Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis located in the extreme southwest of the state of Tennessee. Founded in 1818, it is the most populous city in the state. The city is located on the left bank of the Mississippi River, 100 m above sea level. The city has a very unstable climate, with constant temperature changes although temperatures remain mild throughout the year. In fact, the average annual temperature is 16 ° C, 5 ° C in January, and 27 ° C in August. Rains are common in all seasons.

History– The region where Memphis is located was explored by the Spaniard Hernando de Soto in 1541 on an expedition along the Mississippi River. At that time, the tribe that inhabited this part of the river were the Chickasaws. During the 16th century, the Frenchmen Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet explored these lands, and years later, in 1682, La Salle claimed the entire region for France. The first fort that was built was Fort Assumption, a settlement that is the true ancestor of Memphis and dates back to 1739 and was built by French traders. Spain and the United States later built detachments, Fort San Fernando and Fort Adams, in 1795 and 1797, as this was a disputed region by these nations given the strategic and economic importance of the Mississippi River. Spain administered the western section of the ancient French province of Louisiana between 1763 and 1800, while the United States administered the eastern, ‘inherited’ part of Great Britain. After the return of Louisiana to France in 1800, and the sale of this immense territory to the United States in 1803, the actual westward expansion began. Thus, in 1818 John Overton, James Winchester and General Jackson, who later became president of the United States, founded the city of Memphis. Since then, numerous settlers from the eastern states arrived in the city, and many others from Ireland, Scotland and Germany.

Before long, the Mississippi Delta region became an important center of cotton production and trade, dependent on slave labor. As a vital point in the cotton trade, numerous improvements in the communications system were made in the city during the 19th century. Thus, railroad lines and roads were built, and a new steamboat service began to connect the city with New Orleans, Charleston and other points in the upper Mississippi basin. It was not long before Memphis became the cotton and slave trading center of this southern region of the United States. Thus, when the civil war broke out in 1861, Memphis was a staunch ally of the Confederacy, although in 1862 the city fell to Union soldiers who maintained it until the end of the war. The era of reconstruction and the conversion of the economy to a non-slave economy was hard for Memphis, which also suffered the effects of several yellow fever epidemics, including the devastating one of 1878 which drastically reduced the population. The city, depopulated and in ruins, had to face at the end of the nineteenth century improvements in the system of sewage and running water, and various public works that served to reactivate the economy. However, the real revival of Memphis did not occur until World War II, when they took advantage of the economic boom in the United States to start new businesses. In fact, military installations, universities were built and municipal structures were improved, such as the port and bridges. The works carried out in the port in 1950 had a positive effect and attracted numerous industries. During the years when civil rights began to apply, dictated by the United States Congress in 1968, which forced an end to racial segregation, there were many riots in Memphis. Reverend Martín Luther King, the greatest exponent of the struggle for equal rights in the United States, died in this city in 1968.

During the decade of the nineties, the city of Memphis carried out an ambitious development plan, aimed at transforming the city into a commercial distribution center, without neglecting tourism and traditional industries.

Tourist places and culture– Beale Street has been revived and is the heart of a vibrant entertainment district. Night clubs, restaurants, shops and saloons alternate along four blocks. On the other side, the street is also characterized by many statues. There is one by Elvis Presley in front of Elvis Presley’s Memphis Nightclub, and one by William Christopher Handy in front of the entrance to a square. One block away, WC Handy’s Home is now a museum dedicated to the man who has often been called the father of the blues. At the center of the avenue, the A. Schwab’s Dry Goods Store, which has existed since 1876. The city has several universities, including Memphis State University, Southwestern At Memphis, (formerly Rhodes College), LeMoyne-Owen College, the University of Tennessee Center for Health Sciences and Christian Brother College. Memphis counts on a wide artistic and cultural offer. Among the museums of the city worthy of note that of the Chucalissa Indians, various house-museums of the nineteenth century, such as the Casa Fontaine and the Mallory-Neely House and, above all, Graceland, the mansion that Elvis Presley rebuilt in 1957. At the residence of one of the most popular singers in the United States you can visit the family mausoleum where the singer rests, and admire his personal items, including his famous pink Cadillac and his private plane. Other interesting museums are the Memphis Brooks, the Galleria d ‘ Art of the University of Memphis, the Academy of Arts and the National Museum of Ornamental Metallurgy. In the city you can also visit a magnificent botanical garden. The theatrical offer of Memphis is enormous, among the most important artistic associations; the Memphis Ballet, the Tennessee Ballet, the Memphis Opera Company and the Memphis Symphony Orchestra.

Economy – Being located on the Mississippi River, Memphis enjoys the benefits of natural communication routes that make the city an important trading market. In addition to the river port, the city bases its economy on the textile, shipbuilding, paper and rubber industries.

Memphis, Tennessee

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