On July 15, 1916, the Harahan Bridge opened for railroad traffic, the second bridge built in Memphis to cross the Mississippi River. Originally named the Rock Island bridge, the steel structure was renamed for Memphis businessman J.T. Harahan, who had been killed in a 1912 train wreck.
Blair T. Hunt (1888-1978) is a name every Memphian should know. Many may remember Hunt as the principal of Booker T. Washington High School, a job he held for 24 years, or, as the pastor of Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church, a position he maintained from 1921-1973, but what many people do not know about are his efforts behind the scenes in search of equality in Memphis.
For the early twentieth century, Hunt was an anomaly: he had a college education. He spent time at LeMoyne-Owen Institute, Morehouse College, Tennessee State, and Harvard.
Kenneth Lawrence Beaudoin (1913-1995) was dubbed the Poet Laureate of the River at the 1976 Mid-South Festival. This was a fitting title for a man who not only produced a large quantity of poetry, but who also invented a new style of verse. Beaudoin's creations, called Eye-Poems, were a combination of words and pictures and represented a whole new style of poetic verse with imagery.
Blanche Hamilton Karsch was grocery shopping in Memphis when she learned that she had received a 3.5 million dollar inheritance. Mrs. Karsch responded with “Really. That’s nice,” before selecting a 5¢ head of lettuce.
But things weren’t that easy. Blanche had been adopted from a New York orphanage by Hugh and Kate Magevney Hamilton, a prominent Memphis couple. When Mrs. Hamilton died, many Magevney relatives challenged the distribution of the inheritance to Karsch.
Six ships in the United States Navy have had the name USS Memphis. In 1858 and 1859 the first ship to be named the Memphis was used in river expedition to Paraguay to demand an apology for an unprovoked attack on another US ship.
The second USS Memphis, built in 1861, was a seven gun steamer used by the Confederate navy to run Union blockades. In 1862, the Union captured the ship and brought it into the service of the US navy. It was decommissioned in 1867.