In May of 1900, Admiral Thomas Dewey, hero of the Spanish-American War, visited Memphis.
Downtown was decorated in red, white, and blue. Thousands of citizens and visitors greeted the Admiral and his wife as they stepped from their special train, and were escorted to the Peabody Hotel in an open landau carriage.
When a company of Confederate Veterans approached the carriage, the Admiral stood, removed his hat, and saluted the men in gray, calling them "gallant-looking fellows."
The Admiral's stay in Memphis was marked by a series of planned events. Dewey and his wife were taken on a tour of the city, treated to a floral parade, a ball at the Grand Opera House, and receptions hosted by the various exchanges and clubs, including a group called the "Colored Men of Memphis."