Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis, Tennessee

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Memphis is a city in the southwestern corner of the U.S. state of Tennessee
Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

, and the county seat
County seat
A county seat is an administrative center, or seat of government, for a county or civil parish. The term is primarily used in the United States....

 of Shelby County
Shelby County, Tennessee
Shelby County is a county located in the U.S. state of Tennessee. It is the state's largest both in terms of population and geographic area, with a population of 927,644 at the 2010 census...

. The city is located on the 4th Chickasaw Bluff
Chickasaw Bluff
The term Chickasaw Bluff refers to high ground rising about above the flood plain between Fulton in Lauderdale County, Tennessee and Memphis in Shelby County, Tennessee. Composed of eroded Pleistocene loess over Pliocene glacial gravel, they are slide prone...

, south of the confluence
Confluence
Confluence, in geography, describes the meeting of two or more bodies of water.Confluence may also refer to:* Confluence , a property of term rewriting systems...

 of the Wolf
Wolf River (Tennessee)
The Wolf River is a alluvial stream in western Tennessee and northern Mississippi, whose confluence with the Mississippi River was the site of various Chickasaw, French, Spanish and American communities and forts that eventually became Memphis, Tennessee....

 and Mississippi
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

 rivers.

Memphis had a population of 646,889 at the 2010 census, making it the largest city in the state of Tennessee
Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

, the third largest in the Southeastern United States, and the 20th largest in the United States. The greater Memphis metropolitan area
Memphis Metropolitan Area
The Memphis Metropolitan Statistical Area, TN-MS-AR , more commonly known as The Mid-South, is the 41st largest among similarly designated areas in the United States. The metropolitan area covers eight counties in three states – Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas...

, including adjacent counties in Mississippi
Mississippi
Mississippi is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi...

 and Arkansas
Arkansas
Arkansas is a state located in the southern region of the United States. Its name is an Algonquian name of the Quapaw Indians. Arkansas shares borders with six states , and its eastern border is largely defined by the Mississippi River...

, had a 2010 population of 1,316,100. This makes Memphis the second largest metropolitan area in Tennessee
Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

, surpassed only by metropolitan Nashville
Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville is the capital of the U.S. state of Tennessee and the county seat of Davidson County. It is located on the Cumberland River in Davidson County, in the north-central part of the state. The city is a center for the health care, publishing, banking and transportation industries, and is home...

, which has overtaken Memphis in recent years. Memphis is the youngest of Tennessee's major cities. A resident of Memphis is referred to as a Memphian, and the Memphis region is known, particularly to media outlets, as the "Mid-South".

Early history



Because it occupies a substantial bluff rising from the Mississippi River, the site of Memphis is a natural location for settlement. The area was first settled by the Mississippian Culture
Mississippian culture
The Mississippian culture was a mound-building Native American culture that flourished in what is now the Midwestern, Eastern, and Southeastern United States from approximately 800 CE to 1500 CE, varying regionally....

 and then by the Chickasaw
Chickasaw
The Chickasaw are Native American people originally from the region that would become the Southeastern United States...

 Indian tribe
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

. For 10,000 years they occupied the bluffs along the river, building a large mound on the bluff. European exploration came later, beginning in the 16th century with Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto and French explorers led by René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle
René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle
René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, or Robert de LaSalle was a French explorer. He explored the Great Lakes region of the United States and Canada, the Mississippi River, and the Gulf of Mexico...

.

In 1795 the Spanish governor of Louisiana, Manuel Gayoso de Lemos
Manuel Gayoso de Lemos
Manuel Luis Gayoso de Lemos Amorín y Magallanes was the Spanish governor of Louisiana from 1797 until his death in 1799. Born in Oporto, Portugal on May 30, 1747, to Spanish consul Manuel Luis Gayoso de Lemos y Sarmiento and Theresa Angélica de Amorín y Magallanes, he received his education in...

, acquired land for a fort from the Chickasaw. Fort San Fernando de las Barrancas was built in the summer of 1795 on the fourth Chickasaw Bluff, just south of the Wolf River
Wolf River (Tennessee)
The Wolf River is a alluvial stream in western Tennessee and northern Mississippi, whose confluence with the Mississippi River was the site of various Chickasaw, French, Spanish and American communities and forts that eventually became Memphis, Tennessee....

. It gave Spain control of navigation on the Mississippi River in the region until 1797 when it was abandoned in keeping with Pinckney's Treaty
Pinckney's Treaty
Pinckney's Treaty, also known as the Treaty of San Lorenzo or the Treaty of Madrid, was signed in San Lorenzo de El Escorial on October 27, 1795 and established intentions of friendship between the United States and Spain. It also defined the boundaries of the United States with the Spanish...

. The fort was dismantled, its lumber and iron shipped away. Its ruins went unnoticed when Memphis was laid out twenty years later.

The land comprising present-day Memphis remained in a largely unorganized territory throughout most of the 18th century. In 1796, the site became the westernmost point of the newly admitted state of Tennessee, located in the Southwest United States.

19th century


Memphis was founded in 1819 by John Overton
John Overton (judge)
John Overton was an advisor of Andrew Jackson, a judge at the Superior Court of Tennessee, a banker and political leader.Overton was born in Louisa County, Virginia...

, James Winchester
James Winchester
James Winchester was an officer in the American Revolutionary War and a brigadier general during the War of 1812. He commanded the American forces at the Battle of Frenchtown, which led to the Massacre of the River Raisin....

 and Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson was the seventh President of the United States . Based in frontier Tennessee, Jackson was a politician and army general who defeated the Creek Indians at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend , and the British at the Battle of New Orleans...

. The city was named after the ancient capital
Memphis, Egypt
Memphis was the ancient capital of Aneb-Hetch, the first nome of Lower Egypt. Its ruins are located near the town of Helwan, south of Cairo.According to legend related by Manetho, the city was founded by the pharaoh Menes around 3000 BC. Capital of Egypt during the Old Kingdom, it remained an...

 of Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 on the Nile River. Memphis developed as a transportation center in the 19th century because of its flood-free location, high above the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

.

As the cotton economy of the antebellum South depended on the forced labor of large numbers of African-American slaves, Memphis became a major slave market. In 1857, the Memphis and Charleston Railroad
Memphis and Charleston Railroad
The Memphis and Charleston Railroad, completed in 1857, was the first railroad in the United States to link the Atlantic Ocean with the Mississippi River. Chartered in 1846 the railroad ran from Memphis, Tennessee to Stevenson, Alabama through the towns of Corinth, Mississippi and Huntsville,...

 was completed, the only east-west railroad across the southern states prior to the Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

.

Tennessee seceded from the Union
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 in June 1861, and Memphis briefly became a Confederate
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by 11 Southern slave states of the United States of America that had declared their secession from the U.S...

 stronghold. Union
Union (American Civil War)
During the American Civil War, the Union was a name used to refer to the federal government of the United States, which was supported by the twenty free states and five border slave states. It was opposed by 11 southern slave states that had declared a secession to join together to form the...

 ironclad gunboats captured the city in the naval Battle of Memphis
Battle of Memphis
The First Battle of Memphis was a naval battle fought on the Mississippi River immediately above the city of Memphis on June 6, 1862, during the American Civil War. The engagement was witnessed by many of the citizens of Memphis. It resulted in a crushing defeat for the Rebels, and marked the...

 on June 6, 1862, and the city remained under Union
Union Army
The Union Army was the land force that fought for the Union during the American Civil War. It was also known as the Federal Army, the U.S. Army, the Northern Army and the National Army...

 control for the duration of the war. Memphis became a Union supply base and continued to prosper throughout the war. Meanwhile, Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest
Nathan Bedford Forrest
Nathan Bedford Forrest was a lieutenant general in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War. He is remembered both as a self-educated, innovative cavalry leader during the war and as a leading southern advocate in the postwar years...

 harassed Union forces in the area.

In the 1870s, a series of yellow fever
Yellow fever
Yellow fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic disease. The virus is a 40 to 50 nm enveloped RNA virus with positive sense of the Flaviviridae family....

 epidemics devastated Memphis. The worst outbreak, in 1878, reduced the population by nearly 75% as many people died or fled the city permanently. Property tax
Property tax
A property tax is an ad valorem levy on the value of property that the owner is required to pay. The tax is levied by the governing authority of the jurisdiction in which the property is located; it may be paid to a national government, a federated state or a municipality...

 revenues collapsed, and the city could not make payments on its municipal debts. As a result, Memphis temporarily lost its city charter and was a taxing district from 1878–1893. The city was rechartered in 1893.

20th century



Memphis grew into the world's largest spot
Spot market
The spot market or cash market is a public financial market, in which financial instruments or commodities are traded for immediate delivery. It contrasts with a futures market in which delivery is due at a later date...

 cotton market and the world's largest hardwood lumber market. Into the 1950s, it was the world's largest mule
Mule
A mule is the offspring of a male donkey and a female horse. Horses and donkeys are different species, with different numbers of chromosomes. Of the two F1 hybrids between these two species, a mule is easier to obtain than a hinny...

 market.

From the 1910s to the 1950s, Memphis was a place of machine politics under the direction of E. H. "Boss" Crump
E. H. Crump
Edward Hull "Boss" Crump was an American politician from Memphis, Tennessee. He was mayor from 1910 through 1915, and again briefly in 1940; in the intervening years he effectively appointed the mayors.-Career:...

. During the Crump era, Memphis developed an extensive network of parks and public works as part of the national City Beautiful movement
City Beautiful movement
The City Beautiful Movement was a reform philosophy concerning North American architecture and urban planning that flourished during the 1890s and 1900s with the intent of using beautification and monumental grandeur in cities. The movement, which was originally associated mainly with Chicago,...

. Determined never to suffer plagues again, it rebuilt with meticulous sanitation and drainage. However, it did not encourage heavy industry and allowed Mr. Crump's censor to ban movies.

During the 1960s, the city was at the center of civil rights issues, notably a sanitation workers' strike. The Lorraine Motel in the city was also the venue of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. on April 4, 1968, the day after giving his prophetic I've Been to the Mountaintop
I've Been to the Mountaintop
"I've Been to the Mountaintop" is the popular name of the last speech delivered by Martin Luther King, Jr.King spoke on April 3, 1968, at the Mason Temple in Memphis, Tennessee. The next day, King was assassinated....

speech at the Mason Temple
Mason Temple
Mason Temple, in Memphis, Tennessee, is the International Sanctuary and central headquarters of the Church of God in Christ, the largest African American Pentecostal group in the world....

.

Memphis is well known for its cultural contributions to the identity of the American South
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

. Many renowned musicians grew up in and around Memphis and moved from the Mississippi Delta
Mississippi Delta
The Mississippi Delta is the distinctive northwest section of the U.S. state of Mississippi that lies between the Mississippi and Yazoo Rivers. The region has been called "The Most Southern Place on Earth" because of its unique racial, cultural, and economic history...

. These included such musical greats as Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley
Elvis Aaron Presley was one of the most popular American singers of the 20th century. A cultural icon, he is widely known by the single name Elvis. He is often referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll" or simply "the King"....

, Jerry Lee Lewis
Jerry Lee Lewis
Jerry Lee Lewis is an American rock and roll and country music singer-songwriter and pianist. An early pioneer of rock and roll music, Lewis's career faltered after he married his young cousin, and he afterwards made a career extension to country and western music. He is known by the nickname 'The...

, Muddy Waters
Muddy Waters
McKinley Morganfield , known as Muddy Waters, was an American blues musician, generally considered the "father of modern Chicago blues"...

, Carl Perkins
Carl Perkins
Carl Lee Perkins was an American rockabilly musician who recorded most notably at Sun Records Studio in Memphis, Tennessee, beginning during 1954...

, Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash
John R. "Johnny" Cash was an American singer-songwriter, actor, and author, who has been called one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century...

, Robert Johnson
Robert Johnson
Robert Leroy Johnson was an American blues singer and musician. His landmark recordings from 1936–37 display a combination of singing, guitar skills, and songwriting talent that have influenced later generations of musicians. Johnson's shadowy, poorly documented life and death at age 27 have given...

, W. C. Handy
W. C. Handy
William Christopher Handy was a blues composer and musician. He was widely known as the "Father of the Blues"....

, B.B. King, Howlin' Wolf
Howlin' Wolf
Chester Arthur Burnett , known as Howlin' Wolf, was an influential American blues singer, guitarist and harmonica player....

, Isaac Hayes
Isaac Hayes
Isaac Lee Hayes, Jr. was an American songwriter, musician, singer and actor. Hayes was one of the creative influences behind the southern soul music label Stax Records, where he served both as an in-house songwriter and as a record producer, teaming with his partner David Porter during the...

, Booker T. Jones
Booker T. Jones
Booker T. Jones is a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, record producer and arranger, best known as the frontman of the band Booker T. and the MGs. He has also worked in the studios with many well-known artists of the 20th and 21st centuries, earning him a Grammy Award for lifetime...

, Al Green
Al Green
Albert Greene , better known as Al Green, is an American gospel and soul music singer. He reached the peak of his popularity in the 1970s, with hit singles such as "You Oughta Be With Me", "I'm Still In Love With You", "Love and Happiness", and "Let's Stay Together"...

, Three 6 Mafia
Three 6 Mafia
Three 6 Mafia are an Academy Award-winning, American rap group originating from Memphis, Tennessee. Formed in 1991 as Triple 6 Mafia, by DJ Paul, Juicy J, & Lord Infamous, the group at its most featured six members including; Crunchy Black, Gangsta Boo and Koopsta Knicca...

, The Sylvers
The Sylvers
The Sylvers were a popular R&B/soul and disco family group during the 1970s. Originally from Memphis, Tennessee, the family would later relocate to Watts, California.- Beginnings :...

, and many others.

Geography





Memphis is located in southwestern Tennessee at 35°7′3"N 89°58′16"W. According to the United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

, the city has a total area of 313.8 sq mi (812.7 km²), of which 302.3 sq mi (783 km²) is land and 15.4 sq mi (39.9 km²), or 5.24%, is water.

Cityscape


Downtown Memphis
Downtown Memphis, Tennessee
Downtown Memphis, Tennessee is the central business district of Memphis, Tennessee and is located along the Mississippi River between Interstate 40 to the north, Interstate 55 to the south and I-240 to the east, where it abuts Midtown Memphis....

 rises from a bluff along the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

, and the city sprawls outward over southwest Tennessee and into northern Mississippi
Mississippi
Mississippi is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi...

 and eastern Arkansas
Arkansas
Arkansas is a state located in the southern region of the United States. Its name is an Algonquian name of the Quapaw Indians. Arkansas shares borders with six states , and its eastern border is largely defined by the Mississippi River...

. Several large parks are scattered through the city, notably Overton Park
Overton Park
Overton Park is a large, public park in Midtown Memphis, Tennessee. The park grounds contain the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis Zoo, a 9-hole golf course, Memphis College of Art, Rainbow Lake, Veterans Plaza, Greensward, and other features...

 in Midtown
Midtown, Memphis
- Overview :Architecturally, Midtown Memphis, Tennessee is marked with residential vintage housing, specialty stores, and high-rise buildings, often all located on the same avenue...

 and the 4500 acre (18.2 km²) Shelby Farms. The city is a national transportation hub and Mississippi River crossing for Interstate 40
Interstate 40
Interstate 40 is the third-longest major east–west Interstate Highway in the United States, after I-90 and I-80. Its western end is at Interstate 15 in Barstow, California; its eastern end is at a concurrency of U.S. Route 117 and North Carolina Highway 132 in Wilmington, North Carolina...

, (east-west), Interstate 55
Interstate 55
Interstate 55 is an Interstate Highway in the central United States. Its odd number indicates that it is a north–south Interstate Highway. I-55 goes from LaPlace, Louisiana at Interstate 10 to Chicago at U.S. Route 41 , at McCormick Place. A common nickname for the highway is "double...

 (north-south), barge traffic, Memphis International Airport (FedEx's "SuperHub" facility) and numerous freight railroads that serve the city.

Aquifer


Shelby County is located over four natural aquifer
Aquifer
An aquifer is a wet underground layer of water-bearing permeable rock or unconsolidated materials from which groundwater can be usefully extracted using a water well. The study of water flow in aquifers and the characterization of aquifers is called hydrogeology...

s, one of which is recognized as the "Memphis sand aquifer" or simply as the "Memphis aquifer". This artesian water is pure and soft. This particular water source, located some 350 to 1100 ft (106.7 to 335.3 ) underground, is estimated by Memphis Light, Gas and Water
Memphis Light, Gas and Water
The Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division is the largest three-service municipal utility in the U.S. with more than 420,000 customers. Since 1939, MLGW has provided electricity, natural gas and water service for Memphis, Tennessee and Shelby County residents.MLGW is supplied with electricity by...

 to contain more than 100 gallon (3.785412E-09 km³) of water.

Climate


Memphis has a humid subtropical climate
Humid subtropical climate
A humid subtropical climate is a climate zone characterized by hot, humid summers and mild to cool winters...

, with four distinct seasons. Winter weather comes from the upper Great Plains
Great Plains
The Great Plains are a broad expanse of flat land, much of it covered in prairie, steppe and grassland, which lies west of the Mississippi River and east of the Rocky Mountains in the United States and Canada. This area covers parts of the U.S...

 or from the Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico is a partially landlocked ocean basin largely surrounded by the North American continent and the island of Cuba. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. In...

, leading to drastic swings in temperature. Summer weather may come from Texas (very hot and dry) or the Gulf (hot and humid). July has an average high and low of 92.1 °F (33.4 °C) and 72.9 °F (22.7 °C), with high levels of humidity due to moisture encroaching from the Gulf of Mexico. Afternoon and evening thunderstorms are frequent during some summers, but usually brief, lasting no longer than an hour. Early autumn is pleasantly drier and mild, but can be hot until late October. Late autumn is rainy and cooler; precipitation peaks again in November and December. Winters are mild to chilly, with average January high and low temperatures of 48.6 °F (9.2 °C) and 31.3 °F (-.4 °C). Snow occurs sporadically in winter, with an average yearly snowfall of 4.6 inches (116.8 mm). Ice storms are a greater danger, pulling tree limbs down on power lines.

The lowest temperature ever recorded in Memphis was −13 °F (−25 °C) on December 24, 1963, and the highest temperature ever was 108 °F (42 °C) on July 13, 1980.

Annual precipitation is high (54.7 inches (1,389.4 mm)) and is relatively evenly distributed throughout the year, though the period August through October is much drier, and peaks in March–May and November/December.

Demographics


For historical population data, see: History of Memphis, Tennessee
History of Memphis, Tennessee
The area around Memphis, Tennessee, was first settled by the Mississippian Culture and then by the Chickasaw Indian tribe. European exploration came years later, with Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto and French explorers led by René Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle.The modern city of Memphis was...

.

According to the 2006–2008 American Community Survey
American Community Survey
The American Community Survey is an ongoing statistical survey by the U.S. Census Bureau, sent to approximately 250,000 addresses monthly . It regularly gathers information previously contained only in the long form of the decennial census...

, the racial composition of Memphis was:
  • Black or African American
    African American
    African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

    : 62.6%
  • White
    White American
    White Americans are people of the United States who are considered or consider themselves White. The United States Census Bureau defines White people as those "having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa...

    : 31.7% (Non-Hispanic Whites
    Non-Hispanic Whites
    Non-Hispanic Whites or White, Not Hispanic or Latino are people in the United States, as defined by the Census Bureau, who are of the White race and are not of Hispanic or Latino origin/ethnicity. Hence the designation is exclusive in the sense that it defines who is not included as opposed to who is...

    : 29.5%)
  • Hispanic or Latino
    Hispanic and Latino Americans
    Hispanic or Latino Americans are Americans with origins in the Hispanic countries of Latin America or in Spain, and in general all persons in the United States who self-identify as Hispanic or Latino.1990 Census of Population and Housing: A self-designated classification for people whose origins...

     (of any race): 5.0%
  • Asian
    Asian American
    Asian Americans are Americans of Asian descent. The U.S. Census Bureau definition of Asians as "Asian” refers to a person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan,...

    : 1.7%
  • Native American: 0.2%
  • Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander
    Pacific Islander American
    Pacific Islander Americans, also known as Oceanian Americans, are residents of the United States with original ancestry from Oceania. They represent the smallest racial group counted in the United States census of 2000. They numbered 874,000 people or 0.3 percent of the United States population...

    : 0.1%
  • Some other race: 2.7%
  • Two or more races
    Multiracial American
    Multiracial Americans, US residents who identify themselves as of "two or more races", were numbered at around 9 million, or 2.9% of the population, in the census of 2010. However there is considerable evidence that the real number is far higher. Prior to the mid-20th century many people hid their...

    : 1.2%


As of the census of 2000, there were 650,100 people, 250,721 households, and 158,455 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,327.4 people per sq mi (898.6/km²). There were 271,552 housing units at an average density of 972.2 per sq mi (375.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 61.41% African American, 34.41% White
White American
White Americans are people of the United States who are considered or consider themselves White. The United States Census Bureau defines White people as those "having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa...

, 1.46% Asian
Asian American
Asian Americans are Americans of Asian descent. The U.S. Census Bureau definition of Asians as "Asian” refers to a person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan,...

, 0.19% Native American
Indigenous peoples of the Americas
The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North and South America, their descendants and other ethnic groups who are identified with those peoples. Indigenous peoples are known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, and in the United States as Native Americans...

, 0.04% Pacific Islander
Pacific Islander American
Pacific Islander Americans, also known as Oceanian Americans, are residents of the United States with original ancestry from Oceania. They represent the smallest racial group counted in the United States census of 2000. They numbered 874,000 people or 0.3 percent of the United States population...

, 1.45% from other races, and 1.04% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino
Hispanic and Latino Americans
Hispanic or Latino Americans are Americans with origins in the Hispanic countries of Latin America or in Spain, and in general all persons in the United States who self-identify as Hispanic or Latino.1990 Census of Population and Housing: A self-designated classification for people whose origins...

 of any race were 2.97% of the population.

The median income for a household in the city was $32,285, and the median income for a family was $37,767. Males had a median income of $31,236 versus $25,183 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,838. About 17.2% of families and 20.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 30.1% of those under age 18 and 15.4% of those age 65 or over.

The Memphis Metropolitan Statistical Area
Memphis Metropolitan Area
The Memphis Metropolitan Statistical Area, TN-MS-AR , more commonly known as The Mid-South, is the 41st largest among similarly designated areas in the United States. The metropolitan area covers eight counties in three states – Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas...

 (MSA), the 42nd largest in the United States, has a 2010 population of 1,316,100 and includes the Tennessee counties of Shelby
Shelby County, Tennessee
Shelby County is a county located in the U.S. state of Tennessee. It is the state's largest both in terms of population and geographic area, with a population of 927,644 at the 2010 census...

, Tipton
Tipton County, Tennessee
Tipton County is a county located on the western end of the U.S. state of Tennessee. As of 2000, the population was 51,271. Its county seat is Covington. Tipton County is part of the Memphis, TN–MS–AR Metropolitan Statistical Area, centered on Shelby County, which borders Tipton on...

, and Fayette, as well as the Mississippi
Mississippi
Mississippi is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi...

 counties of DeSoto
DeSoto County, Mississippi
-Demographics:As of the census of 2005 estimate, there were 137,004 people, 38,792 households, and 30,102 families residing in the county. The population density was 224 people per square mile . There were 40,795 housing units at an average density of 85 per square mile...

, Marshall
Marshall County, Mississippi
-Demographics:At the 2000 census, there were 34,993 people, 12,163 households and 9,110 families residing in the county. The population density was 50 per square mile . There were 13,252 housing units at an average density of 19 per square mile...

, Tate
Tate County, Mississippi
-Demographics:As of the census of 2000, there were 25,370 people, 8,850 households, and 6,717 families residing in the county. The population density was 63 people per square mile . There were 9,354 housing units at an average density of 23 per square mile...

, and Tunica
Tunica County, Mississippi
As of the census of 2000, there were 9,227 people, 3,258 households, and 2,192 families residing in the county. The population density was 20 people per square mile . There were 3,705 housing units at an average density of 8 per square mile...

, and Crittenden County, Arkansas.

Religion



Since its founding, Memphis has been home to persons of many different faiths. An 1870 map of Memphis shows religious buildings of the Baptist, Catholic, Episcopal
Episcopal Church (United States)
The Episcopal Church is a mainline Anglican Christian church found mainly in the United States , but also in Honduras, Taiwan, Colombia, Ecuador, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, the British Virgin Islands and parts of Europe...

, Methodist
Methodism
Methodism is a movement of Protestant Christianity represented by a number of denominations and organizations, claiming a total of approximately seventy million adherents worldwide. The movement traces its roots to John Wesley's evangelistic revival movement within Anglicanism. His younger brother...

, Presbyterian, Congregational
Congregational church
Congregational churches are Protestant Christian churches practicing Congregationalist church governance, in which each congregation independently and autonomously runs its own affairs....

, and other Christian denomination
Christian denomination
A Christian denomination is an identifiable religious body under a common name, structure, and doctrine within Christianity. In the Orthodox tradition, Churches are divided often along ethnic and linguistic lines, into separate churches and traditions. Technically, divisions between one group and...

s and a Jewish congregation. In 2009, places of worship exist for Christians, Jews, Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

s, Buddhists
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

, and Muslims.

The international headquarters of the Church of God in Christ
Church of God in Christ
The Church of God in Christ is a Pentecostal Holiness Christian denomination with a predominantly African-American membership. With nearly five million members in the United States and 12,000 congregations, it is the largest Pentecostal church and the fifth largest Christian church in the U.S....

, the second largest Pentecostal
Pentecostalism
Pentecostalism is a diverse and complex movement within Christianity that places special emphasis on a direct personal experience of God through the baptism in the Holy Spirit, has an eschatological focus, and is an experiential religion. The term Pentecostal is derived from Pentecost, the Greek...

 denomination in the United States, is located in Memphis. Named after the denomination's founder, Charles Harrison Mason
Charles Harrison Mason
Bishop Charles Harrison 'C.H.' Mason was an American Pentecostal–Holiness and Charismatic, denomination leader. He was the founder, Chief Apostle and first Senior Bishop of the Church of God in Christ, Inc. He was also the grandfather of Bishop J.O...

, Mason Temple
Mason Temple
Mason Temple, in Memphis, Tennessee, is the International Sanctuary and central headquarters of the Church of God in Christ, the largest African American Pentecostal group in the world....

 is where Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was an American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for being an iconic figure in the advancement of civil rights in the United States and around the world, using nonviolent methods following the...

 gave his famous "I've Been to the Mountaintop
I've Been to the Mountaintop
"I've Been to the Mountaintop" is the popular name of the last speech delivered by Martin Luther King, Jr.King spoke on April 3, 1968, at the Mason Temple in Memphis, Tennessee. The next day, King was assassinated....

" speech the day before he was killed. The church's Temple of Deliverance
Temple of Deliverance Church of God in Christ
Temple of Deliverance Church of God in Christ was founded March 6, 1975 by the late Bishop Gilbert E. Patterson in Memphis, Tennessee. The church's current pastor is Milton Hawkins, nephew of the founder...

 is the venue of the National Civil Rights Museum
National Civil Rights Museum
The National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee, USA, is a privately owned complex of museums and historic buildings built around the former Lorraine Motel at 450 Mulberry Street, where Martin Luther King, Jr...

's Freedom Awards.

Bellevue Baptist Church
Bellevue Baptist Church
Bellevue Baptist Church is a large Southern Baptist megachurch in the Cordova area of Memphis, Tennessee, United States.-History:Bellevue Baptist was founded in 1903 by Central Baptist Church as a mission church on the outskirts of Memphis...

 is a Southern Baptist megachurch
Megachurch
A megachurch is a church having 2,000 or more in average weekend attendance. The Hartford Institute's database lists more than 1,300 such Protestant churches in the United States. According to that data, approximately 50 churches on the list have attendance ranging from 10,000 to 47,000...

 in Memphis that was founded in 1903. Its current membership is approximately 27,000. For many years, it was led by the late Adrian Rogers
Adrian Rogers
Adrian Pierce Rogers served three terms as president of the Southern Baptist Convention , a Southern Baptist pastor, and a conservative author....

, a three-term president of the Southern Baptist Convention
Southern Baptist Convention
The Southern Baptist Convention is a United States-based Christian denomination. It is the world's largest Baptist denomination and the largest Protestant body in the United States, with over 16 million members...

.

Other notable and/or large churches in Memphis include Second Presbyterian Church (EPC), Evergreen Presbyterian Church (PCUSA
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
The Presbyterian Church , or PC, is a mainline Protestant Christian denomination in the United States. Part of the Reformed tradition, it is the largest Presbyterian denomination in the U.S...

), Colonial Park United Methodist Church, Christ United Methodist Church
United Methodist Church
The United Methodist Church is a Methodist Christian denomination which is both mainline Protestant and evangelical. Founded in 1968 by the union of The Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church, the UMC traces its roots back to the revival movement of John and Charles Wesley...

, Idlewild Presbyterian Church (PCUSA), The Pentecostal Church (UPCI
United Pentecostal Church International
The United Pentecostal Church International is a Pentecostal Christian denomination, headquartered in the St. Louis suburb of Hazelwood, Missouri. It is a part of the Oneness or "Apostolic" portion of the Pentecostal Movement, and was formed in 1945 by a merger of the former Pentecostal Church,...

), Calvary Episcopal Church
Calvary Episcopal Church (Memphis, Tennessee)
Calvary Episcopal Church, located at 102 North Second Street at Adams Avenue, in Memphis, Tennessee, in the United States, is an historic Episcopal church, founded August 6, 1832 by the Rev. Thomas Wright. The nave is the oldest public building in continuous use in the city of Memphis and was...

, and Elliston Baptist Church.

Memphis is home to two cathedrals. The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Memphis
Roman Catholic Diocese of Memphis
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Memphis is a Roman Catholic diocese in Tennessee. It was founded on June 20, 1970, when Pope Paul VI removed the counties in the state west of the Tennessee River from the Diocese of Nashville, which, prior to that time, encompassed the entire state.The diocese is...

, and St. Mary's Episcopal Cathedral
St. Mary's Episcopal Cathedral in Memphis
St. Mary's Episcopal Cathedral, located near downtown Memphis, Tennessee, is the cathedral church of the Episcopal Diocese of West Tennessee and the former cathedral of the old statewide Episcopal Diocese of Tennessee.-History:St...

 is the seat of the Episcopal Diocese of West Tennessee
Episcopal Diocese of West Tennessee
The Episcopal Diocese of West Tennessee is the diocese of the Episcopal Church that geographically coincides with the political region known as the Grand Division of West Tennessee. The geographic range of the Diocese of West Tennessee was originally part of the Episcopal Diocese of Tennessee,...

.

Memphis is home to an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 Muslims of various cultures and ethnicities.

Memphis is home to Temple Israel
Temple Israel (Memphis, Tennessee)
Temple Israel is a Reform Jewish congregation in Memphis, Tennessee, in the United States. It is the only Reform synagogue in Memphis, the oldest and largest Jewish congregation in Tennessee, and one of the largest Reform congregations in the U.S. It was founded in 1853 by mostly German Jews as...

, a Reform
Reform Judaism
Reform Judaism refers to various beliefs, practices and organizations associated with the Reform Jewish movement in North America, the United Kingdom and elsewhere. In general, it maintains that Judaism and Jewish traditions should be modernized and should be compatible with participation in the...

 synagogue that has approximately 7,000 members, making it one of the largest Reform synagogues in the country. Baron Hirsch Synagogue
Baron Hirsch Synagogue
The Baron Hirsch Synagogue , established Memphis, Tennessee circa 1862–1864, is a flagship of American Orthodox Judaism...

 is the largest Orthodox
Orthodox Judaism
Orthodox Judaism , is the approach to Judaism which adheres to the traditional interpretation and application of the laws and ethics of the Torah as legislated in the Talmudic texts by the Sanhedrin and subsequently developed and applied by the later authorities known as the Gaonim, Rishonim, and...

 shul in the United States.

Cultural events



One of the largest celebrations the city has is Memphis in May
Memphis in May
Memphis in May is a month long festival held in Memphis, Tennessee. The festival itself is split into four main events: The Beale Street Music Festival, the kick-off event which showcases a mix of local and national music acts, International Week, a group of events dedicated to the country that is...

. The month-long series of events promotes Memphis' heritage and outreach of its people far beyond the city's borders. There are four main events, the Beale Street Music Festival, International Week, the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, and the Sunset Symphony. The World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest is the largest pork barbecue
Barbecue
Barbecue or barbeque , used chiefly in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia is a method and apparatus for cooking meat, poultry and occasionally fish with the heat and hot smoke of a fire, smoking wood, or hot coals of...

 cooking contest in the world.

In April, there is an event in downtown Memphis called Africa in April Cultural Awareness Festival, or simply known as Africa in April. The festival was designed to celebrate the arts, history, culture, and diversity of the African diaspora
African diaspora
The African diaspora was the movement of Africans and their descendants to places throughout the world—predominantly to the Americas also to Europe, the Middle East and other places around the globe...

. Africa in April is a three-day festival with vendor's markets, fashion showcases, blues showcases, and an international diversity parade.

During June, Memphis is home to the Memphis Italian Festival at Marquette Park. For over 20 years, the festival has hosted musical acts, local artisans, and Italian cooking competitions. It also presents chef demonstrations, the Coors Light Competitive Bocce Tournament, the Galtelli Cup Recreational Bocce Tournament, a volleyball tournament, and pizza tossing demonstrations.

Carnival Memphis
Carnival Memphis
Carnival Memphis , is a series of parties and festivities staged annually since 1931 in Memphis, Tennessee by the centralized Carnival Memphis Association and its member krewes during the month of June...

, formerly known as the Memphis Cotton Carnival, is an annual series of parties and festivities in June that salutes various aspects of Memphis and its industries. An annual King and Queen of Carnival are secretly selected to reign over Carnival activities. The African-American community staged a parallel event known as the Cotton Makers Jubilee from 1935 to 1982, when it merged with Carnival Memphis.

A market and arts festival, the Cooper-Young Festival, is held annually in September in the Cooper-Young
Cooper-Young, Memphis
Cooper-Young is an eclectic neighborhood and historic district in the Midtown section of Memphis, Tennessee, named for the intersection of Cooper Street and Young Avenue. The entrance to the neighborhood is marked by the Cooper-Young Trestle, a long steel sculpture which depicts homes and...

 district of Midtown Memphis. The event draws artists from all over North America and includes local music, art sales, contests, and displays.

Memphis is also home to several film festivals, the Indie Memphis Film Festival, Outflix, and the Memphis International Film and Music Festival. Indie Memphis Film Festival is in its 14th year and held November 3–6, 2011. Recognized by MovieMaker Magazine as one of 25 "Coolest Film Festivals" (2009) and one of 25 "Festivals Worth the Entry Fee" (2011), Indie Memphis offers Memphis year-round independent film programming including Global Lens international film series, IM Student Shorts student films, and an outdoor concert film series at the historic Levitt Shell. The Outflix Film Festival, also in its 14th year, takes place September 9–15 in 2011. Outflix features a full week of LGBT
LGBT
LGBT is an initialism that collectively refers to "lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender" people. In use since the 1990s, the term "LGBT" is an adaptation of the initialism "LGB", which itself started replacing the phrase "gay community" beginning in the mid-to-late 1980s, which many within the...

 interested cinema, including short films, features, and documentaries. The Memphis International Film and Music Festival is held in April and is in its 11th year and takes place at Malco's Ridgeway Four.

Formerly titled the W. C. Handy
W. C. Handy
William Christopher Handy was a blues composer and musician. He was widely known as the "Father of the Blues"....

 Awards, the International Blues Awards are presented by the Blues Foundation
Blues Foundation
The Blues Foundation is an American nonprofit corporation, headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, that is affiliated with more than 175 Blues organizations from various parts of the world....

 (headquartered in Memphis) for Blues
Blues
Blues is the name given to both a musical form and a music genre that originated in African-American communities of primarily the "Deep South" of the United States at the end of the 19th century from spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts and chants, and rhymed simple narrative ballads...

 music achievement, with weeklong competitions and an awards banquet including a night of performance and celebration.

The arts


Memphis is the home of founders and establishers of various American music genres, including blues, gospel
Gospel music
Gospel music is music that is written to express either personal, spiritual or a communal belief regarding Christian life, as well as to give a Christian alternative to mainstream secular music....

, rock n' roll, Buck, crunk
Crunk
Crunk is a music style that originated in Memphis, Tennessee in the mid-to-late 1990s and gained mainstream success around 2003–2004. Performers of crunk music are sometimes referred to as crunksters. An archetypal crunk track most frequently uses a drum machine rhythm, heavy bassline, and...

, and "sharecropper" country music
Country music
Country music is a popular American musical style that began in the rural Southern United States in the 1920s. It takes its roots from Western cowboy and folk music...

 (in contrast to the "rhinestone
Rhinestone
A rhinestone or paste or diamante is a diamond simulant made from rock crystal, glass or acrylic.Originally, rhinestones were rock crystals gathered from the river Rhine. The availability was greatly increased around 1775 when the Alsatian jeweller Georg Friedrich Strass had the idea to imitate...

" country sound of Nashville
Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville is the capital of the U.S. state of Tennessee and the county seat of Davidson County. It is located on the Cumberland River in Davidson County, in the north-central part of the state. The city is a center for the health care, publishing, banking and transportation industries, and is home...

). Jerry Lee Lewis
Jerry Lee Lewis
Jerry Lee Lewis is an American rock and roll and country music singer-songwriter and pianist. An early pioneer of rock and roll music, Lewis's career faltered after he married his young cousin, and he afterwards made a career extension to country and western music. He is known by the nickname 'The...

, Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash
John R. "Johnny" Cash was an American singer-songwriter, actor, and author, who has been called one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century...

, Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley
Elvis Aaron Presley was one of the most popular American singers of the 20th century. A cultural icon, he is widely known by the single name Elvis. He is often referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll" or simply "the King"....

, Carl Perkins
Carl Perkins
Carl Lee Perkins was an American rockabilly musician who recorded most notably at Sun Records Studio in Memphis, Tennessee, beginning during 1954...

, Roy Orbison
Roy Orbison
Roy Kelton Orbison was an American singer-songwriter, well known for his distinctive, powerful voice, complex compositions, and dark emotional ballads. Orbison grew up in Texas and began singing in a rockabilly/country & western band in high school until he was signed by Sun Records in Memphis...

, Booker T. & the M.G.'s
Booker T. & the M.G.'s
Booker T. & the M.G.'s is an instrumental R&B band that was influential in shaping the sound of southern soul and Memphis soul. Original members of the group were Booker T. Jones , Steve Cropper , Lewie Steinberg , and Al Jackson, Jr....

, Otis Redding
Otis Redding
Otis Ray Redding, Jr. was an American soul singer-songwriter, record producer, arranger and talent scout. He is considered one of the major figures in soul and R&B...

, Isaac Hayes
Isaac Hayes
Isaac Lee Hayes, Jr. was an American songwriter, musician, singer and actor. Hayes was one of the creative influences behind the southern soul music label Stax Records, where he served both as an in-house songwriter and as a record producer, teaming with his partner David Porter during the...

, Sam & Dave
Sam & Dave
Sam & Dave were an American soul and rhythm and blues duo who performed together from 1961 through 1981. The tenor voice was Samuel David Moore , and the baritone/tenor voice was Dave Prater .Sam & Dave are members of...

 and B.B. King all got their start in Memphis in the 1950s/60s.

Beale Street
Beale Street
Beale Street is a street in Downtown Memphis, Tennessee, which runs from the Mississippi River to East Street, a distance of approximately . It is a significant location in the city's history, as well as in the history of the blues. Today, the blues clubs and restaurants that line Beale Street are...

 is a national historical landmark, and showcases the impact Memphis has had on American blues, particularly after World War II as electric guitars took precedence. Sam Phillips
Sam Phillips
Samuel Cornelius Phillips , better known as Sam Phillips, was an American businessman, record executive, record producer and DJ who played an important role in the emergence of rock and roll as the major form of popular music in the 1950s...

' Sun Studio
Sun Studio
Sun Studio is a recording studio opened by rock pioneer Sam Phillips at 706 Union Avenue in Memphis, Tennessee, on January 3, 1950. It was originally called Memphis Recording Service, sharing the same building with the Sun Records label business...

, the most seminal recording studio in American popular music, still stands, and is open for tours. Elvis, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Roy Orbison all made their first recordings there and were "discovered" by Phillips. Many great blues artists recorded there prior to that as well. Lastly, Stax Records
Stax Records
Stax Records is an American record label, originally based in Memphis, Tennessee.Founded in 1957 as Satellite Records, the name Stax Records was adopted in 1961. The label was a major factor in the creation of the Southern soul and Memphis soul music styles, also releasing gospel, funk, jazz, and...

 created a classic 60's soul music, much grittier and horn-based than Motown. Booker T. and the M.G.'s were the label's backing band for most of the classic hits that came out of Stax, by Sam and Dave, Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett
Wilson Pickett
Wilson Pickett was an American R&B/Soul singer and songwriter.A major figure in the development of American soul music, Pickett recorded over 50 songs which made the US R&B charts, and frequently crossed over to the US Billboard Hot 100...

, and many more. The sound still lives on in the Blues Brothers movie
The Blues Brothers
The Blues Brothers are an American blues and soul revivalist band founded in 1978 by comedy actors Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi as part of a musical sketch on Saturday Night Live...

, in which many of the players themselves starred.

Several notable singers are from the Memphis area, including Ruth Welting and Kallen Esperian
Kallen Esperian
Kallen Esperian, born in Barrington, Illinois on , is an Armenian-American lyric soprano.-History:After earning her degree at the University of Illinois, Kallen Esperian went on to win the Luciano Pavarotti International Voice Competition in 1985...

. Justin Timberlake
Justin Timberlake
Justin Randall Timberlake is an American pop musician and actor. He achieved early fame when he appeared as a contestant on Star Search, and went on to star in the Disney Channel television series The New Mickey Mouse Club, where he met future bandmate JC Chasez...

 also grew up in the Memphis area. The Metropolitan Opera
Metropolitan Opera
The Metropolitan Opera is an opera company, located in New York City. Originally founded in 1880, the company gave its first performance on October 22, 1883. The company is operated by the non-profit Metropolitan Opera Association, with Peter Gelb as general manager...

 began coming to Memphis in 1906, their first road show, but in the 1990s decided to only visit larger cities.

Well-known writers from Memphis include American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

 historian Shelby Foote
Shelby Foote
Shelby Dade Foote, Jr. was an American historian and novelist who wrote The Civil War: A Narrative, a massive, three-volume history of the war. With geographic and cultural roots in the Mississippi Delta, Foote's life and writing paralleled the radical shift from the agrarian planter system of the...

. Novelist John Grisham
John Grisham
John Ray Grisham, Jr. is an American lawyer and author, best known for his popular legal thrillers.John Grisham graduated from Mississippi State University before attending the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1981 and practiced criminal law for about a decade...

 grew up in nearby DeSoto County, Mississippi
DeSoto County, Mississippi
-Demographics:As of the census of 2005 estimate, there were 137,004 people, 38,792 households, and 30,102 families residing in the county. The population density was 224 people per square mile . There were 40,795 housing units at an average density of 85 per square mile...

, and many of his books are set in Memphis.

Visual art


In addition to the Brooks Museum and Dixon Gallery and Gardens
Dixon Gallery and Gardens
The Dixon Gallery and Gardens is an art museum within 17 acres of gardens, established in 1976, and located at 4339 Park Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee....

, Memphis plays host to two burgeoning visual art areas, one city-sanctioned, and the other organically formed.

The South Main Arts District is an arts neighborhood in south downtown. Over the past 20 years, the area has morphed from a derelict brothel and juke joint
Juke joint
Juke joint is the vernacular term for an informal establishment featuring music, dancing, gambling, and drinking, primarily operated by African American people in the southeastern United States. The term "juke" is believed to derive from the Gullah word joog, meaning rowdy or disorderly...

 neighborhood to a gentrified
Gentrification
Gentrification and urban gentrification refer to the changes that result when wealthier people acquire or rent property in low income and working class communities. Urban gentrification is associated with movement. Consequent to gentrification, the average income increases and average family size...

, well-lit, nicely paved home of the "Trolley Night" where patrons of the arts stroll down the street witnessing fire spinners, djs playing in front of clubs, specialty shops and galleries.

Another developing arts district in Memphis is Broad Street. Broad Street (really an east-west avenue) is undergoing neighborhood revitalization by the influx of visual artists and taking up residence and studios in the area. An art professor from Rhodes College
Rhodes College
Rhodes College is a private, predominantly undergraduate, liberal arts college located in Memphis, Tennessee, USA. Originally founded by freemasons in 1848, Rhodes became affiliated with the Presbyterian Church in 1855. Rhodes enrolls approximately 1,700 students pursuing bachelor's and master's...

 holds small openings on the first floor of his home for local students and professional artists. Odessa, another art space on Broad Street, hosts student art shows and local electronic music. Other galleries come and go for semiannual artwalks.

Outside these two areas, Memphis has non-commercial visual arts organizations and spaces, including local painter Pinkney Herbert's Marshall Arts gallery, on Marshall Ave. near Sun Studios, another arts neighborhood characterized by affordable rent.
Many works of fiction and literature use Memphis as their setting, giving a diverse portrait of the city, its history, and its citizens. These include The Reivers
The Reivers
The Reivers, published in 1962, is the last novel by the American author William Faulkner. The bestselling novel was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1963. Faulkner previously won this award for his book A Fable, making him one of only three authors to be awarded it more than once...

by William Faulkner
William Faulkner
William Cuthbert Faulkner was an American writer from Oxford, Mississippi. Faulkner worked in a variety of media; he wrote novels, short stories, a play, poetry, essays and screenplays during his career...

 (1962), September, September by Shelby Foote
Shelby Foote
Shelby Dade Foote, Jr. was an American historian and novelist who wrote The Civil War: A Narrative, a massive, three-volume history of the war. With geographic and cultural roots in the Mississippi Delta, Foote's life and writing paralleled the radical shift from the agrarian planter system of the...

 (1977), The Old Forest and Other Stories by Peter Taylor
Peter Matthew Hillsman Taylor
For other people named Peter Taylor, see Peter Taylor.Peter Matthew Hillsman Taylor was a U.S. author and writer.-Biography:...

 (1985), the Pulitzer Prize
Pulitzer Prize
The Pulitzer Prize is a U.S. award for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature and musical composition. It was established by American publisher Joseph Pulitzer and is administered by Columbia University in New York City...

-winning A Summons to Memphis
A Summons to Memphis
A Summons to Memphis is a 1986 novel by Peter Taylor which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1987. It is the recollection of Phillip Carver, a middle aged editor from New York City, who is summoned back to Memphis by his two conniving unmarried sisters to help them prevent the marriage of their...

by Peter Taylor
Peter Matthew Hillsman Taylor
For other people named Peter Taylor, see Peter Taylor.Peter Matthew Hillsman Taylor was a U.S. author and writer.-Biography:...

 (1986), The Firm (1991) and The Client
The Client
The Client is a legal thriller written by American author John Grisham, set mostly in Memphis, Tennessee and New Orleans, Louisiana...

(1994), both by John Grisham
John Grisham
John Ray Grisham, Jr. is an American lawyer and author, best known for his popular legal thrillers.John Grisham graduated from Mississippi State University before attending the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1981 and practiced criminal law for about a decade...

, Memphis Afternoons: a Memoir by James Conaway (1993), "Plague of Dreamers" by Steve Stern (1997) Cassina Gambrel Was Missing
Cassina Gambrel Was Missing
Cassina Gambrel Was Missing is a 1999 novel by William Watkins. Set against turbulent events in Memphis, Tennessee in the late 1970s, the novel concerns a young, white, college student named Jackson Taylor who befriends an older black woman named Cassina Gambrel. As the protagonist's fortune and...

by William Watkins (1999), The Guardian by Beecher Smith (1999), "We are Billion-Year-Old Carbon" by Corey Mesler (2005), The Silence of the Lambs
The Silence of the Lambs (novel)
The Silence of the Lambs is a novel by Thomas Harris. First published in 1988, it is the sequel to Harris' 1981 novel Red Dragon. Both novels feature the cannibalistic serial killer Dr. Hannibal Lecter, this time pitted against FBI Special Agent Clarice Starling.- Plot summary :The novel takes...

by Thomas Harris
Thomas Harris
Thomas Harris is an American author and screenwriter, best known for a series of suspense novels about his most famous character, Hannibal Lecter...

, and The Architect by James Williamson (2007).

Cultural references


Memphis is the subject of numerous pop and country songs, including "Letters to Memphis" by Pixies, "The Memphis Blues
The Memphis Blues
"The Memphis Blues" is a song described by its composer, W.C. Handy, as a "Southern Rag." It was self-published by Handy in September, 1912 and has been recorded by many artists over the years.-"Mr. Crump":...

" by W. C. Handy
W. C. Handy
William Christopher Handy was a blues composer and musician. He was widely known as the "Father of the Blues"....

, "Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis, Tennessee (song)
"Memphis, Tennessee" is a song by rock & roll singer-songwriter Chuck Berry. It is sometimes shortened to "Memphis". In the UK, the song charted at #6 in 1963, at the same time Decca Records issued a cover version in the UK by Dave Berry and the Cruisers, who came from Sheffield, Yorkshire...

" by Chuck Berry
Chuck Berry
Charles Edward Anderson "Chuck" Berry is an American guitarist, singer, and songwriter, and one of the pioneers of rock and roll music. With songs such as "Maybellene" , "Roll Over Beethoven" , "Rock and Roll Music" and "Johnny B...

, "Queen of Memphis" by Confederate Railroad
Confederate Railroad
Confederate Railroad is an American country rock band founded in 1987 in Marietta, Georgia by Danny Shirley , Michael Lamb , Mark Dufresne , Chris McDaniel , Warren "Gates" Nichols and Wayne Secrest...

, "Memphis Soul Stew" by King Curtis
King Curtis
Curtis Ousley , who performed under the stage name King Curtis, was an American saxophone virtuoso known for rhythm and blues, rock and roll, soul, funk and soul jazz. Variously a bandleader, band member, and session musician, he was also a musical director and record producer...

, "Maybe It Was Memphis
Maybe It Was Memphis
"Maybe It Was Memphis" is the title of a song recorded by American country music artist Pam Tillis on two separate occasions. She first cut the song on Warner Bros...

" by Pam Tillis
Pam Tillis
Pamela Yvonne "Pam" Tillis is an American country music singer-songwriter and actress. She is the daughter of country music singer Mel Tillis....

, "Graceland
Graceland (song)
"Graceland" is the title song of the album Graceland, released in 1986 by Paul Simon. The song features vocals by The Everly Brothers.The lyrics deal with the singer's thoughts during a road trip to Graceland after the failure of his marriage to actress and author Carrie Fisher.-Reception:It was...

" by Paul Simon
Paul Simon
Paul Frederic Simon is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist.Simon is best known for his success, beginning in 1965, as part of the duo Simon & Garfunkel, with musical partner Art Garfunkel. Simon wrote most of the pair's songs, including three that reached number one on the US singles...

, "Memphis Train" by Rufus Thomas
Rufus Thomas
Rufus Thomas, Jr. was an American rhythm and blues, funk and soul singer and comedian fromMemphis, Tennessee, who recorded on Sun Records in the...

, "All the Way from Memphis
All the Way from Memphis
"All the Way from Memphis" is a single released by Mott the Hoople. The song tells a story about a rock n' roller whose guitar is shipped to Oriole, Kentucky instead of Memphis. The musician gets half-way there before he realizes his instrument is missing and takes a month to track it down. When he...

" by Mott the Hoople
Mott the Hoople
Mott the Hoople were a British rock band with strong R&B roots, popular in the glam rock era of the early to mid 1970s. They are popularly known for the song "All the Young Dudes", written for them by David Bowie and appearing on their 1972 album of the same name.-The early years:Mott The Hoople...

, "Wrong Side of Memphis
Wrong Side of Memphis
"Wrong Side of Memphis" is the title of a country music song written by Matraca Berg and Gary Harrison. First recorded by John Berry on his 1990 independent album Saddle the Wind, it was later released by American country music singer, Trisha Yearwood in 1992...

" by Trisha Yearwood
Trisha Yearwood
Patricia Lynn Yearwood, professionally known as Trisha Yearwood , is an American country music artist. She is best known for her ballads about vulnerable young women from a female perspective that have been described by some music critics as "strong" and "confident."Trisha Yearwood signed with MCA...

, "Walking in Memphis
Walking in Memphis
-Cher version:"Walking in Memphis" is the first European single by American singer-actress Cher from her twenty-second studio album, It's a Man's World. It was released in the end of 1995 by WEA. The song was performed in some shows in Europe, and in her tours since the Do You Believe? Tour.-Song...

" by Marc Cohn
Marc Cohn
Marc Craig Cohn is an American folk rock singer-songwriter and musician.- Personal life :Cohn was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He graduated from Beachwood High School in Beachwood, a Cleveland suburb. He then attended Oberlin College....

, "Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again
Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again
"Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again" is a song written by Bob Dylan that appears on his 1966 album Blonde on Blonde. The album version also appears on 1971's Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits Vol. II. A live version of this song appears on the 1976 album Hard Rain; and was also released as...

" by Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, musician, poet, film director and painter. He has been a major and profoundly influential figure in popular music and culture for five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s when he was an informal chronicler and a seemingly...

, "Memphis Skyline" by Rufus Wainwright
Rufus Wainwright
Rufus McGarrigle Wainwright is an American-Canadian singer-songwriter. He has recorded six albums of original music, EPs, and tracks on compilations and film soundtracks.-Early years:...

, and "Sequestered in Memphis" by The Hold Steady
The Hold Steady
The Hold Steady is an American indie rock band from Brooklyn, New York, formed in 2004. The band consists of Craig Finn , Tad Kubler , Galen Polivka , Bobby Drake , and Steve Selvidge...

.

In addition, Memphis is mentioned in scores of other songs, including "Proud Mary" by Creedence Clearwater Revival
Creedence Clearwater Revival
Creedence Clearwater Revival was an American rock band that gained popularity in the late 1960s and early 1970s with a number of successful singles drawn from various albums....

, "Honky Tonk Women
Honky Tonk Women
"Honky Tonk Women" is a 1969 hit song by The Rolling Stones. Released as a single on 4 July 1969 in the UK and a week later in the US, it topped the charts in both nations.-Inspiration and Recording:...

" by The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones are an English rock band, formed in London in April 1962 by Brian Jones , Ian Stewart , Mick Jagger , and Keith Richards . Bassist Bill Wyman and drummer Charlie Watts completed the early line-up...

, "Life Is a Highway
Life Is a Highway
"Life Is a Highway" is a song written by Tom Cochrane, from his 1991 album Mad Mad World. The song was Cochrane's most famous song, as it was a number one hit in his native Canada. The song also peaked at number six on the Billboard charts in the United States in 1992...

" by Tom Cochrane
Tom Cochrane
Tom Cochrane, OC Canadian musician and humanitarian, best known for his hit songs "Life Is a Highway", "Lunatic Fringe", "Human Race" and "I Wish You Well". Cochrane fronted the Canadian rock band Red Rider and has won seven Juno Awards...

, "Black Velvet
Black Velvet (song)
"Black Velvet" is a rock song written by Canadian musicians David Tyson and Christopher Ward, and recorded by Canadian singer Alannah Myles in 1988. It became a number one hit for two weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in 1990 and reached number one on the Album Rock Tracks chart, as well as...

" by Alannah Myles
Alannah Myles
Alannah Myles is a Canadian singer-songwriter, the daughter of Canadian broadcast pioneer William Douglas Byles. In 1989, she released her eponymous debut album...

, "Cities
Fear of Music (album)
Fear of Music is the third studio album by American New Wave band Talking Heads, released on 3 August 1979 on Sire Records. It was recorded at locations in New York City between April and May 1979 and was produced by the quartet and Brian Eno. The album entered the Billboard 200 in the United...

" by Talking Heads
Talking Heads
Talking Heads were an American New Wave and avant-garde band formed in 1975 in New York City and active until 1991. The band comprised David Byrne, Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth and Jerry Harrison...

, "Crazed Country Rebel" by Hank Williams III
Hank Williams III
Shelton Hank Williams, known as Hank 3 , is a neotraditional country and punk metal singer, drummer, bassist, and guitarist. In addition to his honky tonk recordings, Williams' style alternates among country, punk and metal...

, "Pride (In the Name of Love)
Pride (In the Name of Love)
"Pride " is a song by Irish rock band U2. The second track on the band's 1984 album, The Unforgettable Fire, it was released as the album's lead single in September 1984...

" by U2
U2
U2 are an Irish rock band from Dublin. Formed in 1976, the group consists of Bono , The Edge , Adam Clayton , and Larry Mullen, Jr. . U2's early sound was rooted in post-punk but eventually grew to incorporate influences from many genres of popular music...

, "M.E.M.P.H.I.S." by the Disco Biscuits
Disco Biscuits
The Disco Biscuits are a band from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania known for their live performances and light shows. The band consists of Allen Aucoin , Marc Brownstein , Jon Gutwillig , and Aron Magner ....

 and many others.

Economy




The city's central location has led to much of its business development. Located on the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

 and intersected by five major freight railroads and two Interstate highways, I-40 and I-55, Memphis is ideally located for commerce in the transportation and shipping industry. A third interstate, I-69, is under construction, and a fourth, I-22, has recently been designated from the former High Priority Corridor X. River barge
Barge
A barge is a flat-bottomed boat, built mainly for river and canal transport of heavy goods. Some barges are not self-propelled and need to be towed by tugboats or pushed by towboats...

s are unloaded onto trucks and trains. The city is home to Memphis International Airport
Memphis International Airport
Memphis International Airport is a joint civil-military public airport located three miles south of the central business district of Memphis, a city in Shelby County, Tennessee, United States....

, the world's second busiest cargo airport
World's busiest airports by cargo traffic
The world's thirty busiest airports by cargo traffic for various periods . Numbers listed refer to loaded and unloaded freight in metric tonnes.-2010 final statistics:...

 (following Hong Kong), which serves as the primary hub for FedEx Express shipping and was a secondary hub for Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines, Inc. is a major airline based in the United States and headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. The airline operates an extensive domestic and international network serving all continents except Antarctica. Delta and its subsidiaries operate over 4,000 flights every day...

 after it merged with Northwest Airlines
Northwest Airlines
Northwest Airlines, Inc. was a major United States airline founded in 1926 and absorbed into Delta Air Lines by a merger approved on October 29, 2008, making Delta the largest airline in the world...

 in 2008.

Memphis is the home of three Fortune 500 companies: FedEx Corporation, AutoZone Incorporated, and International Paper
International Paper
International Paper Company is an American pulp and paper company, the largest such company in the world. It has approximately 59,500 employees, and it is headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee.-History:...

. In addition, Memphis is home to the pharmaceutical/healthcare firm Schering-Plough Corporation, serving as the company's research and development
Research and development
The phrase research and development , according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, refers to "creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of man, culture and society, and the use of this stock of...

 center. In 2006, a fourth Fortune 500 company, ServiceMaster
ServiceMaster
ServiceMaster is a privately held Fortune 500 company that provides various services to residences and firms. Its headquarters are located in Memphis, Tennessee after moving there from Downers Grove, Illinois in early 2007. Brands operated by ServiceMaster include: TruGreen, Terminix, American...

, announced it was moving its corporate headquarters from Downers Grove, Illinois
Downers Grove, Illinois
Downers Grove is a village in Downers Grove and Lisle Townships, DuPage County, Illinois, United States. The population was 48,724 at the 2000 census, with an official estimated population of 49,250 in 2008.-History:...

, to Memphis. In 2007, ServiceMaster became a private company. Other major corporations based in Memphis include Medtronic Sofamor Danek, First Horizon National Corporation
First Horizon National Corporation
First Horizon National Corporation is a large banking company based in Memphis, Tennessee, USA. It is the parent company of First Tennessee Bank and FTN Financial....

, Pinnacle Airlines
Pinnacle Airlines
Pinnacle Airlines, Inc. is an American regional airline, which is a subsidiary of Pinnacle Airlines Corp., and operates as Delta Connection for Delta Air Lines...

, Thomas and Betts Corporation, Mueller Industries, Fred's, Verso Paper
Verso Paper
Verso Paper is a pulp and paper company based in Memphis, TN. The company has paper manufacturing facilities in Jay, ME, Bucksport, ME, Sartell, MN, and Quinnesec, MI. It has approximately 3,000 employees....

, Allenberg Cotton Co., Dunavant Enterprises, Accredo Health Group, GE Capital Aviation Services, Baptist Memorial Hospital, Methodist LeBonheur Healthcare, and Baker Donelson, among others. Corporations with major operations based in the Memphis area include Hilton Worldwide, Technicolor Home Entertainment Services, Smith & Nephew
Smith & Nephew
Smith & Nephew plc is a global medical devices company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the world's largest producer of arthroscopy products, second-largest producer of advanced wound management products, third-largest producer of trauma and clinical therapy products and...

, Sharp Manufacturing
Sharp Corporation
is a Japanese multinational corporation that designs and manufactures electronic products. Headquartered in Abeno-ku, Osaka, Japan, Sharp employs more than 55,580 people worldwide as of June 2011. The company was founded in September 1912 and takes its name from one of its founder's first...

, Brother International, and Caesars Entertainment Corporation.

The entertainment and film industries have discovered Memphis in recent years. Several major motion pictures have been filmed in Memphis, including Making the Grade
Making the Grade (film)
Making the Grade is an American film which was released in 1984. It was directed by Dorian Walker and written by Charles Gale and Gene Quintano. It was filmed at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee.-Synopsis:...

(1984), Elvis and Me
Elvis and Me
Elvis and Me is a 1985 biography written by Priscilla Presley . In the book, Priscilla talks about meeting Elvis, their marriage, and the factors that led up to the couple's divorce....

(1988), Great Balls of Fire!
Great Balls of Fire! (film)
Great Balls of Fire! is a 1989 American biographical film directed by Jim McBride and starring Dennis Quaid as Jerry Lee Lewis. Based on a biography by Myra Lewis and Murray M. Silver Jr., the screenplay is written by McBride and Jack Baran...

(1988), Heart of Dixie
Heart of Dixie
Heart of Dixie is a 1989 drama film adaptation of the 1976 novel Heartbreak Hotel by Anne Rivers Siddons and directed by Martin Davidson...

(1989), Mystery Train
Mystery Train (film)
Mystery Train is a 1989 independent anthology film written and directed by Jim Jarmusch and set in Memphis, Tennessee. The film comprises a triptych of stories involving foreign protagonists unfolding over the course of the same night...

(1989), The Silence of the Lambs
The Silence of the Lambs
The Silence of the Lambs is a 1991 American thriller film that blends elements of the crime and horror genres. It was directed by Jonathan Demme and stars Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Ted Levine, and Scott Glenn...

(1991), Trespass
Trespass
Trespass is an area of tort law broadly divided into three groups: trespass to the person, trespass to chattels and trespass to land.Trespass to the person, historically involved six separate trespasses: threats, assault, battery, wounding, mayhem, and maiming...

(1991), The Gun in Betty Lou's Handbag
The Gun in Betty Lou's Handbag
The Gun in Betty Lou's Handbag is a 1992 American screwball comedy film written by Grace Cary Bickley and directed by Allan Moyle. The film stars Penelope Ann Miller, Eric Thal, Julianne Moore, William Forsythe, and Alfre Woodard...

(1992), The Firm (1993), The Delta
The Delta
The Delta may refer to:* The Niger delta, an oil-rich region of Nigeria* The band The Delta, a psychedelic trance project from Germany.* The Arkansas Delta* The Mississippi Delta* The Sacramento River Delta* The Delta, a 1996 gay-themed film...

(1996), The People Vs. Larry Flynt
The People vs. Larry Flynt
The People vs. Larry Flynt is a 1996 American biographical drama film directed by Miloš Forman about the rise of pornographic magazine publisher and editor Larry Flynt, and his subsequent clash with the law. The film stars Woody Harrelson, Courtney Love, and Edward Norton.The film was written by...

(1996), The Rainmaker (1997), Cast Away
Cast Away
Cast Away is a 2000 drama film directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Tom Hanks as a FedEx employee stranded on an uninhabited island after his plane crashes in the South Pacific. The film depicts his successful attempts to survive on the island using remnants of his plane's cargo, as well as his...

(2000), 21 Grams
21 Grams
21 Grams is a 2003 American drama film directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu and written by Guillermo Arriaga. It stars Sean Penn, Naomi Watts, Danny Huston, and Benicio del Toro....

(2002), A Painted House
A Painted House
A Painted House is a February 2001 novel by American author John Grisham.Inspired by his childhood in Arkansas, it is Grisham's first major work outside the legal thriller genre in which he established himself...

(2002), Black Snake Moan
Black Snake Moan
Black Snake Moan is a 2006 American drama film written and directed by Craig Brewer. It was filmed in and around Stanton, Tennessee, and stars Samuel L. Jackson, Christina Ricci, and Justin Timberlake...

(2005), Forty Shades of Blue
Forty Shades of Blue
Forty Shades of Blue is a 2005 independent film directed by Ira Sachs. It tells the story of Alan James , an aging music producer who lives in Memphis, Tennessee with his much younger Russian girlfriend, Laura . Their life together is complicated by the presence of Alan's adult son Michael Forty...

(2005), Walk the Line
Walk the Line
Walk the Line is a 2005 American biographical drama film directed by James Mangold and based on the early life and career of country music artist Johnny Cash...

(2005), Hustle & Flow
Hustle & Flow
Hustle & Flow is a 2005 independent drama film written and directed by Craig Brewer and produced by John Singleton. Terrence Howard stars as a Memphis hustler and pimp who faces his aspiration to become a rapper...

(2006), Nothing But the Truth
Nothing But the Truth
Nothing But the Truth may refer to:* Nothing But the Truth , a 1929 sound film* Nothing But the Truth , a 1941 comedy film* Nothing But the Truth , a 2008 American drama film* Nothing But the Truth...

(2008), Soul Men (2008), and The Grace Card
The Grace Card
The Grace Card is a 2010 drama film directed by David G. Evans. It intends to illustrate the everyday opportunities that people have to rebuild relationships and heal deep wounds by extending and receiving God’s grace. The film stars Louis Gossett, Jr. and Michael Joiner...

(2011). The Blind Side
The Blind Side (film)
The Blind Side is a 2009 American semi-biographical drama film. It is written and directed by John Lee Hancock, and based on the 2006 book The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game by Michael Lewis. The storyline features Michael Oher, an offensive lineman who plays for the Baltimore Ravens of the NFL...

(2009) was set in Memphis but filmed in Atlanta. The 1992 television movie Memphis, starring Memphis native Cybill Shepherd
Cybill Shepherd
Cybill Lynne Shepherd is an American actress, singer and former model. Her best known roles include starring as Jacy in The Last Picture Show, as Betsy in Taxi Driver, as Madeleine Spencer in Psych, as Maddie Hayes on Moonlighting, as Cybill Sheridan on Cybill, and as Phyllis Kroll on The L...

, who also served as executive producer and writer, was also filmed in Memphis. The state of Tennessee has lacked sufficient tax breaks available in other states to compete for many productions that have been interested in filming in Memphis or in the state as a whole. Besides The Blind Side, whose production was lured to Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

, Memphis Beat
Memphis Beat
Memphis Beat is an American drama series that debuted on TNT on June 22, 2010 and ended on August 16, 2011. Memphis Beat was officially canceled on October 14, 2011.-Overview:...

, a television series on TNT set in Memphis, has been lured to Louisiana
Louisiana
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

.

Law and government



Memphis is governed by a mayor and 13 City Council
City council
A city council or town council is the legislative body that governs a city, town, municipality or local government area.-Australia & NZ:Because of the differences in legislation between the States, the exact definition of a City Council varies...

 members, six elected at large from throughout the city and seven elected from geographic districts. In 1995, the council adopted a new district plan which changed council positions to all districts. This plan provides for nine districts, seven with one representative each and two districts with three representatives each. The previous mayor of the city of Memphis was W. W. Herenton
W. W. Herenton
Willie Wilbert Herenton is an American politician who was formerly mayor of Memphis, Tennessee, and was candidate for election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010, until his defeat in the Democratic primary against incumbent Steve Cohen. He was the first African American to be elected...

. He resigned from his office, effective July 30, 2009. After Herenton's resignation, Myron Lowery
Myron Lowery
Myron Lowery was the Mayor Pro Tem of Memphis, Tennessee, from July 31, 2009 to October 26, 2009. He is a former television news anchor for WMC-TV 5 in Memphis. Mayor Pro Tem Lowery has served on the Memphis City Council since 1991. He became interim mayor on July 31, 2009, following the...

 served as Mayor Pro Tem for less than three months, one of the shortest terms in Memphis history. Former Shelby County
Shelby County, Tennessee
Shelby County is a county located in the U.S. state of Tennessee. It is the state's largest both in terms of population and geographic area, with a population of 927,644 at the 2010 census...

 mayor A C Wharton
A C Wharton
A C Wharton, Jr. is a Tennessee Democratic politician who is the mayor of Memphis, Tennessee. Previously, he served as mayor of Shelby County, the first African-American to serve in that office.-Early life, education, and early career :...

 is the current mayor.

In recent years, there have been often rancorous discussions of the potential of a consolidation of unincorporated Shelby County
Shelby County, Tennessee
Shelby County is a county located in the U.S. state of Tennessee. It is the state's largest both in terms of population and geographic area, with a population of 927,644 at the 2010 census...

 and Memphis into a metropolitan government. Consolidation was a referendum item on the 2010 ballot in Memphis and Shelby County, but failed with 85% of the county voting against it.

Crime



Although in 2004 violent crime
Violent crime
A violent crime or crime of violence is a crime in which the offender uses or threatens to use violent force upon the victim. This entails both crimes in which the violent act is the objective, such as murder, as well as crimes in which violence is the means to an end, such as robbery. Violent...

 in Memphis reached a record low for over a decade, that trend subsequently reversed. In 2005, Memphis was ranked the 4th most dangerous city with a population of 500,000 or higher in the U.S. Crime in Memphis increased in 2005, and saw a dramatic rise in the first half of 2006. Nationally, cities follow similar trends, and crime numbers tend to be cyclical. Local experts and criminologists cite gang recruitment as one possible cause of the rise in crime in Memphis and to a reduction of 66% of federal funding to the Memphis Police Department
Memphis Police Department
The Memphis Police Department is the law enforcement agency of the City of Memphis, Tennessee.-Administrative Services:Provides services that enable the other programs to effectively respond to service calls...

.

In the first half of 2006, robbery of businesses increased 52.5%, robbery of individuals increased 28.5%, and homicide
Homicide
Homicide refers to the act of a human killing another human. Murder, for example, is a type of homicide. It can also describe a person who has committed such an act, though this use is rare in modern English...

 increased 18% over the same period of 2005. The Memphis Police Department has responded with the initiation of Operation Blue C.R.U.S.H. (Crime Reduction Using Statistical History), which targets crime hotspots and repeat offenders. Memphis ended 2005 with 154 murders, and 2006 ended with 160. 2007 saw 164 murders, 2008 had 138, and 2009 had 132. Violent crimes dropped from 12,939 in 2008 to 12,047. Robbery dropped from 4,788 in 2008 to 4,137 in 2009. Aggravated assault dropped 53,870 in 2008 to 47,158 in 2009 (FBI's UCR
Uniform Crime Reports
The Uniform Crime Reports are published by the United States Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Investigation Uniform Crime Reporting Program...

). In 2006 and 2007, the Memphis metropolitan area ranked second most dangerous in the nation among cities with a population over 500,000. It also ranked as most dangerous in 2002 and second most dangerous in 2001. In 2006, the Memphis metropolitan area ranked number one in violent crimes for major cities around the U.S according to the FBI's annual crime rankings, whereas it had ranked second in 2005.

Recent statistics show a downward trend in crime in Memphis. Between 2006 and 2008, the crime rate fell by 16%, while the first half of 2009 saw a reduction in serious crime of over 10% from the previous year. The Memphis Police Department's use of the FBI National Incident Based Reporting System
National Incident Based Reporting System
National Incident-Based Reporting System is an incident-based reporting system used by law enforcement agencies in the United States for collecting and reporting data on crimes. Local, state and federal agencies generate NIBRS data from their records management systems. Data is collected on every...

, which is a more detailed method of reporting crimes than that is used in many other major cities, has been cited as a reason for Memphis's frequent appearance on lists of most dangerous U.S. cities.

Education




The city is served by Memphis City Schools
Memphis City Schools
Memphis City Schools is the school district operating public schools in the city of Memphis, Tennessee. Its headquarters are in the Francis E. Coe Administration Building...

, while surrounding suburbs in other areas of Shelby County
Shelby County, Tennessee
Shelby County is a county located in the U.S. state of Tennessee. It is the state's largest both in terms of population and geographic area, with a population of 927,644 at the 2010 census...

 are served by Shelby County Schools
Shelby County Schools (Tennessee)
The Shelby County School District is a public school district headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee. It serves Shelby County, Tennessee, except for the city of Memphis...

.

The Memphis City School System is home to over 200 elementary, middle, and high schools.

The Memphis area is home to many private, college-prep schools: Briarcrest Christian School
Briarcrest Christian School
Briarcrest Christian School is an independent coeducational college preparatory school with two campuses in Shelby County, Tennessee, in Memphis and Eads ....

 (co-ed), Christian Brothers High School
Christian Brothers High School (Memphis, Tennessee)
Christian Brothers High School ' is located in Memphis, Tennessee, at 5900 Walnut Grove Rd. It is an all-male college preparatory school and Catholic school that has a strong Lasallian tradition that can be traced back to John Baptist de La Salle...

 (boys), Evangelical Christian School
Evangelical Christian School
Evangelical Christian School, also known as ECS, is a private, non-denominational, evangelical school in Memphis, Tennessee. It was founded in 1965 and joined Association of Christian Schools International in 1984...

 (co-ed), First Assembly Christian School
First Assembly Christian School
First Assembly Christian school is a college preparatory school located in the Cordova section of Memphis, Tennessee. FACS was founded in 1972; programs for kindergarten through Grade 8 began in 1972 and grades 9-12 were added in 1975. The school is fully accredited by the Southern Association of...

 (co-ed), Hutchison School
Hutchison School
Hutchison School is an independent day school for girls in grades PK-12 located in Memphis, Tennessee.- History :Hutchison School was founded by Mary Grimes Hutchison in 1902. The first few years of the school included the training of young boys and girls by Miss Hutchison alone. One of its most...

 (girls), Lausanne Collegiate School
Lausanne Collegiate School
Lausanne Collegiate School, originally known as Lausanne School for Girls, is an independent, coeducational, nonsectarian school in Memphis, Tennessee, for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade...

 (co-ed), Memphis University School
Memphis University School
Memphis University School is an all-male private school for grades 7–12, located in Memphis, Tennessee.-History:MUS was founded in 1893 by Edwin Sidney Werts and James White Sheffey Rhea. MUS is a college-preparatory school. The school's colors, red and blue, were chosen by the founders to...

 (boys), Saint Benedict at Auburndale
Saint Benedict at Auburndale
St. Benedict at Auburndale High School is a Roman Catholic high school of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Memphis. The school teaches grades 9–12 in Cordova, Tennessee and offers special programs for students requiring special learning programs. The school colors are red and blue...

 (co-ed), St. George's Independent School
St. George's Independent Schools
St. George's Independent School was founded in 1959 as St. George's Episcopal School and now has campuses in Collierville, Germantown, and Memphis, Tennessee.-History:...

 (co-ed), St. Agnes Academy
St. Agnes Academy-St. Dominic School
St. Agnes Academy-St. Dominic School is a private Roman Catholic school consisting of an all-girls high school and a co-educational elementary and middle school located in Memphis, Tennessee, United States....

 (girls), Bishop Byrne Middle and High School (co-ed), Immaculate Conception Cathedral School (girls), and St. Mary's Episcopal School (girls). Also included in this list is Memphis Harding Academy, a co-ed school affiliated with the Churches of Christ.

Colleges and universities located in the city include the University of Memphis
University of Memphis
The University of Memphis is an American public research university located in the Normal Station neighborhood of Memphis, Tennessee and is the flagship public research university of the Tennessee Board of Regents system....

 (a comprehensive state university), Rhodes College
Rhodes College
Rhodes College is a private, predominantly undergraduate, liberal arts college located in Memphis, Tennessee, USA. Originally founded by freemasons in 1848, Rhodes became affiliated with the Presbyterian Church in 1855. Rhodes enrolls approximately 1,700 students pursuing bachelor's and master's...

 (formerly Southwestern at Memphis), Memphis College of Art
Memphis College of Art
Memphis College of Art, known before 1985 as the Memphis Academy of Arts, is a small, private college of art and design located in Memphis, Tennessee's Overton Park adjacent to the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. It offers Bachelor of Fine Arts, Master of Fine Arts, Master of Arts in Art Education...

, LeMoyne–Owen College, Christian Brothers University
Christian Brothers University
Christian Brothers University is the oldest collegiate degree-granting institution in the city of Memphis. The university is run by the Christian Brothers, a Roman Catholic religious order founded by St. John Baptist de la Salle, the patron saint of teachers...

, Baptist College of Health Sciences
Baptist College of Health Sciences
Baptist College of Health Sciences is a private, coeducational, specialized college in Memphis, Tennessee. It offers baccalaureate degrees in the following fields:*Diagnostic medical sonography*Health care management*Medical radiography*Nuclear medicine...

 (formerly Baptist Memorial Hospital School of Nursing), Memphis Theological Seminary
Memphis Theological Seminary
Memphis Theological Seminary is an ecumenical theological seminary located in Midtown, Memphis, Tennessee. It is affiliated with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, but accepts and trains ministerial candidates from other groups as well...

, Harding School of Theology
Harding School of Theology
Harding School of Theology, known until 2011 as Harding University Graduate School of Religion, is located in Memphis, Tennessee, in the United States. It is an entity related to the private Christian university associated with the Churches of Christ known as Harding University, the main campus of...

, Reformed Theological Seminary
Reformed Theological Seminary
Reformed Theological Seminary is a non-denominational, evangelical Protestant seminary. RTS's first campus remains in Jackson, Mississippi, United States though the school has expanded to include several additional campuses.-Founding:...

 (satellite campus), William R. Moore College of Technology, Southern College of Optometry
Southern College of Optometry
Southern College of Optometry is a college of optometry in the United States. It is located in Memphis, Tennessee and is dedicated to the study of optometry, the field of medicine that includes not only the performance of refractive eye examinations and the fitting of necessary corrective lenses or...

, Southwest Tennessee Community College
Southwest Tennessee Community College
Southwest Tennessee Community College is a community college operated by the Tennessee Board of Regents in Memphis, Tennessee, USA. It is the result of a 2001 merger between two institutions started by the Regents in the 1960s, the former Shelby State Community College and the former State...

, Tennessee Technology Center at Memphis, and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center
University of Tennessee Health Science Center
The University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis includes the Colleges of Allied Health Sciences, Dentistry, Graduate Health Sciences, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy. Its pediatric residency program is affiliated with Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center and residents in pediatrics,...

 (colleges of Dentistry, Medicine
University of Tennessee College of Medicine
The University of Tennessee College of Medicine is one of six graduate schools of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in downtown Memphis...

, Nursing, Pharmacy, Graduate Health Sciences and Allied Health Sciences). Memphis also has campuses of several for-profit post-secondary institutions, including Victory University (formerly Crichton College), Concorde Career College, ITT Technical Institute
ITT Technical Institute
ITT Technical Institute is a for-profit technical institute with over 130 campuses in 38 states of the United States. ITT Tech is owned and operated by ITT Educational Services, Inc. , a publicly traded company headquartered in Carmel, Indiana. ITT Educational Services, Inc...

, Remington College
Remington College
Remington College is an affiliated group of privately owned non-profit post-secondary educational institutions. Remington Colleges, Inc. operates 20 campuses in several US states. Some of the affiliated institutions have been in operation since the 1940s. It is a for-profit college...

, and University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix
The University of Phoenix is a for-profit institution of higher learning. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Apollo Group Inc. which is publicly traded , an S&P 500 corporation based in Phoenix, Arizona...

.

The University of Tennessee College of Dentistry
University of Tennessee College of Dentistry
The University of Tennessee College of Dentistry is located in Memphis, Tennessee, United States near the intersection of Union Avenue and South Dunlap Street and is part of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center...

 was founded in 1878, making it the oldest dental college in the South
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

, and the third oldest public college of dentistry
Dentistry
Dentistry is the branch of medicine that is involved in the study, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases, disorders and conditions of the oral cavity, maxillofacial area and the adjacent and associated structures and their impact on the human body. Dentistry is widely considered...

 in the United States.

The Christian Brothers High School Band
The Christian Brothers Band (Memphis)
The Christian Brothers Band of Christian Brothers High School is the oldest high school band in America, having a continuous existence since its founding in 1872. The band was founded in the fall of 1872 by Br. Maurelian, who served as the first band director. The first recorded performance of...

 is the oldest high school band in America, founded in 1872.

Highways


The Interstate Highways, Interstate 40
Interstate 40
Interstate 40 is the third-longest major east–west Interstate Highway in the United States, after I-90 and I-80. Its western end is at Interstate 15 in Barstow, California; its eastern end is at a concurrency of U.S. Route 117 and North Carolina Highway 132 in Wilmington, North Carolina...

, Interstate 55
Interstate 55
Interstate 55 is an Interstate Highway in the central United States. Its odd number indicates that it is a north–south Interstate Highway. I-55 goes from LaPlace, Louisiana at Interstate 10 to Chicago at U.S. Route 41 , at McCormick Place. A common nickname for the highway is "double...

, and Interstate 240
Interstate 240 (Tennessee)
Interstate 240 is an Interstate Highway in the U.S. state of Tennessee. Running or 31.0 km, it loops southward from Interstate 40 in east Memphis, then turning west at TN 385 . At I-55, the highway turns north and runs through midtown to end at I-40...

, are the main expressways in the Memphis area. Interstates 40 and 55 cross the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

 at Memphis into the state of Arkansas
Arkansas
Arkansas is a state located in the southern region of the United States. Its name is an Algonquian name of the Quapaw Indians. Arkansas shares borders with six states , and its eastern border is largely defined by the Mississippi River...

.

The nearly-completed Interstate 22
Interstate 22
Interstate 22 , when it is completed, will follow the U.S. Highway 78 corridor along a 213-mile-long route from Memphis, Tennessee, to Birmingham, Alabama, as an Interstate Highway. Interstate 22 will connect Interstate 240 and Interstate 40 in the northwest with Interstate 65 and Interstate...

 connects Memphis with Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham is the largest city in Alabama. The city is the county seat of Jefferson County. According to the 2010 United States Census, Birmingham had a population of 212,237. The Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Area, in estimate by the U.S...

, via northern Mississippi (including Tupelo
Tupelo, Mississippi
Tupelo is the largest city in and the county seat of Lee County, Mississippi, United States. It is the seventh largest city in the state of Mississippi, smaller than Meridian, and larger than Greenville. As of the 2000 United States Census, the city's population was 34,211...

) and northwestern Alabama. This expressway follows the same route as U.S. Route 78
U.S. Route 78
U.S. Highway 78 is an east–west United States highway that runs for 715 miles from Memphis, Tennessee, to Charleston, South Carolina. Between Memphis and Birmingham, Alabama, it is being upgraded to become Interstate 22....

. Other important federal highways though Memphis include the east-west U.S. Route 70
U.S. Route 70
U.S. Route 70 is an east–west United States highway that runs for 2,385 miles from eastern North Carolina to east-central Arizona. As can be derived from its number, it is a major east–west highway of the Southern and Southwestern United States...

, U.S. Route 64
U.S. Route 64
U.S. Route 64 is an east–west United States highway that runs for 2,326 miles from eastern North Carolina to just southwest of the Four Corners in northeast Arizona. The western terminus is at U.S. Route 160 in Teec Nos Pos, Arizona. The highway's eastern terminus is at NC 12 and U.S. Route...

, and U.S. Route 72
U.S. Route 72
U.S. Route 72 is an east–west United States highway that runs for 337 miles from southeast Tennessee through northern Alabama and northern Mississippi to southwest Tennessee. The highway's eastern terminus is Chattanooga, Tennessee. Its western terminus is Memphis, Tennessee...

; and the north-south U.S. Route 51
U.S. Route 51
U.S. Route 51 is a north–south United States highway that runs for 1,286 miles from the western suburbs of New Orleans, Louisiana to within of the Wisconsin-Michigan border. Much of the highway in Illinois and southern Wisconsin runs parallel to or overlaps Interstate 39...

 and U.S. Route 61
U.S. Route 61
U.S. Route 61 is the official designation for a United States highway that runs from New Orleans, Louisiana, to the city of Wyoming, Minnesota. The highway generally follows the course of the Mississippi River, and is designated the Great River Road for much of its route. As of 2004, the highway's...

. The former is the historic highway north to Chicago via Cairo, Illinois
Cairo, Illinois
Cairo is the southernmost city in the U.S. state of Illinois. It is the county seat of Alexander County. Cairo is located at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers. The rivers converge at Fort Defiance State Park, an American Civil War fort that was commanded by General Ulysses S. Grant...

, while the latter roughly parallels the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

 for most of its course and crosses the Mississippi Delta
Mississippi Delta
The Mississippi Delta is the distinctive northwest section of the U.S. state of Mississippi that lies between the Mississippi and Yazoo Rivers. The region has been called "The Most Southern Place on Earth" because of its unique racial, cultural, and economic history...

 region to the south, with the Delta also legendary for Blues music.

The future Interstate 69
Interstate 69
Interstate 69 is an Interstate Highway in the United States. It exists in two parts: a completed highway from Indianapolis, Indiana, northeast to the Canadian border in Port Huron, Michigan, and a mostly proposed extension southwest to the Mexican border in Texas...

 from northeast to southwest will pass through Memphis when it is completed, linking Brownsville, Texas
Brownsville, Texas
Brownsville is a city in the southernmost tip of the state of Texas, in the United States. It is located on the northern bank of the Rio Grande, directly north and across the border from Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico. Brownsville is the 16th largest city in the state of Texas with a population of...

 to the already-existing portion that runs from Indianapolis
Indianapolis
Indianapolis is the capital of the U.S. state of Indiana, and the county seat of Marion County, Indiana. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city's population is 839,489. It is by far Indiana's largest city and, as of the 2010 U.S...

, Indiana to Port Huron, Michigan
Port Huron, Michigan
Port Huron is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan and the county seat of St. Clair County. The population was 30,184 at the 2010 census. The city is adjacent to Port Huron Township but is administratively autonomous. It is joined by the Blue Water Bridge over the St. Clair River to Sarnia,...

. Segments of this highway are complete in DeSoto County
DeSoto County, Mississippi
-Demographics:As of the census of 2005 estimate, there were 137,004 people, 38,792 households, and 30,102 families residing in the county. The population density was 224 people per square mile . There were 40,795 housing units at an average density of 85 per square mile...

, just south of Memphis. The segment of the I-69 Corridor running through the Memphis area is scheduled for completion in 2012.

Railroads




A large volume of railroad freight moves through Memphis, because of its two heavy-duty Mississippi River railroad crossings, which carry several major east-west railroad freight lines, and also because of the major north-south railroad lines through Memphis which connect with such major cities as Chicago, St. Louis
St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis is an independent city on the eastern border of Missouri, United States. With a population of 319,294, it was the 58th-largest U.S. city at the 2010 U.S. Census. The Greater St...

, Indianapolis
Indianapolis
Indianapolis is the capital of the U.S. state of Indiana, and the county seat of Marion County, Indiana. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city's population is 839,489. It is by far Indiana's largest city and, as of the 2010 U.S...

, Louisville
Louisville, Kentucky
Louisville is the largest city in the U.S. state of Kentucky, and the county seat of Jefferson County. Since 2003, the city's borders have been coterminous with those of the county because of a city-county merger. The city's population at the 2010 census was 741,096...

, New Orleans, Dallas, Houston, Mobile
Mobile, Alabama
Mobile is the third most populous city in the Southern US state of Alabama and is the county seat of Mobile County. It is located on the Mobile River and the central Gulf Coast of the United States. The population within the city limits was 195,111 during the 2010 census. It is the largest...

, and Birmingham
Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham is the largest city in Alabama. The city is the county seat of Jefferson County. According to the 2010 United States Census, Birmingham had a population of 212,237. The Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Area, in estimate by the U.S...

.

By the early 20th century, Memphis had two major passenger railroad stations. After passenger railroad service declined heavily through the middle of the 20th century, the Memphis Union Station was demolished in 1969. The Memphis Central Station
Central Station (Memphis)
Memphis Central Station, referred to as Grand Central Station prior to 1944, is located at 545 South Main Street, on the corner of Main Street and G.E. Patterson Boulevard, just south of the downtown business district...

 was eventually renovated, and it still serves the city.

The only inter-city passenger railroad service to Memphis for many decades has been the daily City of New Orleans
City of New Orleans
The City of New Orleans is a nightly passenger train operated by Amtrak which travels between Chicago, Illinois and New Orleans, Louisiana. Before Amtrak's formation in 1971, the train was operated by the Illinois Central Railroad along the same route . The train currently operates on a 19½ hour...

train, operated by Amtrak
Amtrak
The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak , is a government-owned corporation that was organized on May 1, 1971, to provide intercity passenger train service in the United States. "Amtrak" is a portmanteau of the words "America" and "track". It is headquartered at Union...

, which has one train northbound and one train southbound each day between Chicago and New Orleans.

Airports


Memphis International Airport
Memphis International Airport
Memphis International Airport is a joint civil-military public airport located three miles south of the central business district of Memphis, a city in Shelby County, Tennessee, United States....

 is the global "SuperHub" of FedEx Express, the world's largest airline in terms of freight tons flown, and has the second largest cargo operations by volume of any airport worldwide, surpassed by Hong Kong's international airport.
Memphis International is also a secondary hub of Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines, Inc. is a major airline based in the United States and headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. The airline operates an extensive domestic and international network serving all continents except Antarctica. Delta and its subsidiaries operate over 4,000 flights every day...

 and had 5.054 million boarding passengers in 2009. Delta operates around 138 daily flights from the airport, including a nonstop transatlantic flight
Transatlantic flight
Transatlantic flight is the flight of an aircraft across the Atlantic Ocean. A transatlantic flight may proceed east-to-west, originating in Europe or Africa and terminating in North America or South America, or it may go in the reverse direction, west-to-east...

 to Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands. The current position of Amsterdam as capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is governed by the constitution of August 24, 1815 and its successors. Amsterdam has a population of 783,364 within city limits, an urban population...

 that operates 4 times per week. Memphis International Airport has seen declining passenger and aircraft movements due to cutbacks by Delta Air Lines at the airport. Delta Air Lines has announced the closing of its Memphis pilot base in 2012. Other airlines providing passenger service are Air Canada Jazz
Air Canada Jazz
Jazz Aviation LP is a Canadian regional airline based at Halifax Stanfield International Airport in Enfield and Halifax Regional Municipality, Nova Scotia, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Chorus Aviation....

, AirTran
AirTran Airways
AirTran Airways, a subsidiary of the Dallas, Texas-based Southwest Airlines, is an American low-cost airline headquartered in Orlando, Florida. AirTran operates over 650 daily flights , primarily in the eastern and midwestern United States...

, American Airlines
American Airlines
American Airlines, Inc. is the world's fourth-largest airline in passenger miles transported and operating revenues. American Airlines is a subsidiary of the AMR Corporation and is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas adjacent to its largest hub at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport...

, Continental Express
Continental Express
Continental Express is the operating brand name used by a number of independently owned regional airlines providing regional jet feeder service under agreement with Continental Airlines...

, SeaPort Airlines
SeaPort Airlines
SeaPort Airlines is an American regional airline with its headquarters on the grounds of Portland International Airport in Portland, Oregon. It operates scheduled service from its hubs at Portland International Airport and Memphis International Airport...

, United Airlines
United Airlines
United Air Lines, Inc., is the world's largest airline with 86,852 employees United Air Lines, Inc., is the world's largest airline with 86,852 employees United Air Lines, Inc., is the world's largest airline with 86,852 employees (which includes the entire holding company United Continental...

 and US Airways
US Airways
US Airways, Inc. is a major airline based in the U.S. city of Tempe, Arizona. The airline is an operating unit of US Airways Group and is the sixth largest airline by traffic and eighth largest by market value in the country....

.

There are also several general aviation
General aviation
General aviation is one of the two categories of civil aviation. It refers to all flights other than military and scheduled airline and regular cargo flights, both private and commercial. General aviation flights range from gliders and powered parachutes to large, non-scheduled cargo jet flights...

 airports in the Memphis Metropolitan Area, including the Millington Regional Jetport
Millington Regional Jetport
Millington Regional Jetport , formerly known as Millington Municipal Airport, is a public airport in the city of Millington, in Shelby County, Tennessee, USA. The airport is located north of Memphis...

, located at the former Naval Air Station in Millington, Tennessee
Millington, Tennessee
Millington is a city in Shelby County, Tennessee. As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 10,176. Millington was the home of the recently closed Memphis Motorsports Park. It was granted the title "Flag City Tennessee" by the Tennessee State Legislature. The Naval Support Activity Mid-South is...

.

River port


Memphis has the second-busiest cargo port on the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

, which is also the fourth-busiest inland port in the United States. The International Port of Memphis covers both the Tennessee and Arkansas sides of the Mississippi River from river mile
River mile
In the United States, a River mile is a measure of distance in miles along a river from its mouth. River mile numbers begin at zero and increase further upstream. The corresponding metric unit using kilometers is the River kilometer...

 725 (km 1167) to mile 740 (km 1191). A focal point of the river port is the industrial park
Industrial park
An industrial park is an area zoned and planned for the purpose of industrial development...

 on President's Island
President's Island
President's Island is a peninsula on the Mississippi River in southwest Memphis, Tennessee. The city's major river port and an industrial park are located there.-History:...

, just south of Downtown Memphis
Downtown Memphis, Tennessee
Downtown Memphis, Tennessee is the central business district of Memphis, Tennessee and is located along the Mississippi River between Interstate 40 to the north, Interstate 55 to the south and I-240 to the east, where it abuts Midtown Memphis....

.

Bridges


Four railroad and highway bridges cross the Mississippi River at Memphis. In order of their opening years, these are the Frisco Bridge
Frisco Bridge
The Frisco Bridge, previously known as the Memphis Bridge, is a cantilevered through truss bridge carrying a rail line across the Mississippi River between West Memphis, Arkansas and Memphis, Tennessee.-Construction:...

 (1892, single-track
Single track (rail)
A single track railway is where trains in both directions share the same track. Single track is normally used on lesser used rail lines, often branch lines, where the traffic density is not high enough to justify the cost of building double tracks....

 rail), the Harahan Bridge
Harahan Bridge
The Harahan Bridge is a cantilevered through truss bridge carrying two rail lines across the Mississippi River between West Memphis, Arkansas and Memphis, Tennessee. The consulting engineer in charge was Ralph Modjeski. The bridge also carried motor vehicles from 1917–1949, when the Memphis &...

 (1916, a road-rail bridge until 1949, currently carries double-track rail), the Memphis-Arkansas Memorial Bridge (Highway, 1949; later incorporated into Interstate 55
Interstate 55
Interstate 55 is an Interstate Highway in the central United States. Its odd number indicates that it is a north–south Interstate Highway. I-55 goes from LaPlace, Louisiana at Interstate 10 to Chicago at U.S. Route 41 , at McCormick Place. A common nickname for the highway is "double...

), and the Hernando de Soto Bridge
Hernando de Soto Bridge
The Panda Bridge is a through arch bridge carrying Interstate 40 across the Mississippi River between West Memphis, Arkansas and Memphis, Tennessee...

 (Interstate 40
Interstate 40
Interstate 40 is the third-longest major east–west Interstate Highway in the United States, after I-90 and I-80. Its western end is at Interstate 15 in Barstow, California; its eastern end is at a concurrency of U.S. Route 117 and North Carolina Highway 132 in Wilmington, North Carolina...

, 1973).

Utilities


Memphis's primary utility provider is the Memphis Light, Gas and Water
Memphis Light, Gas and Water
The Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division is the largest three-service municipal utility in the U.S. with more than 420,000 customers. Since 1939, MLGW has provided electricity, natural gas and water service for Memphis, Tennessee and Shelby County residents.MLGW is supplied with electricity by...

 Division (MLGW). This is the largest three-service municipal utility in the United States, providing electricity, natural gas, and pure water service to all residents of Shelby County. Prior to that, Memphis was served by two primary electric companies, which were merged into the Memphis Power Company. The City of Memphis bought the private company in 1939 to form MLGW, which was an early customer of electricity from the Tennessee Valley Authority
Tennessee Valley Authority
The Tennessee Valley Authority is a federally owned corporation in the United States created by congressional charter in May 1933 to provide navigation, flood control, electricity generation, fertilizer manufacturing, and economic development in the Tennessee Valley, a region particularly affected...

.

MLGW still buys most of its power from TVA, and the company pumps its own fresh water from the Memphis Aquifer, using more than 180 water wells.

Health care



The Memphis and Shelby County region supports numerous hospitals, including the Methodist and Baptist Memorial health systems, two of the largest private hospitals in the country.

Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, the largest healthcare provider in the Mid-South, operates seven hospitals and several rural clinics. Modern Healthcare
Modern Healthcare
Modern Healthcare is a weekly, 70,037-circulation business publication delivering news and information to executives in the healthcare industry...

magazine ranked Methodist Healthcare in the top 100 integrated healthcare networks in the United States. Methodist Healthcare operates, among others, the Le Bonheur Children's Hospital, which offers primary level 1 pediatric trauma care, as well as a nationally recognized pediatric brain tumor program.

Baptist Memorial Healthcare operates fifteen hospitals (three in Memphis), including Baptist Memorial Hospital. According to Health Care Market Guide's annual studies, Mid-Southerners have named Baptist Memorial their "preferred hospital choice for quality".

The St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, founded in 1962, is a leading pediatric treatment and research facility focused on children's catastrophic diseases. It is located in Memphis, Tennessee. It is a nonprofit medical corporation chartered as a 501 tax-exempt organization under IRS regulations.In...

, leading pediatric treatment and research facility focused on children's catastrophic diseases, resides in Memphis. The institution was conceived and built by the late entertainer Danny Thomas
Danny Thomas
Danny Thomas was an American nightclub comedian and television and film actor, best known for starring in the television sitcom Make Room for Daddy . He was also the founder of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital...

 in 1962 as a tribute to St. Jude Thaddeus, patron saint of impossible, hopeless, and difficult causes.

Memphis is also home to the Regional Medical Center at Memphis, which is locally referred to as "The Med". In recent years, the hospital has experienced severe funding difficulties that nearly led to a reduction or elimination of emergency room services. In July 2010, The Med received approximately $40.6 million in federal and local funding to keep the Elvis Presley Trauma Center operational.

Memphis is home to Delta Medical Center of Memphis, which is the only employee-owned medical facility in North America.

Museums and art collections







Many museums of interest are located in Memphis.

National Civil Rights Museum

The National Civil Rights Museum
National Civil Rights Museum
The National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee, USA, is a privately owned complex of museums and historic buildings built around the former Lorraine Motel at 450 Mulberry Street, where Martin Luther King, Jr...

 is located in the former Lorraine Motel where Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was an American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for being an iconic figure in the advancement of civil rights in the United States and around the world, using nonviolent methods following the...

 was assassinated. It includes a historical overview of the American civil rights movement.

Brooks Museum of Art

The Memphis Brooks Museum of Art
Memphis Brooks Museum of Art
Memphis Brooks Museum of Art is an art museum in Memphis, Tennessee. The Brooks Museum, which was founded in 1916, is the oldest and largest art museum in the state of Tennessee. The museum is a privately funded nonprofit institution located in Overton Park in Midtown Memphis.The original...

, founded in 1916, is the oldest and largest fine art
Fine art
Fine art or the fine arts encompass art forms developed primarily for aesthetics and/or concept rather than practical application. Art is often a synonym for fine art, as employed in the term "art gallery"....

 museum in the state of Tennessee. The Brooks' permanent collection includes works from the Italian Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 and Baroque
Baroque
The Baroque is a period and the style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music...

 eras to British, French Impressionists, and 20th-century artists.

Children's Museum of Memphis

The Children's Museum of Memphis
Children's Museum of Memphis
The Children's Museum of Memphis is located in Midtown Memphis at 2525 Central Avenue in Memphis, Tennessee, USA.CMOM’s mission is to create memorable learning experiences through the joy of play in hands-on exhibits and programs. The museum offers interactive and educational exhibits and...

 exhibits interactive and educational activities for children to take part in, including a skyscraper maze, an airplane cockpit (donated by FedEx), a fire engine, an art studio, grocery store, and, most recently, a mechanic's garage sponsored by AutoZone, Inc.

Graceland

Graceland
Graceland
Graceland is a large white-columned mansion and estate that was home to Elvis Presley in Memphis, Tennessee. It is located at 3764 Elvis Presley Boulevard in the vast Whitehaven community about 9 miles from Downtown and less than four miles north of the Mississippi border. It currently serves as...

, the former home of music legend Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley
Elvis Aaron Presley was one of the most popular American singers of the 20th century. A cultural icon, he is widely known by the single name Elvis. He is often referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll" or simply "the King"....

, is one of the most visited houses in the United States (second only to the White House
White House
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...

), attracting over 600,000 domestic and international visitors a year. Featured at Graceland are two of Presley's private airplanes, his extensive automobile and motorcycle collection and other Elvis memorabilia. On November 7, 1991, Graceland was listed in the National Register of Historic Places
National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is the United States government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation...

.

Pink Palace

The Pink Palace Museum
Pink Palace Museum and Planetarium
The Pink Palace Museum and Planetarium in Memphis, Tennessee, serves as the Mid-South's major science and historical museum, and features exhibits ranging from archeology to chemistry...

 serves as the Mid-South's major science and historical museum, and features exhibits ranging from archeology to chemistry. It includes the third largest planetarium
Planetarium
A planetarium is a theatre built primarily for presenting educational and entertaining shows about astronomy and the night sky, or for training in celestial navigation...

 in the United States and an IMAX
IMAX
IMAX is a motion picture film format and a set of proprietary cinema projection standards created by the Canadian company IMAX Corporation. IMAX has the capacity to record and display images of far greater size and resolution than conventional film systems...

 theater. One exhibit features a replica of the original Piggly Wiggly
Piggly Wiggly
Piggly Wiggly is a supermarket chain operating in the Midwestern and Southern regions of the United States, run by Piggly Wiggly, LLC, an affiliate of C&S Wholesale Grocers. The current company headquarters is in Keene, New Hampshire....

 store, the first self-service grocery store
Grocery store
A grocery store is a store that retails food. A grocer, the owner of a grocery store, stocks different kinds of foods from assorted places and cultures, and sells these "groceries" to customers. Large grocery stores that stock products other than food, such as clothing or household items, are...

, commemorating the invention of the supermarket by Memphian Clarence Saunders in 1916.

Memphis Walk of Fame

The Memphis Walk of Fame
Beale Street
Beale Street is a street in Downtown Memphis, Tennessee, which runs from the Mississippi River to East Street, a distance of approximately . It is a significant location in the city's history, as well as in the history of the blues. Today, the blues clubs and restaurants that line Beale Street are...

 is a public exhibit located in the Beale Street
Beale Street
Beale Street is a street in Downtown Memphis, Tennessee, which runs from the Mississippi River to East Street, a distance of approximately . It is a significant location in the city's history, as well as in the history of the blues. Today, the blues clubs and restaurants that line Beale Street are...

 historic district, which is modeled after the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but is designated exclusively for Memphis musicians, singers, writers, and composers. Honorees include W. C. Handy
W. C. Handy
William Christopher Handy was a blues composer and musician. He was widely known as the "Father of the Blues"....

, B.B. King, Bobby Blue Bland, and Alberta Hunter
Alberta Hunter
Alberta Hunter was an American blues singer, songwriter, and nurse. Her career had started back in the early 1920s, and from there on, she became a successful jazz and blues recording artist, being critically acclaimed to the ranks of Ethel Waters and Bessie Smith...

, among others.

Mud Island River Park

Mud Island River Park and Mississippi River Museum
Mud Island, Memphis
Mud Island is not actually an island but a small peninsula, surrounded by the Mississippi River to the west and the Wolf River Harbor to the east. In 1960, the Wolf River was diverted so that it went north of Mud Island, and Mud Island opened to the public in 1982...

 is located on Mud Island in downtown Memphis. The park is noted for its River Walk, a 2112:1 scale working model showing 1000 miles (1,609.3 km) of the Lower Mississippi River
Lower Mississippi River
The Lower Mississippi River is the portion of the Mississippi River downstream of Cairo, Illinois. From the confluence of the Ohio River and Upper Mississippi River at Cairo, the Lower flows just under 1600 kilometers to the Gulf of Mexico...

, from Cairo, Illinois
Cairo, Illinois
Cairo is the southernmost city in the U.S. state of Illinois. It is the county seat of Alexander County. Cairo is located at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers. The rivers converge at Fort Defiance State Park, an American Civil War fort that was commanded by General Ulysses S. Grant...

 to New Orleans, Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico is a partially landlocked ocean basin largely surrounded by the North American continent and the island of Cuba. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. In...

. 30 inches (76.2 cm) in the model equal 1 miles (1.6 km) of the Mississippi River. The Walk stretches roughly 0.5 miles (804.7 m), allowing visitors to walk in the water and see models of cities and bridges along the way.

Victorian Village

Victorian Village
Victorian Village, Memphis
The Victorian Village District is an area of Memphis, Tennessee.-Geography:The Victorian Village is located in the eastern quadrant of downtown Memphis.-History:...

 is a historic district of Memphis featuring a series of fine Victorian-era
Victorian architecture
The term Victorian architecture refers collectively to several architectural styles employed predominantly during the middle and late 19th century. The period that it indicates may slightly overlap the actual reign, 20 June 1837 – 22 January 1901, of Queen Victoria. This represents the British and...

 mansions, some of which are open to the public as museums.

Cotton Museum

The Cotton Museum
The Cotton Museum
The Cotton Museum, located in Memphis, Tennessee, U.S., is an historical and cultural museum that opened in March 2006 on the former trading floor of the Memphis Cotton Exchange at 65 Union Avenue in downtown Memphis....

 is a museum that opened in March 2006 on the old trading floor of the Memphis Cotton Exchange
Memphis Cotton Exchange
The Memphis Cotton Exchange is located in downtown Memphis, Tennessee, USA, on the corner of Front Street and Union Avenue. It was founded in 1874 as a result of the growing cotton market in Memphis. Cotton merchants of the time became aware of the need for a trade organization to regulate cotton...

 at 65 Union Avenue in downtown Memphis
Downtown Memphis, Tennessee
Downtown Memphis, Tennessee is the central business district of Memphis, Tennessee and is located along the Mississippi River between Interstate 40 to the north, Interstate 55 to the south and I-240 to the east, where it abuts Midtown Memphis....

.

Stax Museum

The Stax Museum
Stax Museum
The Stax Museum of American Soul Music is a museum located in Memphis, Tennessee, at 926 McLemore Avenue, the former location of Stax Records. It is operated by Soulsville USA, which also operates the adjacent Stax Music Academy.-History:...

 is a museum located at 926 McLemore Avenue, the former location of Stax Records
Stax Records
Stax Records is an American record label, originally based in Memphis, Tennessee.Founded in 1957 as Satellite Records, the name Stax Records was adopted in 1961. The label was a major factor in the creation of the Southern soul and Memphis soul music styles, also releasing gospel, funk, jazz, and...

. The original building, a converted movie theatre where artists such as Otis Redding
Otis Redding
Otis Ray Redding, Jr. was an American soul singer-songwriter, record producer, arranger and talent scout. He is considered one of the major figures in soul and R&B...

, Isaac Hayes
Isaac Hayes
Isaac Lee Hayes, Jr. was an American songwriter, musician, singer and actor. Hayes was one of the creative influences behind the southern soul music label Stax Records, where he served both as an in-house songwriter and as a record producer, teaming with his partner David Porter during the...

, Booker T. & the M.G.'s
Booker T. & the M.G.'s
Booker T. & the M.G.'s is an instrumental R&B band that was influential in shaping the sound of southern soul and Memphis soul. Original members of the group were Booker T. Jones , Steve Cropper , Lewie Steinberg , and Al Jackson, Jr....

, Sam & Dave
Sam & Dave
Sam & Dave were an American soul and rhythm and blues duo who performed together from 1961 through 1981. The tenor voice was Samuel David Moore , and the baritone/tenor voice was Dave Prater .Sam & Dave are members of...

 and many others recorded throughout the 60's and 70's, was torn down, but the original front was reconstructed on the original property. It is operated by Soulsville USA, which also operates the adjacent Stax Music Academy. The original Satellite Record Shop was also reconstructed beside it. It is the only museum in the United States to be devoted entirely to soul music.

Chucalissa Indian Village

Chucalissa Indian Village is a Walls Phase
Walls Phase
The Walls Phase is an archaeological phase in southwestern Tennessee and northwestern Mississippi of the Late Mississippian culture. Chucalissa Indian Village is a Walls Phase mound and plaza complex located on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River. Other contemporaneous groups in the area...

 mound and plaza complex that was occupied, abandoned and reoccupied several times throughout its history, spanning from 1000 to 1550 CE. Civilian Conservation Corps
Civilian Conservation Corps
The Civilian Conservation Corps was a public work relief program that operated from 1933 to 1942 in the United States for unemployed, unmarried men from relief families, ages 18–25. A part of the New Deal of President Franklin D...

 workers discovered Native American artifacts on the site in 1938 and archaeological excavations of this Mississippian
Mississippian culture
The Mississippian culture was a mound-building Native American culture that flourished in what is now the Midwestern, Eastern, and Southeastern United States from approximately 800 CE to 1500 CE, varying regionally....

 mound complex were initiated. The facility has been operated by the University of Memphis since 1962. In 1973 Chucalissa Indian Village was added to the National Register of Historic Places
National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is the United States government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation...

. Later, in 1994, it was declared a National Historic Landmark
National Historic Landmark
A National Historic Landmark is a building, site, structure, object, or district, that is officially recognized by the United States government for its historical significance...

. It is the site of the Southeast Indian Heritage Festival held annually in October.

Parks



Major Memphis parks include W.C. Handy Park, Tom Lee Park
Tom Lee Park
Tom Lee Park is a city park located to the immediate west of downtown Memphis, Tennessee, overlooking the Mississippi River. Encompassing about 30 acres parallel to the Mississippi River for about one mile , it offers panoramic views of the Mississippi River and the shores of Arkansas on the...

, Audubon Park, Overton Park
Overton Park
Overton Park is a large, public park in Midtown Memphis, Tennessee. The park grounds contain the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis Zoo, a 9-hole golf course, Memphis College of Art, Rainbow Lake, Veterans Plaza, Greensward, and other features...

 including the Old Forest Arboretum
Old Forest Arboretum of Overton Park
The Old Forest Arboretum of Overton Park is a forest tract and natural arboretum located in Overton Park, Memphis, Tennessee. It is open to the public daily without charge. The forest was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979 as part of the Overton Park Historic District...

, the Lichterman Nature Center
Lichterman Nature Center
Lichterman Nature Center, a certified arboretum, and a nature center, is located in East Memphis, Tennessee. It has many outdoor and indoor exhibits, activities, and events...

 (a nature learning center), and the Memphis Botanic Garden
Memphis Botanic Garden
The Memphis Botanic Garden is a botanical garden located in Audubon Park at 750 Cherry Road, Memphis, Tennessee.Memphis Botanic Garden is open to the public daily, where guests can take a stroll through the many gardens on the grounds...

.

Shelby Farms
Shelby Farms
Shelby Farms, located in Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee, is one of the largest urban parks in the United States. At a size of , it covers more than five times the area of Central Park in New York City with ....

 park, located at the eastern edge of the city, is one of the largest urban parks in the United States.

Cemeteries


The Memphis National Cemetery
Memphis National Cemetery
Memphis National Cemetery is a United States National Cemetery located in the Nutbush neighborhood of the City of Memphis, in Shelby County, Tennessee...

 is a United States National Cemetery
United States National Cemetery
"United States National Cemetery" is a designation for 146 nationally important cemeteries in the United States. A National Cemetery is generally a military cemetery containing the graves of U.S. military personnel, veterans and their spouses but not exclusively so...

 located in north Memphis.

Historic Elmwood Cemetery
Elmwood Cemetery (Memphis, Tennessee)
Historic Elmwood Cemetery is the oldest active cemetery in Memphis, Tennessee. It was established in 1852 as one of the first rural garden cemeteries in the South.-Origins:...

 is one of the oldest rural garden cemeteries in the South, and contains the Carlisle S. Page Arboretum
Carlisle S. Page Arboretum
The Carlisle S. Page Arboretum is an arboretum located within Historic Elmwood Cemetery, 824 South Dudley Street, Memphis, Tennessee....

. Memorial Park Cemetery is noted for its sculptures by Mexican
Mexican people
Mexican people refers to all persons from Mexico, a multiethnic country in North America, and/or who identify with the Mexican cultural and/or national identity....

 artist Dionicio Rodriguez
Dionicio Rodriguez
Dionicio Rodriguez was a Mexican-born artist and architect whose work can be seen in Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, New Mexico, Tennessee, and Texas, as well as Washington, D.C. and Mexico City....

.

Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley
Elvis Aaron Presley was one of the most popular American singers of the 20th century. A cultural icon, he is widely known by the single name Elvis. He is often referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll" or simply "the King"....

 was originally buried in Forest Hill Cemetery, the resting place of his backing band's bassist, Bill Black
Bill Black
William Patton "Bill" Black, Jr. was an American musician who is noted as one of the pioneers of rockabilly music. Black was the bassist in Elvis Presley's early trio and the leader of Bill Black's Combo....

, but after an attempted grave robbing, his body was moved to the grounds of Graceland
Graceland
Graceland is a large white-columned mansion and estate that was home to Elvis Presley in Memphis, Tennessee. It is located at 3764 Elvis Presley Boulevard in the vast Whitehaven community about 9 miles from Downtown and less than four miles north of the Mississippi border. It currently serves as...

.

Other points of interest



Beale Street

Blues
Blues
Blues is the name given to both a musical form and a music genre that originated in African-American communities of primarily the "Deep South" of the United States at the end of the 19th century from spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts and chants, and rhymed simple narrative ballads...

 fans can visit Beale Street
Beale Street
Beale Street is a street in Downtown Memphis, Tennessee, which runs from the Mississippi River to East Street, a distance of approximately . It is a significant location in the city's history, as well as in the history of the blues. Today, the blues clubs and restaurants that line Beale Street are...

, which used to be the center of the Black community, where a young B.B. King used to play his guitar. He occasionally appears there at the club bearing his name, which he partially owns. Street performers play live music, and bars and clubs feature live entertainment until dawn.

Memphis Zoo

The Memphis Zoo
Memphis Zoo
The Memphis Zoo, located in Midtown Memphis, Tennessee, is home to more than 3,500 animals representing over 500 different species. Created in April 1906, the zoo has been a major tenant of Overton Park for more than 100 years. The land currently designated to the Memphis Zoo was defined by the...

, which is located in midtown Memphis
Midtown, Memphis
- Overview :Architecturally, Midtown Memphis, Tennessee is marked with residential vintage housing, specialty stores, and high-rise buildings, often all located on the same avenue...

, features many exhibits of mammals, birds, fish, and amphibians from all over the world. The zoo's giant panda exhibit is one of only five in North America. The Memphis Zoo is one of few that have successfully resulted in live births of rhinoceros
Rhinoceros
Rhinoceros , also known as rhino, is a group of five extant species of odd-toed ungulates in the family Rhinocerotidae. Two of these species are native to Africa and three to southern Asia....

 in captivity.

Peabody Hotel

The Peabody Hotel
Peabody Hotel
The Peabody Hotel is a luxury hotel in Downtown Memphis, Tennessee. The hotel is well known for the famous "Peabody Ducks" that live on the hotel rooftop, but which make daily treks to the hotel's lobby in a daily "March of Ducks" celebration.- History :...

 is well-known for the "Peabody Ducks" that live on the hotel rooftop, making the journey to the hotel lobby in a daily "March of Ducks" ritual.

Sun Studio

Sun Studio
Sun Studio
Sun Studio is a recording studio opened by rock pioneer Sam Phillips at 706 Union Avenue in Memphis, Tennessee, on January 3, 1950. It was originally called Memphis Recording Service, sharing the same building with the Sun Records label business...

 is available for tour, which is where Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley
Elvis Aaron Presley was one of the most popular American singers of the 20th century. A cultural icon, he is widely known by the single name Elvis. He is often referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll" or simply "the King"....

 first recorded "My Happiness" and "That's When Your Heartaches Begin". Other famous musicians who got their start at Sun include Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash
John R. "Johnny" Cash was an American singer-songwriter, actor, and author, who has been called one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century...

, Rufus Thomas
Rufus Thomas
Rufus Thomas, Jr. was an American rhythm and blues, funk and soul singer and comedian fromMemphis, Tennessee, who recorded on Sun Records in the...

, Charlie Rich
Charlie Rich
Charles Rich was an American country music singer and musician. A Grammy Award winner, his eclectic-style of music was often hard to classify in a single genre, playing in the rockabilly, jazz, blues, country, and gospel genres.In the latter part of his life, Rich acquired the nickname The Silver...

, Howlin' Wolf
Howlin' Wolf
Chester Arthur Burnett , known as Howlin' Wolf, was an influential American blues singer, guitarist and harmonica player....

, Roy Orbison
Roy Orbison
Roy Kelton Orbison was an American singer-songwriter, well known for his distinctive, powerful voice, complex compositions, and dark emotional ballads. Orbison grew up in Texas and began singing in a rockabilly/country & western band in high school until he was signed by Sun Records in Memphis...

, Carl Perkins
Carl Perkins
Carl Lee Perkins was an American rockabilly musician who recorded most notably at Sun Records Studio in Memphis, Tennessee, beginning during 1954...

, and Jerry Lee Lewis
Jerry Lee Lewis
Jerry Lee Lewis is an American rock and roll and country music singer-songwriter and pianist. An early pioneer of rock and roll music, Lewis's career faltered after he married his young cousin, and he afterwards made a career extension to country and western music. He is known by the nickname 'The...

. It now contains a museum as well as the still-functioning and operating studio.

The Orpheum Theatre

The Orpheum Theatre was built in 1928 upon the former property of the Grand Opera House, which was burnt to the ground in 1923 during a strip tease performance by Blossom Seeley
Blossom Seeley
-Biography:Seeley was born Minnie Guyer, in San Francisco, California, USA. A top vaudeville headliner, she was known as the "Queen of Syncopation" and helped bring jazz and ragtime into the mainstream of American music. She introduced the Shelton Brooks classic "Some of These Days" in vaudeville...

. After vaudeville's popularity waned, the building was purchased by the Malco theater chain in 1940 and presented first-run movies until Malco sold the building in 1976. The Orpheum is now managed by the Memphis Development Foundation and presents 10 to 12 Broadway shows each year. The theatre is also home to two of Memphis' local arts groups, Ballet Memphis and Opera Memphis
Opera Memphis
Opera Memphis is a non-profit arts organization in Memphis, Tennessee. It was established in 1956 in conjunction with the founding of WKNO-FM, the local public radio affiliate....

.

The New Daisy Theater

The New Daisy Theater is an all-ages concert venue located on Beale Street
Beale Street
Beale Street is a street in Downtown Memphis, Tennessee, which runs from the Mississippi River to East Street, a distance of approximately . It is a significant location in the city's history, as well as in the history of the blues. Today, the blues clubs and restaurants that line Beale Street are...

. After 11 pm, only those at least 18 years of age are allowed on Beale—unless they are going to (or from) a destination point like the New Daisy. The New Daisy routinely presents some of the biggest acts to come to the Mid South. Possibly the most popular venue in Memphis, past acts have included Ani DiFranco
Ani DiFranco
Ani DiFranco is an American Grammy Award-winning singer, guitarist, poet, and songwriter. She has released more than 20 albums, and is widely considered a feminist icon.-Biography:...

, AFI
AFI (band)
AFI is an American alternative rock band from Ukiah, California that formed in 1991. They have consisted of the same lineup since 1998: lead vocalist Davey Havok, drummer and backup vocalist Adam Carson, with bassist Hunter Burgan and guitarist Jade Puget, who both play keyboard and contribute...

, Cannibal Corpse
Cannibal Corpse
Cannibal Corpse is an American death metal band from Buffalo, New York. Formed in 1988, the band has released eleven studio albums, one box set, and one live album...

, GWAR
GWAR
Gwar is a satirical heavy metal band formed in Richmond, Virginia, United States, in 1984. The band is best known for its elaborate science fiction/horror film inspired costumes, obscene lyrics and graphic stage performances, which feature humorous enactments of politically and morally taboo...

, Insane Clown Posse
Insane Clown Posse
Insane Clown Posse is an American hip hop duo from Detroit, Michigan. The group is composed of Joseph Bruce and Joseph Utsler, who perform under the respective personas of the "wicked clowns" Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope. Insane Clown Posse performs a style of hardcore hip hop known as horrorcore...

, Keller Williams
Keller Williams
Keller Williams is an American musician from Fredericksburg, Virginia, who began performing in the early 1990s. He is also known by the names K-Dub or just Keller, when performing. Williams' music combines elements of bluegrass, folk, alternative rock, reggae, electronica/dance, jazz, funk, and...

, Lamb of God
Lamb of God (band)
Lamb of God is an American heavy metal band from Richmond, Virginia. Formed in 1994, the group consists of vocalist Randy Blythe, guitarists Mark Morton and Willie Adler, bassist John Campbell, and drummer Chris Adler...

, Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin were an English rock band, active in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s. Formed in 1968, they consisted of guitarist Jimmy Page, singer Robert Plant, bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones, and drummer John Bonham...

, The Doors
The Doors
The Doors were an American rock band formed in 1965 in Los Angeles, California, with vocalist Jim Morrison, keyboardist Ray Manzarek, drummer John Densmore, and guitarist Robby Krieger...

, and Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath are an English heavy metal band, formed in Aston, Birmingham in 1969 by Ozzy Osbourne , Tony Iommi , Geezer Butler , and Bill Ward . The band has since experienced multiple line-up changes, with Tony Iommi the only constant presence in the band through the years. A total of 22...

 among many others. The venue also, on occasion, hosts the Gorilla Production Battle of the Bands
Battle of the Bands
Battle of Bands is a contest in which two or more bands compete for the title of "best band". The winner is determined by a panel of judges, the general response of the audience, or a combination. The winning band usually receives a prize in addition to bragging rights. Traditionally, battles of...

 as well as Mixed Martial Arts
Mixed martial arts
Mixed Martial Arts is a full contact combat sport that allows the use of both striking and grappling techniques, both standing and on the ground, including boxing, wrestling, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, muay Thai, kickboxing, karate, judo and other styles. The roots of modern mixed martial arts can be...

 fights.

Mud Island Amphitheater

Located on Front Avenue, the Mud Island Amphitheater is a concert venue with an approximate capacity of 5,000 viewers. As one of the two major concert venues in Memphis, past acts have included the likes of R.E.M.
R.E.M.
R.E.M. was an American rock band formed in Athens, Georgia, in 1980 by singer Michael Stipe, guitarist Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills and drummer Bill Berry. One of the first popular alternative rock bands, R.E.M. gained early attention due to Buck's ringing, arpeggiated guitar style and Stipe's...

, Phish
Phish
Phish is an American rock band noted for its musical improvisation, extended jams, and exploration of music across genres. Formed at the University of Vermont in 1983 , the band's four members – Trey Anastasio , Mike Gordon , Jon Fishman , and Page McConnell Phish is an American rock band...

, 311
311 (band)
311 is an American rock band from Omaha, Nebraska. The band was formed in 1988 by vocalist/rhythm guitarist Nick Hexum, lead guitarist Jim Watson , bassist Aaron "P-Nut" Wills and drummer Chad Sexton...

, The Black Crowes
The Black Crowes
The Black Crowes are an American rock band formed in 1989. Their discography includes nine studio albums, four live albums and several charting singles. The band was signed to Def American Recordings in 1989 by producer George Drakoulias and released their debut album, Shake Your Money Maker, the...

, Fall Out Boy
Fall Out Boy
Fall Out Boy is an American rock band from Wilmette, Illinois, formed in 2001. The band consists of vocalist, guitarist and composer Patrick Stump, bassist and lyricist Pete Wentz, guitarist Joe Trohman, and drummer Andy Hurley. The band released five studio albums from 2003–2008...

, Journey
Journey (band)
Journey is an American rock band formed in 1973 in San Francisco by former members of Santana. The band has gone through several phases; its strongest commercial success occurred between the 1978 and 1987, after which it temporarily disbanded...

, New Kids on the Block
New Kids on the Block
New Kids on the Block are an American boy band from Boston, Massachusetts, assembled in 1984 by producer Maurice Starr. The band currently consists of brothers Jordan and Jonathan Knight, Joey McIntyre, Donnie Wahlberg, and Danny Wood.New Kids on the Block enjoyed success in the late 1980s and...

, O.A.R.
O.A.R.
O.A.R. is an American rock band composed of Marc Roberge , Chris Culos , Richard On , Benj Gershman , and Jerry DePizzo...

, Pat Benatar
Pat Benatar
Pat Benatar is an American singer and four-time Grammy winner. She had considerable commercial success particularly in the United States...

, Smashing Pumpkins, Steely Dan
Steely Dan
Steely Dan is an American rock band; its core members are Donald Fagen and Walter Becker. The band's popularity peaked in the late 1970s, with the release of seven albums blending elements of jazz, rock, funk, R&B, and pop...

, and Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson
Willie Hugh Nelson is an American country music singer-songwriter, as well as an author, poet, actor, and activist. The critical success of the album Shotgun Willie , combined with the critical and commercial success of Red Headed Stranger and Stardust , made Nelson one of the most recognized...

.

The Pyramid

The Pyramid Arena
Pyramid Arena
The Pyramid Arena is a 20,142-seat arena located in downtown Memphis at the banks of the Mississippi River. The facility was built in 1991 and was originally owned and operated jointly by the city of Memphis and Shelby County. Its unique structure plays on the city's namesake in Egypt, known for...

 is a former athletic and music venue. It is one of the first sights seen when entering the city from West Memphis
West Memphis, Arkansas
West Memphis is the largest city in Crittenden County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 27,666 at the 2000 census, with an estimated population of 28,181 in 2005, and 31,329 in 2011 ranking it as the state's 11th largest city, behind Hot Springs...

 via the Memphis-Arkansas Memorial Bridge. The facility was built in 1991 and was originally owned and operated jointly by the city of Memphis and Shelby County. Its unique structure plays on the city's namesake in Egypt, known for its ancient pyramid
Pyramid
A pyramid is a structure whose outer surfaces are triangular and converge at a single point. The base of a pyramid can be trilateral, quadrilateral, or any polygon shape, meaning that a pyramid has at least three triangular surfaces...

s. At 321 feet (97.8 m), it is the sixth-largest pyramid in the world behind the Great Pyramid of Giza
Great Pyramid of Giza
The Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in the Giza Necropolis bordering what is now El Giza, Egypt. It is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the only one to remain largely intact...

 139 m (456 ft), Khafre's Pyramid
Khafre's Pyramid
The Pyramid of Khafre, also known as the Pyramid of Chefren, is the second-largest of the Ancient Egyptian Pyramids of Giza and the tomb of the fourth-dynasty pharaoh Khafre .-Size:...

 136 m (446.2 ft), the Luxor Hotel
Luxor Hotel
Luxor Las Vegas is a hotel and casino located on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada. The 30-story hotel, which is operated by MGM Resorts International, features a casino floor that includes over 2,000 slot machines and 87 table games....

 348 ft (106.1 m), the Red Pyramid
Red Pyramid
The Red Pyramid, also called the North Pyramid, is the largest of the three major pyramids located at the Dahshur necropolis. Named for the rusty reddish hue of its stones, it is also the third largest Egyptian pyramid, after those of Khufu and Khafra at Giza. At the time of its completion, it was...

 104 m (341.2 ft) and the Bent Pyramid
Bent Pyramid
The Bent Pyramid is an ancient Egyptian pyramid located at the royal necropolis of Dahshur, approximately 40 kilometres south of Cairo, built under the Old Kingdom Pharaoh Sneferu...

 101 m (331.4 ft). As a music venue, it was the largest in Memphis, presenting such acts as R.E.M.
R.E.M.
R.E.M. was an American rock band formed in Athens, Georgia, in 1980 by singer Michael Stipe, guitarist Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills and drummer Bill Berry. One of the first popular alternative rock bands, R.E.M. gained early attention due to Buck's ringing, arpeggiated guitar style and Stipe's...

, Phish
Phish
Phish is an American rock band noted for its musical improvisation, extended jams, and exploration of music across genres. Formed at the University of Vermont in 1983 , the band's four members – Trey Anastasio , Mike Gordon , Jon Fishman , and Page McConnell Phish is an American rock band...

, Aerosmith
Aerosmith
Aerosmith is an American rock band, sometimes referred to as "The Bad Boys from Boston" and "America's Greatest Rock and Roll Band". Their style, which is rooted in blues-based hard rock, has come to also incorporate elements of pop, heavy metal, and rhythm and blues, and has inspired many...

, Janet Jackson
Janet Jackson
Janet Damita Jo Jackson is an American recording artist and actress. Known for a series of sonically innovative, socially conscious and sexually provocative records, as well as elaborate stage shows, television and film roles, she has been a prominent figure in popular culture for over 25 years...

, The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones are an English rock band, formed in London in April 1962 by Brian Jones , Ian Stewart , Mick Jagger , and Keith Richards . Bassist Bill Wyman and drummer Charlie Watts completed the early line-up...

, Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, musician, poet, film director and painter. He has been a major and profoundly influential figure in popular music and culture for five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s when he was an informal chronicler and a seemingly...

, The Doobie Brothers
The Doobie Brothers
The Doobie Brothers are an American rock band. The group has sold over 40 million units worldwide throughout their career. The Doobie Brothers were inducted into The Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2004.-Original incarnation:...

, and Lynyrd Skynyrd
Lynyrd Skynyrd
Lynyrd Skynyrd is an American rock band prominent in spreading Southern Rock during the 1970s.Originally formed as the "Noble Five" in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1964, the band rose to worldwide recognition on the basis of its driving live performances and signature tune, Freebird...

. Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band is reputed to be the last concert ever held in The Pyramid.

It has been host to the University of Memphis
University of Memphis
The University of Memphis is an American public research university located in the Normal Station neighborhood of Memphis, Tennessee and is the flagship public research university of the Tennessee Board of Regents system....

 NCAA basketball team, the Memphis Grizzlies
Memphis Grizzlies
The Memphis Grizzlies are a professional basketball team based in Memphis, Tennessee, USA. The team is part of the Southwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association . Along with the Toronto Raptors, the Grizzlies were established in 1995 as part of the NBA's...

 NBA team, the Great Midwest Conference
Great Midwest Conference
The Great Midwest Conference was an NCAA Division I athletics conference which existed from 1991 to 1995.It was formed in 1990 with six members--Cincinnati and Memphis State from the Metro Conference; UAB from the Sun Belt Conference; Marquette and Saint Louis from the Midwestern Collegiate...

 basketball tournament, the Southeastern Conference
Southeastern Conference
The Southeastern Conference is an American college athletic conference that operates in the southeastern part of the United States. It is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama...

 basketball tournament, the Conference USA
Conference USA
Conference USA, officially abbreviated C-USA, is a college athletic conference whose member institutions are located within the Southern United States. The conference participates in the NCAA's Division I in all sports...

 basketball tournaments, and the 2003 Conference USA
Conference USA
Conference USA, officially abbreviated C-USA, is a college athletic conference whose member institutions are located within the Southern United States. The conference participates in the NCAA's Division I in all sports...

 women's basketball tournament. It has also hosted first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament
NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship
The NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship is a single-elimination tournament held each spring in the United States, featuring 68 college basketball teams, to determine the national championship in the top tier of college basketball...

 and a pay-per-view
Pay-per-view
Pay-per-view provides a service by which a television audience can purchase events to view via private telecast. The broadcaster shows the event at the same time to everyone ordering it...

 event by the WWF
World Wrestling Entertainment
World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. is an American publicly traded, privately controlled entertainment company dealing primarily in professional wrestling, with major revenue sources also coming from film, music, product licensing, and direct product sales...

. The Pyramid was the venue of the boxing match between Lennox Lewis
Lennox Lewis
Lennox Claudius Lewis, CM, CBE is a retired boxer and the most recent British undisputed world heavyweight champion. He holds dual British and Canadian citizenship...

 and Mike Tyson
Mike Tyson
Michael Gerard "Mike" Tyson is a retired American boxer. Tyson is a former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world and holds the record as the youngest boxer to win the WBC, WBA and IBF world heavyweight titles, he was 20 years, 4 months and 22 days old...

 in 2002.

In 2008, the City of Memphis began leasing The Pyramid to Bass Pro Shops
Bass Pro Shops
Bass Pro Shops is a privately held retailer of hunting, fishing, camping and related outdoor recreation merchandise. Bass Pro Shops is known for a large selection of hunting, fishing, and other outdoor gear.-History:The owner, John L...

; the facility is to become Bass Pro's largest superstore in the country with a projected grand opening by August 2013.

Other

Other Memphis attractions include the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium
Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium
Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium is a football stadium, located at the Mid-South Fairgrounds, in Midtown Memphis, Tennessee, United States. The stadium is the site of the annual AutoZone Liberty Bowl, and is the home field of the University of Memphis Tigers football team...

, the FedExForum
FedExForum
The FedEx Forum is an arena located in downtown Memphis, Tennessee. It is the home of the Memphis Grizzlies of the NBA and the NCAA Division I men's basketball program of the University of Memphis, both of whom previously played home games at the Pyramid Arena...

, and Mississippi riverboat day cruises.

Sports




The University of Memphis college basketball
College basketball
College basketball most often refers to the USA basketball competitive governance structure established by the National Collegiate Athletic Association . Basketball in the NCAA is divided into three divisions: Division I, Division II and Division III....

 team, the Memphis Tigers
Memphis Tigers
The Memphis Tigers represent the University of Memphis in Division I of the NCAA. They are members of C-USA and currently feature nine women's sports and nine men's sports...

, has a strong following in the city due to its recent competitive success. The Tigers finished 2nd to the Kansas Jayhawks
Kansas Jayhawks
The sports teams at the University of Kansas are known as the Jayhawks. They are one of three schools in the state of Kansas that participate in NCAA Division I. The Jayhawks are also a member of the Big 12 Conference...

 in the 2008 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship
NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship
The NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship is a single-elimination tournament held each spring in the United States, featuring 68 college basketball teams, to determine the national championship in the top tier of college basketball...

. However, in 2009, an NCAA investigation revealed that Derrick Rose
Derrick Rose
Derrick Martell Rose is an American professional basketball player for the Chicago Bulls of the National Basketball Association ....

's SAT
SAT
The SAT Reasoning Test is a standardized test for college admissions in the United States. The SAT is owned, published, and developed by the College Board, a nonprofit organization in the United States. It was formerly developed, published, and scored by the Educational Testing Service which still...

 scores had been invalidated, making him retroactively ineligible to play for Memphis. As a result, the NCAA vacated Memphis' entire 2007–08 season, including the tournament appearance, and forced the University to repay all tournament revenues. Head Coach John Calipari
John Calipari
John Calipari is an American basketball coach. Since April 2009, he has been the men's head coach at the University of Kentucky....

, having already left Memphis to coach for the University of Kentucky
University of Kentucky
The University of Kentucky, also known as UK, is a public co-educational university and is one of the state's two land-grant universities, located in Lexington, Kentucky...

, was not reprimanded by the NCAA. The current coach of the Memphis Tigers is Josh Pastner, who coached the Tigers to an NCAA appearance in the 2010–2011 season.

The Memphis Grizzlies
Memphis Grizzlies
The Memphis Grizzlies are a professional basketball team based in Memphis, Tennessee, USA. The team is part of the Southwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association . Along with the Toronto Raptors, the Grizzlies were established in 1995 as part of the NBA's...

 of the National Basketball Association
National Basketball Association
The National Basketball Association is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in North America. It consists of thirty franchised member clubs, of which twenty-nine are located in the United States and one in Canada...

 is the only club from one of the "big four" major sports leagues in the city; however, the minor leagues are well represented. The Memphis Redbirds
Memphis Redbirds
The Memphis Redbirds are the Triple-A minor league baseball affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. They play their home games at AutoZone Park in downtown Memphis, Tennessee. The stadium's capacity is 14,320. They entered the Pacific Coast League as an expansion team in 1998, and were owned as a...

 of the Pacific Coast League
Pacific Coast League
The Pacific Coast League is a minor-league baseball league operating in the Western, Midwestern and Southeastern United States. Along with the International League and the Mexican League, it is one of three leagues playing at the Triple-A level, which is one step below Major League Baseball.The...

 is a Class AAA baseball farm team for the St. Louis Cardinals
St. Louis Cardinals
The St. Louis Cardinals are a professional baseball team based in St. Louis, Missouri. They are members of the Central Division in the National League of Major League Baseball. The Cardinals have won eleven World Series championships, the most of any National League team, and second overall only to...

. The Mississippi RiverKings, formerly the Memphis RiverKings, is a professional hockey
Ice hockey
Ice hockey, often referred to as hockey, is a team sport played on ice, in which skaters use wooden or composite sticks to shoot a hard rubber puck into their opponent's net. The game is played between two teams of six players each. Five members of each team skate up and down the ice trying to take...

 team of the Central Hockey League
Central Hockey League
The Central Hockey League is a mid-level professional hockey league, owned by Global Entertainment Corporation. Its current champions are the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs, which defeated the Colorado Eagles four games to three in the 2011 playoffs....

 "Class AA" which plays its home games in DeSoto County
DeSoto County, Mississippi
-Demographics:As of the census of 2005 estimate, there were 137,004 people, 38,792 households, and 30,102 families residing in the county. The population density was 224 people per square mile . There were 40,795 housing units at an average density of 85 per square mile...

.

Memphis is home to Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium
Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium
Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium is a football stadium, located at the Mid-South Fairgrounds, in Midtown Memphis, Tennessee, United States. The stadium is the site of the annual AutoZone Liberty Bowl, and is the home field of the University of Memphis Tigers football team...

, the site of University of Memphis
University of Memphis
The University of Memphis is an American public research university located in the Normal Station neighborhood of Memphis, Tennessee and is the flagship public research university of the Tennessee Board of Regents system....

 football, the Liberty Bowl
Liberty Bowl
The Liberty Bowl is an annual U.S. American college football bowl game played in December of each year from 1959 to 2007 and in January in 2009 and 2010. The Liberty Bowl was sponsored by AXA Financial and was known as the AXA Liberty Bowl from 1997 to 2003...

 and the Southern Heritage Classic
Southern Heritage Classic
The Southern Heritage Classic presented by FedEx is the annual college football game between the Tigers of Jackson State University and the Tigers of Tennessee State University.The series record is TnSU 10, JSU 7....

. The annual St. Jude Classic, a regular part of the PGA Tour
PGA Tour
The PGA Tour is the organizer of the main men's professional golf tours in the United States and North America...

, is also held in the city. Each February the city hosts the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships and the Cellular South Cup
Regions Morgan Keegan Championships and the Cellular South Cup
The Regions Morgan Keegan Championships and the Cellular South Cup are tennis tournaments held in Memphis, Tennessee, USA. The Regions Morgan Keegan Championships is a men's ATP Tour event that has been held since 1976. In previous years it has been known as the U.S. Indoor Championships, the...

, which are men's
Association of Tennis Professionals
The Association of Tennis Professionals or ATP was formed in 1972 by Donald Dell, Jack Kramer, and Cliff Drysdale to protect the interests of male professional tennis players. Since 1990, the association has organized the worldwide tennis tour for men and linked the title of the tour with the...

 ATP World Tour 500 series
ATP World Tour 500 series
The ATP World Tour 500 series is the third highest tier of men's tennis tournament after the four Grand Slam tournaments, and the ATP World Tour Masters 1000.The series includes 11 tournaments, with a number of 500 rankings points to win for the events' singles...

 and WTA
Women's Tennis Association
The Women's Tennis Association , founded in 1973 by Billie Jean King, is the principal organizing body of Women's Professional Tennis. It governs the WTA Tour which is the worldwide professional tennis tour for women. Its counterpart organization in the men's professional game is the Association of...

 events, respectively.

Memphis has a significant history in pro wrestling. Jerry "The King" Lawler
Jerry Lawler
Jerry O'Neil Lawler is an American professional wrestler, wrestling commentator, musician, businessman, commercial artist and film actor, known throughout the wrestling world as Jerry "The King" Lawler. He is currently signed to WWE, working on its Raw brand as the color commentator and occasional...

 is the sport's greatest name to come out of the city. Sputnik Monroe
Sputnik Monroe (wrestler)
Sputnik Monroe was a professional wrestler from the mid 1940s through the early 1970s. Monroe was a headliner in many territories, and was best known in Memphis, where he and Billy Wicks set an attendance record that lasted until the Monday Night Wars boom period.-Life:Sputnik was born Rosco...

, a wrestler of the 1950s, like Lawler, promoted racial integration in the city. Ric Flair
Ric Flair
Richard Morgan Fliehr is an American professional wrestler, better known by his ring name Ric Flair. Also known as "The Nature Boy", Flair is one of the most well-known professional wrestlers in the world....

 also noted Memphis as his birthplace.

Memphis has been represented by several now-defunct professional sports franchises, including the Memphis Pharaohs of Arena Football, the Memphis Maniax
Memphis Maniax
The Memphis Maniax was an American football team based in Memphis, Tennessee. The team was part of the XFL begun by Vince McMahon of World Wrestling Entertainment and by NBC, a major television network in the United States...

 of the XFL
XFL
The XFL was a professional American football league that played for one season in 2001. The league was founded by Vince McMahon, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of WWE...

, the Memphis Xplorers
Memphis Xplorers
The Memphis Xplorers were a professional arena football team. They were a 2001 expansion member of the af2. They played their home games at DeSoto Civic Center in Southaven, Mississippi ....

 of the AF2
AF2
AF2 was the name of the Arena Football League's developmental league; it was founded in 1999 and played its first season in 2000. Like parent AFL, the AF2 played using the same arena football rules and style of play. League seasons ran from April through July with the postseason and ArenaCup...

, the Memphis Showboats
Memphis Showboats
The Memphis Showboats were a franchise in the United States Football League. They entered the league in its expansion in 1984 and made the 1985 playoffs, losing in the semifinal round to the Oakland Invaders...

 of the USFL, the Memphis Southmen
Memphis Southmen
The Memphis Southmen were a franchise in the World Football League which operated in 1974 and 1975. They played their home games at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, Tennessee, United States.-From North to South:...

 of the WFL, the Memphis Houn'Dawgs
Memphis Houn'Dawgs
The Memphis Houn'Dawgs was an American Basketball Association team based in Memphis, Tennessee.The team began play in the fall of 2000. The team played in the DeSoto Civic Center in Southaven, Mississippi, and only played the 2000-2001 ABA season before disbanding.They finished second place in the...

 of the ABA
American Basketball Association (2000–present)
The American Basketball Association, often abbreviated as ABA, is a semi-professional men's basketball league that was founded in 1999. The current ABA has no affiliation with the original American Basketball Association that merged with the National Basketball Association in 1976...

, the Memphis Sounds
Memphis Sounds
Memphis Sounds was the final name of a franchise in the American Basketball Association. The team had begun as the New Orleans Buccaneers, and after three seasons in New Orleans, Louisiana moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where it had occasionally played some home games in the past to reasonable crowds...

 of the original ABA
American Basketball Association
The American Basketball Association was a professional basketball league founded in 1967. The ABA ceased to exist with the ABA–NBA merger in 1976.-League history:...

 in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and the Memphis Mad Dogs
Memphis Mad Dogs
The Memphis Mad Dogs were a Canadian football team that played the 1995 season in the Canadian Football League. The Mad Dogs were part of a failed attempt to expand the CFL into the United States....

 of the CFL
Canadian Football League
The Canadian Football League or CFL is a professional sports league located in Canada. The CFL is the highest level of competition in Canadian football, a form of gridiron football closely related to American football....

.

In the 1970s and early 1980s, the former WFL franchise Memphis Southmen / Memphis Grizzlies
Memphis Southmen
The Memphis Southmen were a franchise in the World Football League which operated in 1974 and 1975. They played their home games at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, Tennessee, United States.-From North to South:...

 sued the NFL in an attempt to be accepted as an expansion franchise. In 1993, the Memphis Hound Dogs
Memphis Hound Dogs
For the professional basketball team, click on Memphis Houn'DawgsThe Memphis Hound Dogs were a proposed NFL team in the mid-1990s. William Dunavant, Paul Tudor Jones, Fred Smith and Elvis Presley Enterprises were the members of the potential ownership group.In 1993, the NFL invited potential...

 was a proposed NFL expansion that was passed over in favor of the Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jacksonville Jaguars are a professional American football team based in Jacksonville, Florida, U.S. They are currently members of the South Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League...

 and Carolina Panthers
Carolina Panthers
The Carolina Panthers are a professional American football team based in Charlotte, North Carolina. They are currently members of the South Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League . The Panthers, along with the Jacksonville Jaguars, joined the NFL as expansion...

. Memphis also served as the temporary home of the former Tennessee Oilers while the city of Nashville
Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville is the capital of the U.S. state of Tennessee and the county seat of Davidson County. It is located on the Cumberland River in Davidson County, in the north-central part of the state. The city is a center for the health care, publishing, banking and transportation industries, and is home...

 worked out stadium issues.

See also

  • 1865 Memphis earthquake
    1865 Memphis earthquake
    The 1865 Memphis earthquake struck southwest Tennessee on August 17, 1865. Soon after the magnitude 5.0 earthquake hit, land appeared to roll and waves formed in nearby rivers. The force of the earthquake felled and cracked chimneys in Memphis and New Madrid. Shaking of the earthquake spread as far...

  • List of mayors of Memphis, Tennessee
  • List of neighborhoods in Memphis, Tennessee
  • List of people from Memphis, Tennessee
  • Memphis Mafia
    Memphis Mafia
    The "Memphis Mafia" was the nickname for a group of friends, associates, employees and "yes-men" whose main function was to be around Elvis Presley from 1954 until he died. Several filled practical roles in the singer's life. For instance, they were employed to work for him as bodyguards or on tour...


Further reading

  • Dowdy, G. Wayne. Crusades for Freedom: Memphis and the Political Transformation of the American South (University Press of Mississippi; 2010); 176 pages. Examines the political rise of two minorities, African-Americans and Republicans, after the demise of the machine politics of the Shelby County Democratic Party and the political boss
    Political boss
    A boss, in politics, is a person who wields the power over a particular political region or constituency. Bosses may dictate voting patterns, control appointments, and wield considerable influence in other political processes. They do not necessarily hold public office themselves...

     Ed Crump.
  • Rushing, Wanda. Memphis and the Paradox of Place: Globalization in the American South. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2009, on economic development
  • Rushing, Wanda. "Memphis: Cotton Fields, Cargo Planes, & Biotechnology" Southern Spaces (2009) online

External links