Memphis Moment: Changing Shotwell to Getwell

Memphis, TN – In 1943, the US Army opened a 3,000 bed veteran's hospital in Memphis at the corner of Park Avenue and Shotwell Road. The new Kennedy Hospital's address would be on Shotwell, prompting Mrs. M.E. Brown of Marvell Arkansas to write to the Memphis Press-Scimitar claiming the name of the street would not be appropriate for wounded soldiers returning home.

County officials, despite facing some opposition from local residents, decided to change the name of the road to Getwell to help improve the morale of the hospital's patients. The former site of Kennedy Hospital is now occupied by the University of Memphis, student housing, sports complexes, and WKNO.

Memphis Moments is co-produced by the Pink Palace Family of Museums ( and WKNO-FM, and airs on Tuesdays and Thursdays during All Things Considered on the WKNO Stations.