphis Park Commission Collection
Memphis Sesquicentennial Collection
Orpheum Collection
Pinocchio’s Children’s Book Place Collection

Three documents on the historic Mid-South Coliseum have been added to The M Files:
Mid-South Coliseum
Coliseum in Architecture Memphis – 1964
Coliseum in Architecture Memphis – 1963

A 1972 photo album/scrapbook from the Citizens to Preserve Overton Park has been added to the Memphis Parks collection.

Janet Wyatt has been busy at work adding photographs to the Library History collection. Check them out!

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Filed under Collections, Dig Memphis, Memphis History, Volunteers

New Digital Collection: Civil Rights Collection

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 Warand images from an earlier version of the Civil Rights Digital Collection.

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Filed under Black History, Civil Rights, Collections, Dig Memphis, Digital Archive, Memphis History

Luke J. Weathers, Jr.

Luke Weathers Jr

As Veterans Day approaches, it seems like a great time to talk about Luke Weathers, Jr.

Tuskegee Airmen

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.

George W Lee and Luke Weathers

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.

Luke Weathers at home

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.

Horsedrawn caisson at Arlington burial

Click here to view all of the images in Dig Memphis related to Luke Weathers, Jr.

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Filed under Black History, Did You Know?, Military History