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Editorial Results (free)

1. Reader Says Massacre Backstory is Complex -

Mr. Dries, whether one calls the events of May 1866 riots, a massacre, or civil disturbances is not that relevant.
The occurrence was deplorable, but the current reporting on this marker is lacking. A major contributor to the violence was the conduct of the federal troops of occupation that abused, burgled, robbed, and murdered citizens while especially targeting the police. These abuses began during the war and continued up through Reconstruction. In February 1866, a police officer named O’Brien was beaten and robbed by soldiers. He died the next day. Later, officer William Mower was shot and killed by Federal soldiers. These abuses and many others are well documented in the press of that era including the Memphis Daily Post, a pro Union newspaper edited and published by two Union army officers. These officers were former professors at Oberlin College in Ohio. The Congressional investigation is quite thorough, but its conclusion is also an example of the anti-Irish bigotry often seen in mid-19th century America. The minority report, authored by Congressman G.S. Shanklin of Kentucky, gives additional insight into the ongoing tensions between the Federal soldiers and the Police. The Fort’s commanders allowed the soldiers to abuse the citizens for months leading up to the riots. Nothing can excuse nor mitigate the crimes of May 1, 2, and 3, 1866; however, if the Federal authorities had cooperated with the civilian authorities and enforced discipline over their troops in the preceding months, it might never have happened.

2. City Council Approves Fairgrounds TDZ Request -

Memphis City Council members approved Tuesday, Feb. 19, plans for a tourism development zone to capture sales tax revenue in a large area for a renovation of the Fairgrounds property at first.

The boundaries of the zone go to the state for approval and city Community and Housing Development division director Robert Lipscomb said such a proposal could be at the state building commission in Nashville in April.

3. 150 Years Later: City’s Role Remembered -

The 150th anniversary of the Civil War arrived in Memphis this week with plans to return cannons to Confederate Park and lots of contemporary views about the battle of Memphis in which no cannons were fired from land.