Indians living near present-day Shelby County encounter the Hernando De Soto expedition.
French explorers build Fort Assumption on Memphis site.
Fort San Fernando de las Barrancas built by the Spanish.
The U.S. gains control of the area; Fort Adams erected.
The Chickasaw Nation signs treaty ceding West Tennessee to the U.S.
John Overton, James Winchester, and Andrew Jackson found the city of Memphis on May 22. Shelby County formed.
Frances Wright organizes utopian community of Nashoba near present-day Germantown.
Memphis incorporated on December 19.
County seat moved from Memphis to Raleigh.
Memphis Appeal organized.
U.S. government establishes a navy yard in the city.
Memphis and South Memphis merge.
The Memphis & Charleston Railroad completed, linking the Atlantic Ocean and the Mississippi River.
On June 6, Union fleet defeats Confederate naval forces in the Battle of Memphis. Federal troops occupy the city.
Grant names Memphis as hospital and supply base to support the attack on Vicksburg.
The Memphis Freedmen's Bureau established to provide services such as banking and education.
Memphis regains the county seat.
City's most devastating yellow fever epidemic claims 5,000 lives.
Memphis declares bankruptcy, loses its charter, and becomes a Taxing District of the state.
Artesian well water becomes available for the first time.
Great Bridge at Memphis opened. Later named Frisco Bridge.
Cossitt Library opens, the first public library in Memphis. Memphis regains its city charter. Black millionaire Robert Reed Church, Sr. buys first city bond.
The ten-story Porter Building, the city's first skyscraper, opens.
Church's Park & Auditorium, the city's first park and entertainment center for African Americans, opens.
The Overton Park Zoo opens.
W.C. Handy writes the "Memphis Blues." Memphis adopts the commission form of government.
University of Tennessee Medical School merges with the Memphis Hospital Medical College and the College of Physicians and Surgeons.
A major Mississippi River flood brings high water to downtown Memphis.
Clarence Saunders opens his first Piggly Wiggly store.
The Universal Life Insurance Company, one of the largest black-owned insurance companies in the nation, is founded.
The present Peabody Hotel opens to the public. Tom Lee rescues 32 people when the excursion boat M.E. Norman capsizes in the Mississippi River.
The Orpheum Theatre opens; replaced Grand Opera House.
The Mississippi River Great Flood devastates huge area; thousands of homeless brought to Memphis.
City purchases the local utility company and renames it Memphis Light, Gas & Water Division.
The Naval Air Station at Millington is built.
The Army (now Defense) Depot and the Mallory Air Force Depot built.
Construction on the Memphis Harbor project begins.
Memphis named the country's quietest, cleanest and safest city on several occasions.
Tri-State Defender, local black newspaper, begins publication.
Kemmons Wilson opens his first Holiday Inn on Summer Ave.
E.H. Crump, Memphis political leader for 45 years, dies. Elvis Presley gives his first concert in Memphis.
Stax Records, creator of the "Memphis Sound," organized.
Federal court decisions end segregation in the city's public libraries, schools, parks and recreation facilities.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. assassinated April 4 at the Lorraine Motel while in Memphis to support the Sanitation Workers' strike.
Federal Express Corporation organized.
Busing begins in order to bring about full integration of schools.
Benjamin L. Hooks elected executive director of the NAACP. Victorian Village named historic district.
Elvis Presley dies at Graceland on August 16.
Mud Island Park and River Walk open.
Redeveloped Beale Street opens as a tourist attraction. Jesse H. Turner becomes first black to serve as chairman of the Shelby County Board of Commissioners.
Lighting of the Hernando DeSoto Bridge features 2,000 lights in a giant M.
Ramesses the Great initiates the Wonders Series.
World War II Memphis Belle moved to Mud Island.
Dr. W.W. Herenton elected city's first black mayor. National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis Pyramid open.
Downtown trolley begins operation.
© Compiled 1996 by the staff of the History Department
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