The Memphis Red Sox was one of the most exciting teams in the Negro League in the 1930s-1940s.
Catcher Larry Brown created a lot of that excitement. He was known as one of the best catchers in the Negro League, a brilliant defender of home plate, throwing-out runners with cool precision and snagging wild pitches with ease.
Lena Angevine Warner is rightfully known as Tennessee’s pioneer nurse. Lena Angevine, born in Grenada, MS, in 1869, was the only member of her immediate family to survive the yellow fever epidemics of 1877 and 1878.
Raised by her grandmother, Lena attended St. Mary’s Episcopal School in Memphis, and, in 1887, became the first student accepted at the Memphis Training School for Nurses. She studied further in Chicago, was briefly married to E.C. Warner, and, in 1898, became the first superintendent of nurses at the new City of Memphis Hospital.
At the turn of the 20th century, Memphis' Main Street was a dangerous place and the site of many violent crimes. One of these involved a Native American named Creeping Bear. Some reports said he was a Creek Indian; others said he was a Sioux. Some believed he'd been left stranded in Memphis by a traveling Wild West show.
When you ask Memphians of the certain age to talk about the Christmases of their childhoods, they often mention a train, a puppet, and the circus.
Goldsmith's Department Store had a wonderfully elaborate electric train that ran through an enchanted Christmas scene. Parents brought their children to visit and be photographed with Santa, and then to see the train.
After Goldsmith's closed the Main Street store, the train was moved to Oak Court Mall for several years, but it was never the same.
The Lorraine Motel, the site of Dr. Martin Luther King's assassination, has had a long, uneven history. When the motel first opened in the 1920s, it was called “The Windsor.”
In that era of Jim Crow segregation, it was one of the few hotels that welcomed black travelers. Entertainers like Nat King Cole, Sarah Vaughan, and Louis Armstrong stayed at the Windsor and walked the few blocks to Beale Street. Walter Bailey bought the Windsor in 1942, and renamed it the Lorraine.