VOL. 9 | NO. 33 | Saturday, August 13, 2016
August 12-18, 2016: This week in Memphis history
2011: On the front page of The Daily News, city leaders vow that construction work is about to begin on The Pyramid’s long-delayed conversion from an arena to a Bass Pro Shops store with added attractions. The first stirrings of action on the dormant project include a $75 million city buyout of county government’s interest in the Memphis Cook Convention Center as part of the deal for the city to get exclusive ownership of The Pyramid.
“You don’t want anybody else owning a part of your front door,” Memphis Mayor A C Wharton says.
There is also $25 million in funding for a seismic retrofit of The Pyramid and the land bordering the Wolf River Harbor and $63 million in city funding to remove the seating bowl of The Pyramid and make other preparations in advance of Bass Pro Shops completing its part of the buildout.
1994: Michael Jordan at LeMoyne Gardens public housing development to dedicate a new basketball court built by Nike from 25,000 recycled Nike shoes, including 800 donated by employees at Nike’s Memphis plant.
Jordan has retired from the NBA for the first time. Jordan challenges Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton to trade shots on the court, pledging $10,000 for every shot Herenton makes. Herenton misses every shot.
1986: John Pike of the Federation of American Scientists tells the Memphis Kiwanis Club that President Ronald Reagan’s “Star Wars” defense plan or Strategic Defense Initiative “looks like an unwise investment and it seems Congress is beginning to agree with that.”
“We need to establish protection on a day-to-day basis before we look at Star Wars,” Pike said of the plans for a system of space-based lasers to shoot down missiles with nuclear weapons – the most0discussed Cold War scenario in tensions between the U.S. and the Soviet Union.
“We need to put ammunition and radios in the hands of our military instead of lasers in space,” Pike concludes.
1973: Mott the Hoople at the Auditorium North Hall with Jo Jo Gunne and Robin Trower. Tickets are $6 the day of the show. Mott’s single “All The Way From Memphis” is released that same month.
Source: “Memphis Rocks” by Ron Hall