Memphiscity, seat of Shelby county, extreme southwestern TennesseeU. It lies on the Chickasaw bluffs above the Mississippi River where the borders of ArkansasMississippiand Tennessee meet. Area square miles square km. Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto visited the area in French and Spanish forts briefly existed on the site, and in the United States built Fort Adams there.
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Memphis was founded in on land ly inhabited by Chickasaw Indians. Andrew Jacksonlater U. Memphis grew rapidly with the expansion of cotton growing in the South and because of its transportation facilities by railroad and river. It was incorporated in A Confederate military centre early in the American Civil Warit was captured by a Union gunboat force on June 6,and remained occupied until the end of the war.
In the s yellow fever devastated the city, killing more than 5, residents. The city went bankrupt, declined in population, and in surrendered its charter. Drastic sanitary reforms, continued cotton trading, and the growth of a market in hardwood contributed to its economic recovery, and a new city charter was granted in Economic development was accelerated after World War II. During the s the civil rights movement greatly affected the city.
Extensive rail and highway facilities and the headquarters of major freight corporations contribute to the importance of the industry. Memphis is a major world cotton market and a world leader in hardwood trading and processing and soybean processing. The city serves an agricultural area noted for livestock, cotton, soybeans, corn maizefeed grains, and forest products and has agricultural research and food processing industries.
It is an important wholesale centre. Manufactures include electronics, medical products and equipment, and paper products. Services including health care, banking and finance, government, and educationtourism and convention business, and high-technology industries also contribute to the economy. Memphis is one of the birthplaces of blues music and is associated particularly with composer W. King also occupies a central place in the history of the blues in Memphis.
Memphis has also been called the birthplace of rock and roll. Memphis made a huge contribution to the development of soul music as well, with Otis ReddingWilson PickettSam and Daveand Al Green being just a few of the ificant soul artists who recorded in Memphis or called it home.
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Memphis has a symphony orchestraballet troupe, and opera company, as well as several theatre organizations. The Center for Southern Folklore is devoted to the people and culture of the South.
Sun Studio offers tours, and the Stax Museum of American Soul Music is located on the site of the Stax recording studio and operates an adjacent music school. A park on Mud Island, in the Mississippi, includes a five-block-long scale model of the river. The story stainless-steel Pyramid Arena hosts sports events, concerts, and shows.
The Memphis in May International Festival is an annual month-long event devoted to a different country each year. Africa in April is an annual festival celebrating African American culture. Navy facility is located in Millington to the north.
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Chucalissa, a prehistoric Native American village and archaeological museum, is in T. Introduction History The contemporary city. Additional Info. Print print Print. Table Of Contents. While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies.
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Memphis, Tennessee, U. Goods stacked along a Mississippi River levee at Memphis, Tennessee, for shipment, Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. Subscribe Now. Learn More in these related Britannica articles:. It was Chicago, however, that played the greatest role in the….
Having made an enormous impact in the s, Sam Phillips and Sun Records largely faded away bybut other labels and studios kept MemphisTenn. History at your fingertips. up here to see what happened On This Dayevery day in your inbox! address.
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