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VOL. 133 | NO. 181 | Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Dries

Bill Dries

Last Word: Fever Obscured, Beale Cover and Who Had The First Supermarket?

By Bill Dries

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For all of the talk about Memphis turning 200 next year and the ongoing discussion and examination following the 50th anniversary of the sanitation workers strike and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, the Yellow Fever epidemic has a way of being obscured.

It was 140 years ago that the devastating outbreak of 1878 that nearly ended the city was about to meet the first good frost and vanish without anyone knowing the cause until the early 20th century.

The same thing happened on the 100th anniversary in 1978 when we were in the midst of police and fire strikes that made national news. This past weekend, St. Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral and others marked the anniversary, which is a feast day in the Episcopal Church. St. Mary’s was a center of relief effort in which those coming to the aid of dying and dead Memphians died themselves in many cases. The commemoration this year was with a link to needs in the here and now.

Memphis City Council members have approved a conditional return of the Beale Street cover charge. The approval came at the end of a long and emotional debate that is likely to continue in some form. As for the cover charge, you may not see that again for a while since the Labor Day weekend usually signals the end of the peak spring and summer season in the district. Other council action and discussions covered in our comprehensive round up.

Is America’s first self service grocery store the same as America’s first supermarket? It was 102 years ago Tuesday that Piggly Wiggly opened in Memphis and about 20 years later that a New York chain, King Kullen, opened on Long Island. The Smithsonian is even getting involved in this.

Shelby County Schools board members got more bad news about the grade-changing scandal that an earlier report for SCS concluded was “pervasive” in some schools. The investigators couldn’t find the required paperwork to change a grade in all but 15 of the 650 incidents in seven schools where claims of improper grade changes were made. Chalkbeat runs down what happens next.

Democratic Senate nominee Phil Bredesen on why his fourth run for statewide office is different and it’s more than just his first three times being bids for Governor.

A marker at Eudora Welty’s home.

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 133 1,342
MORTGAGES 0 131 1,047
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 20 39 190
BUILDING PERMITS 0 305 3,056
BANKRUPTCIES 17 135 753
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 53 329
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0