Memphis is a city with a rich and eclectic history: Home of the Blues, Birthplace of Rock ’n’ Roll, BBQ Pork Capital of the World. Some of the city’s traditions and milestones include: Graceland, Home of Elvis Presley; the Memphis Zoo; the Indie Memphis Film Festival; Sun Studio; National Civil Rights Museum; the Memphis NBA Grizzlies; Stax Museum of American Soul Music; Charlie Vergos’ Rendezvous, Payne’s BBQ and Interstate BBQ; Beale Street; Memphis in May Beale Street Music Festival.
History the city’s history began with the Native Americans who settled on the Fourth Chickasaw Bluff, then onto Hernando De Soto, the Civil War, yellow fever, the blues and rock ‘n’ roll music.
Cotton Row beginning around 1840 riverboats loaded with cotton lined the Memphis riverfront. Through the Civil War and by the turn of the century, Memphis was center stage and cotton was king. By some estimates, over 75% of the nation’s cotton came through the Bluff City. Front Street in Downtown Memphis was nicknamed “Cotton Row” and was the heart of the cotton trade and the center of the Memphis economy for over a century.
Relive the Days of Cotton Traders and How Cotton changed the History of a Nation
Culture Broadway shows at the historic Orpheum Theatre, and the city’s own professional resident theater. Memphis is also home to a nationally acclaimed professional ballet company, opera and symphony orchestra.
A display of Fine Art, history-making Music and a Celebration of American Heritage and Culture
Beale Street when the blues migrated north from the Delta it found a permanent home in Memphis, and that home is alive and well today on Beale Street. Dance to the many bands and artists that perform in open-air Handy Park or spend a night sliding in and out of any number of nightclubs. Hit the district in May when the city jams with the annual Memphis in May Festival.
The Story of Mobility in America
Maritime Museums in Historic Towns
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Mud Island River Park by day, take the monorail, which boasts some of the city’s best views, over to the Mississippi River Museum, where you can check out genuine Civil War garb and gunboat reproductions. By night, catch a live performance at the Amphitheater with the Memphis skyline as your backdrop and the rolling river at your back.
The Mississippi River Museum is comprised of 18 galleries that showcase 10,000 years of history in the Lower Mississippi River Valley. The exhibits detail early inhabitants in the valley to modern day transportation and contain over 5,000 artifacts; including two full size boat replicas which you can board and explore.
Transportation four of the museum’s galleries trace the evolution of transportation on the river from the earliest canoes through the golden age of steamboats and finally to modern diesel towboats. The search for more efficient transportation and the economic impact of river transportation played a vital role in the development of trade routes and the growth of river cities. Examples of the museum’s collection in these galleries are: Boat Building Tools, Boat models including full scale Packet Boat, Cargo, Victorian Furniture, Pilothouse equipment, Towboat Pilot House,
Engineering this exhibit details the engineering aspects of the river and the organizations created to maintain them. Example of the museum’s collection in this gallery are: Levee building tools, Sections of concrete and willow mattresses used to stabilize the river banks original bridge plans.
The Memphis Riverboat sightseeing cruises dock at beautiful Beale Street Landing and take you on a 10-mile round-trip voyage aboard the Memphis Queen III.
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