This week in Memphis history: August 22-28

By Bill Dries

1984: Among the public notices in The Daily News, Memphis Light Gas and Water Division was seeking sealed proposals on an electronic meter reading system, a much earlier version of the Smart meters the utility began using recently on a trial basis.

Maureen Reagan, daughter of President Ronald Reagan was in Memphis to campaign in behalf of her father in the upcoming presidential general election in which he was being challenged by Democratic nominee and former Vice President Walter Mondale. Mondale had been in Memphis a month earlier seeking Democratic support for his challenge.

1916: Bill Latura was shot and killed by two Memphis police officers outside the grocery store he owned on the corner of Poplar and Dunlap. Latura had been selling alcoholic beverages during one of the periodic crackdowns by authorities who otherwise ignored the state Prohibition law. Latura, who was armed, had a volatile temper and had been arrested 35 times by police, began arguing with the police officers ending in the shooting. In 1908, Latura shot and killed five men in a pool hall on Beale Street with no provocation, by his own admission. All of those he killed were African-Americans and Latura was acquitted on all charges from the incident as he was in two other incidents in which he shot another man and beat a man to death with a baseball bat.

Source: “Paul R. Coppock’s Mid-South” by Paul R. Coppock