April 19-25: This Week in Memphis History

Saturday, April 20, 2013, Vol. 6, No. 17

1993: Memphis-based Back Yard Burgers Inc. announced plans to go public with a proposed initial public offering of 1.3 million shares of common stock at a planned price of $6 a share.


1968: Based on a left thumbprint found on a rifle and a pair of binoculars left in a bundle in the doorway of a South Main Street business, FBI experts identified the suspect in the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. as James Earl Ray for the first time. Prior to that the FBI and other law enforcement agencies had identified Ray as Eric Starvo Galt, John Willard and Harvey Lowmeyer. The identification came almost one year to the day that Ray, an inmate at the Jefferson City Penitentiary in Missouri serving time for armed robbery, escaped from the prison by hiding in a metal bread box in a bakery truck.

Source: “Hellhound On His Trail” by Hampton Sides

1963: The city commission approved $80,192 to buy property on Shelby Drive east of Airways in the Municipal Airport Clear Zone.

1958: On the front page of The Daily News, Judge Sylvanus Polk opened court in the new Probate Court courtroom at the Shelby County Courthouse – Room 120, which had been occupied by the city’s department of public works. The court had several locations before that in the courthouse that also served as the seat of both city and county governments as well as state courts.