This week in Memphis history: December 27-January 2

By Bill Dries

2012: Private talks between suburban leaders and Shelby County Commissioners through the attorneys for each groups on suburban school districts were underway during the holidays. The talks soon broke off without an agreement on a system of suburban charter schools.


1940: E.H. Crump took the oath of office as mayor of Memphis on the back of a passenger rail car at Central Station and immediately resigned the office he had run for earlier in the fall as a stand-in for Congressman Walter Chandler. With his oath and resignation within seconds of each other, Crump was on his way to the Sugar Bowl football game in New Orleans. City Commissioners chose Chandler to be the city’s new mayor.
Source: “Mr. Crump of Memphis” by William D. Miller

1923: On the front page of The Daily News: “Poll tax collector Joe Boyle is continuing his drive to collect poll tax from every man and woman in the county eligible to pay it.” It amounted to paying in order to vote. Boyle later became police commissioner under a number of mayors controlled by political boss E.H. Crump. Those working the ward and precinct organization that was the heart of Crump’s political machine kept poll tax receipts in large bundles that they handed out at election time to voters they rounded up to vote for their slate of candidates. The use of a poll tax wasn’t outlawed until the mid 1960s.