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Memphis — the burghal accustomed on the bluffs of the Mississippi River and called afterwards an age-old basic on the Nile basin — turns 200 this year. 

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In acceptance of this bicentennial, actuality are 200 markers forth the alley of history that led to the present day.

Memphis bicentennial
(Photo: The Commercial Appeal)

The challenge cited ambit from the banana to the tragic, from the absurd to the world-shaking, from the all-but-forgotten to the never-to-be-forgotten. But they about blemish the apparent of the rich, silty clay that enabled Memphis to become “the Hardwood Basic of America,” to adduce aloof one of the city’s nicknames. 

In added words, this is not a absolute Memphis timeline. With a few exceptions, it ignores music and sports (which will be acclaimed by this bi-weekly afterwards in the year with their own bicentennial tributes). You will accept complaints about omissions. But we achievement you will adore or acknowledge the inclusions. 

So, actuality it is — a Memphis 200 for a Bluff Burghal Bicentennial.

Future admiral Andrew Jackson (pictured), agriculturalist and judge John Overton and Revolutionary War administrator James Winchester founded Memphis.
(Photo: AP book photo)

1. May 22, 1819: Modern Memphis is founded by agriculturalist and judge John Overton, Revolutionary War administrator James Winchester and future admiral Andrew Jackson, a year afterwards the federal government purchased the breadth from the Chickasaw Nation in negotiations partly led by Jackson. Planned as a filigree of streets forth the river, the burghal is called for a aloft abundant river town, the age-old basic of Egypt.

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2. Progress was slow. “From its founding in 1819 until about 1840, Memphis was a archaic and baleful little mudhole appetite to survive as a town.” — John E. Harkins, “Metropolis of the American Nile,” 1982.

3. The city’s founding came 270 years afterwards the aboriginal Memphis-area encounter between American Indians and Europeans, led by Spanish charlatan Hernando de Soto. Both France and Spain would anatomy forts on the “Chickasaw bluffs” in the 18th century.

4. Memphis’ aboriginal admirable board allegation arrives in 1820, aback Patrick Meagher is charged with two counts of advance and array afterwards indulging in too abundant “fire water” and bouncy with bartenders. His fine: $2.

5. 1826: Encouraged by Memphis Mayor Marcus Winchester, Davy Crockett is elected to the U.S Abode of Representatives, apery Tennessee’s 9th Congressional District — the bench (with actual altered boundaries) afterwards captivated by Harold Ford and Steve Cohen.

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6. Memphis’ oldest babble ordinance, from 1827, prohibits “whooping, halloo-ing and swearing loudly,” amiss by a $5 fine — or $10, if the breach occurs on a Sunday.

7. In Memphis, cartage problems predate automobiles: An 1837 law makes driving a horse-drawn conveyance “faster than a trot” amiss by a $10 fine.

8. April 21, 1841: Henry Van Pelt publishes the aboriginal affair of The Appeal. The cardboard afterwards merges or buys out the Monitor, the Western Mercury and the Avalanche; in 1894, it is renamed The Commercial Appeal.

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9. 1848: Chargeless accessible academy opens.

Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest
(Photo: Staff)

10. 1851: Nathan Bedford Forrest moves to Memphis and opens a bondservant trading company, one of a dozen in the burghal during the decade. 

11. March 15, 1851: Memphians pay an ample $20 per admission to see Jenny Lind, the alleged “Swedish Nightingale,” accomplish at Odd Fellows Hall. Her administrator for the tour: P.T. Barnum.

12. 1852: Architecture of St. Peter’s Catholic Church begins.

13. 1853: The aboriginal abbey in Tennessee, B’nai Israel, is accustomed by Jewish German immigrants. In 1943 it adopts its accepted name: Temple Israel.

14. July 15, 1853: Elmwood Cemetery opens for business, so to speak, aback the backward Mrs. R.B. Berry is laid to blow as its aboriginal occupant. The 75,000 interred aback afresh accept included slaves, suffragists, chicken agitation victims and columnist Shelby Foote.

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15. “May God absolve Memphis, the noblest burghal on the face of the earth.” — Mark Twain, in an 1858 letter to his sister, afterwards visiting the Memphis hospital breadth his brother Henry was taken afterwards a baiter access that took “hundreds of lives.”

16. June 6, 1862: The Mississippi River churns as Union gunboats defeat Confederate argosy armament at the aboriginal Battle of Memphis.

17. Additionally June 6, 1862: To abstain “Yankee” takeover, the presses and plates of the pro-Confederacy newspaper, The Appeal, are loaded into a boxcar and abashed to Grenada, Mississippi, breadth the bi-weekly resumes publication. Keeping one footfall advanced of Union confiscators, The Appeal afterwards journeys to Jackson, Mississippi; Meridian, Mississippi; Atlanta; Montgomery, Alabama; and Columbus, Georgia.

18. Aug. 21, 1864: Nathan Bedford Forrest’s troops arrest the Union-occupied burghal but ultimately withdraw; this aggression becomes known as the additional Battle of Memphis.

19. Ablaze kid, able future: In 1865, 18-year-old Thomas Edison works as a telegraph operator in Memphis.

The baiter Sultana is apparent in an April 26, 1865, book photo docked on the Mississippi River at Helena, Ark. About 1,800 bodies died aback the baiter exploded the afterward night abreast Marion, Ark.
(Photo: AP Photo/Library of Congress file)

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20. April 27, 1865: The greatest amphibian adversity in U.S. history occurs on the Mississippi River at Memphis aback the boilers of the active Sultana explode. Abutting to 1,800 of the 2,400 bodies aboard the 260-foot board baiter are dead or drowned (about 50 added than will be lost in the biconcave of the Titanic). The boat’s acknowledged accommodation was 376.

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21. Forty-six black people and two white bodies are dead aback white civilians and badge admiral rampage through atramentous neighborhoods for two canicule of mob violence, May 1-3, 1866. The accident becomes accepted as the “Memphis Massacre.”

22. 1869: The foundation bean is laid for Beale Artery Baptist Church (also accepted as Aboriginal Baptist Church — Beale Street), a aggregation organized by freed slaves.

23. The city’s oldest degree-granting bookish institution, Christian Brothers University, is accustomed in 1871 (as Christian Brothers College) by associates of a Catholic aggregation founded by France’s St. Jean-Baptiste de La Salle, the angel saint for “teachers of youth.”

24. 1875: Walter Burke Sr. opens the aboriginal Burke’s Book Abundance at 180 N Main. Now amid at 936 Cooper, the abundance has remained absolute and Memphis-owned anytime since.

25. Jan. 15, 1877, becomes accepted as “The Day It Rained Snakes.” According to bi-weekly letters that aggressive an analysis by Scientific American, a “torrential downpour” larboard abaft abundant numbers of snakes in the breadth of Vance and Lauderdale. The Monthly Weather Review appear the snakes were aphotic amber or atramentous and “very blubbery in some places, actuality circuitous calm like a accumulation of cilia or yarn.” Whether the reptiles were apprenticed from cavern ambuscade places or deposited on the Bluff Burghal via some array of storm-driven snakenado charcoal a mystery.

26. Aug. 13, 1878: Restaurant buyer Kate Bionda becomes the city’s aboriginal recorded victim of chicken fever, accepting apprenticed the disease from a man who had able a abandoned steamboat. She would be followed by abutting to 5,000 others by the end of the year, as the catching devastates the city.

27. One of the best cogent abstracts to anytime alarm this burghal home, aloft bondservant Ida B. Wells moves to Memphis in 1882 at the age of 20. A few years later, she launches her anti-lynching attack through her newspaper, the Memphis Free Speech and Headlight.

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28. Wells makes an all-embracing reputation: “Miss Ida B. Wells is a negress, a adolescent adult of little added than twenty years of age, a graceful, sweet-faced, intelligent, adventuresome girl. She hails from Memphis, Tenn. She is not activity aback there aloof now, because the white bodies are afraid to adhere her up by the close in the bazaar place, and bake the soles of her feet, and burrow her admirable aphotic eyes out with baking irons.” — The London Sun, 1894.

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29. An estimated 50 men, women and children, are dead on March 30, 1882, aback a burst lantern causes a blaze aboard the steamer Golden City, as the baiter is about to dock. According to a bi-weekly account, the “howls of a afire assembly … circuitous with shrieks of women and children.”

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