April 12-18: This Week in Memphis History

Saturday, April 13, 2013, Vol. 6, No. 16

2012: The largest solar farm in the state opened in Haywood County along Interstate 40. The West Tennessee Solar Farm has 21,000 solar panels, and its opening in Haywood County came one day after Agricenter International formally opened its solar farm, a 998,400 watt photovoltaic system on five acres.

1993: Dyersburg Judge David W. Lanier was sentenced to 25 years in prison without parole by U.S. District Judge Jerome Turner after a jury convicted him on federal sexual harassment and sexual assault charges.

1970: Led Zeppelin performed to a sell-out crowd at the Mid-South Coliseum. Before the show, the band and its entourage, including manager Peter Grant, got a proclamation from Mayor Henry Loeb. Coliseum managers threatened to shut down the show before it started, prompting Grant to call them at least one explicit epithet and tell them the mayor gave the band keys to the city.

Source: “Hammer of the Gods” by Stephen Davis

1960: The Chicago White Sox and Cleveland Indians played an exhibition baseball game at Russwood Park. In the sixth inning, Cleveland star Rocky Colavito walked. Indians manager Joe Gordon called Colavito to the dugout from first base and told Colavito he had been traded to Detroit. That night the wooden ballpark, which had been the home for decades to the Memphis Turtles and then the Memphis Chicks baseball teams, burned to the ground.

Source: “Baseball in Memphis” by Clarence Watkins