May 10-16: This week in Memphis history

Saturday, May 11, 2013, Vol. 6, No. 20

2011: The Mississippi River at Memphis crested at 48 feet, the highest level since the all- time record 1937 flooding on the river at Memphis of 48.7 feet. Large crowds of Memphians came to the riverfront the weekend before the crest to snap photos and see for themselves the river at the highest level many had ever seen in their lives. Greenbelt Park on Mud Island, which normally floods during the spring, was closed by the city as the muddy water rose to the paved walkway on the west side of Island Road. The river waters invaded the Riverwalk model on Mud Island as well. And the Memphis in May International Barbecue Cooking Contest was moved from the park to Tiger Lane at the Fairgrounds.

1993: A new addition to the Memphis In May International Festival debuted at The Pyramid with what was billed as the largest tattoo in North America. The tattoo featured marching bands, choruses and drill teams as well as a reenactment of Napoleon’s defeat at Moscow.

1973: A new four-story science and mathematics learning center on the campus of LeMoyne-Owen College was dedicated and named after Dr. Walter W. Gibson, the retiring chairman of the college’s natural sciences department, as well as former Memphis mayor Edmund Orgill. The building cost $1.1 million.

1963: Topping out ceremonies marked completion of the structural steel work on what was then the First National Bank building at Third and Madison.