Entries

McMinn County
McMinn County, located in southeast Tennessee, was established by the Tennessee General Assembly in 1819. Named for Governor Joseph McMinn, the county was created from lands ceded by the Cherokees in ... Continue Reading »
McMinn, Joseph
Joseph McMinn, farmer, state legislator, Indian agent, and governor, was born at Westchester, Pennsylvania, on June 22, 1758. McMinn served in the Continental army during the American Revolution. Afte... Continue Reading »
McNairy County
Created on October 8, 1823, McNairy County was formed from a part of Hardin County and named in honor of John McNairy, whom President George Washington had appointed as one of the three judges of the ... Continue Reading »
McNairy, John
John McNairy, Andrew Jackson's early friend and mentor, was one of Tennessee's first federal judges. Variously reported to have been born in Pennsylvania or North Carolina, McNairy was the s... Continue Reading »
McReynolds, James Clark
The fourth Tennessean to be appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, James C. McReynolds was born in Elkton, Kentucky, on February 3, 1862. His father was a surgeon and plantation owner, and the family be... Continue Reading »
McTyeire, Holland N.
Methodist Bishop Holland N. McTyeire is best remembered for his indispensable role in the founding of Vanderbilt University. As a key player in wresting a charter for a central university from the Met... Continue Reading »
McWherter, Ned Ray
Ned Ray McWherter, governor and Speaker of the Tennessee House, was born in Palmersville, Weakley County, to Harmon Ray and Lucille Golden Smith McWherter in 1930. Educated in the public schools of Dr... Continue Reading »
Medicine
A rich source of herbal and root remedies derived from indigenous American plants greeted newcomers to the Tennessee backcountry in the eighteenth century. James Adair, an early white Indian trader of... Continue Reading »
Meeman, Edward John
Influential mid-twentieth-century journalist and newspaper editor Edward J. Meeman was born in Evansville, Indiana, to German-born, Catholic, working-class parents. His father was a cigar maker and a ... Continue Reading »
Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park
Containing 13,467 acres, Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park near Memphis is the most visited state park in Tennessee. Initially known as Shelby Forest State Park, it began as a New Deal recreation demons... Continue Reading »
Meharry Medical College
Meharry Medical College in Nashville originated in 1876 as the medical division of Central Tennessee College, an institution established by the Freedman's Aid Society of the Methodist Episcopal C... Continue Reading »
Meigs County
Created in 1836 from Rhea County, Meigs County is named for Return Jonathan Meigs (1740-1823), a colonel in the American Revolutionary War and later an Indian agent from 1801 until his death in 1823. ... Continue Reading »
Meigs, Return Jonathan
A key Cherokee agent in southeast Tennessee, Return Jonathan Meigs arrived in Tennessee in May 1801 to fill the combined position of agent to the Cherokee Nation and military agent for the United Stat... Continue Reading »
Melungeons
Since the late 1700s observers have pondered the who, what, why, and where of the people in Tennessee they called Melungeons. In earlier American eras that focused on racial pedigrees, any group that ... Continue Reading »
Memphis
The Fourth Chickasaw Bluff, which rises high above the Mississippi River even at flood stage, has long presented a logical place for settlement. Though they had departed prior to Hernando de Soto'... Continue Reading »
Memphis and Charleston Railroad
The Memphis and Charleston (M&C) Railroad was the last link in a chain of early railroads connecting the Atlantic Coast to the Mississippi River. Its route from Memphis to Chattanooga across Tenne... Continue Reading »
Memphis Brooks Museum of Art
Founded as Brooks Memorial Art Gallery in 1916, the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art was the first art museum in Memphis. Initial efforts to build a municipal art museum in Memphis were based upon a desig... Continue Reading »
Memphis College of Art
The Memphis College of Art is the only independent college in the South dually accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and the National Association of Schools of Art and ... Continue Reading »
Memphis Commercial Appeal
Although the title Commercial Appeal dates from 1894, the roots of this newspaper reach back to the early decades of Memphis's history. One ancestor, the Weekly (later Daily) Appeal, began in 184... Continue Reading »
Memphis Cotton Exchange
Following the organization of cotton exchanges in New York (1870) and New Orleans (1871), Memphis cotton buyers pushed for an exchange in Memphis. Initial attempts to organize the institution failed, ... Continue Reading »
Memphis Free Speech
Founded in 1888 by the Reverend Taylor Nightingale, the Memphis Free Speech was published on the grounds of Nightingale's church, the First (Beale Street) Baptist Church. The name of the paper ch... Continue Reading »
Memphis Hip Hop
Memphis has long celebrated a rich musical and cultural heritage. Its rhythm-n-blues, soul, and rock-n-roll foundations are exemplified by Beale Street, Stax Records, and Graceland, respectively, wh... Continue Reading »
Memphis Labor Review
Founded in 1917 and edited by owner and publisher Jake Cohen (1877-1945), this weekly newspaper served as the official organ of the Memphis Trades and Labor Council, an American Federation of Labor af... Continue Reading »
Memphis Music Scene
The musical legacy of the Bluff City is exciting, diverse, and extremely significant in the history of American culture. Today Memphis's best known landmarks are two places--Beale Street and Grac... Continue Reading »
Memphis Naval Air Station, Millington
Aviation at this facility, the largest inland naval base in the world, dates back to World War I, when the U.S. Army created Park Field as a training ground for air and ground crews. The navy's p... Continue Reading »
Memphis Park and Parkway System
Associated with the Progressive era and City Beautiful Movements of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the development of the Memphis Park and Parkway System laid the foundation for mu... Continue Reading »
Memphis Press-Scimitar
The history of the Memphis Press-Scimitar is shorter, though no less convoluted, than that of its main rival, the Commercial Appeal. In 1880 George P.M. Turner (1839-1900), owner-editor of papers in M... Continue Reading »
Memphis Pros/Tams/Sounds
The only major league professional basketball team ever based in Tennessee during the twentieth century was the Memphis franchise of the American Basketball Association (ABA). Known by different names... Continue Reading »
Memphis Race Riot of 1866
On May 1-2, 1866, Memphis suffered its worst race riot in history. Some forty-six African Americans and two whites died during the riot. A Joint Congressional Committee reported seventy-five persons i... Continue Reading »
Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum
The newest music museum in Tennessee, the Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum, opened in 2000. Located in the Beale Street Entertainment District on the second floor of the Gibson Guitar Factory, t... Continue Reading »
Memphis Sanitation Strike
When African American sanitation workers in Memphis began a strike on February 12, 1968, few then suspected the walkout would escalate into one of the climactic struggles of the civil rights and labor... Continue Reading »
Memphis University School
The Memphis University School dates to September 1893, when E. S. Werts and J. W. S. Rhea founded the school with seven students and high hopes. The school opened in a city recovering from successive ... Continue Reading »
Memphis World
Launched in 1931 by the Southern Newspaper Syndicate as a tri-weekly under the editorial direction of Lewis O. Swingler (1906-1962), the World later claimed to be the "South's Oldest and Leading ... Continue Reading »
Memphis-Pacific Railroad
As soon as the first proposal to build a transcontinental railroad reached Congress in 1845, Memphis area leaders launched a campaign to become the Mississippi terminus. Their city was neither as old ... Continue Reading »
Mennonites in Tennessee
Though the two groups of Mennonites in Tennessee share a religious background, only one functions as a distinct cultural and ethnic community. As Anabaptists, they trace their roots to the radical win... Continue Reading »
Meriwether Lewis National Monument
The Meriwether Lewis National Monument, located along the Natchez Trace Parkway in Lewis County, was designated in 1925 by the federal government to mark the grave of Meriwether Lewis (1774-1809), a V... Continue Reading »
Meriwether, Elizabeth Avery
Tennessee suffragist, temperance activist, publisher, and author Elizabeth Avery Meriwether was born in Bolivar on January 19, 1824. Her father Nathan Avery was a physician and farmer, while her mothe... Continue Reading »
Meriwether, Lide Smith
A leader of the first generation of southern feminists and social activists, Lide Smith Meriwether was president of the Tennessee Woman's Christian Temperance Union, serving from 1884 until 1897,... Continue Reading »
Mero District
In 1788 North Carolina established a Superior Court district to serve the Cumberland frontier. The district was named in honor of the Spanish governor of Louisiana, Esteban Rodrigues Miro, who had ser... Continue Reading »
Merritt, John Ayers
John A. Merritt, one of Tennessee's most successful football coaches, was born on January 26, 1926, in Falmouth, Kentucky, the son of a stonemason, Bradley Merritt and his wife, Grace. After comp... Continue Reading »
Methodist Health Care, Memphis
Tennessee's eighth largest private employer, with 7,900 workers in the Memphis area and West Tennessee, Methodist Health Care, Memphis, is headquartered on Union Avenue in downtown Memphis. Found... Continue Reading »
Metropolitan Human Relations Commission
The Metropolitan Government of Nashville/Davidson County created the Metropolitan Human Relations Commission in 1965 during a period of heightened racial tensions in the community and the nation. Comp... Continue Reading »
Mexican War
In 1846 the United States went to war with Mexico as a result of a boundary dispute fueled by an American expansionist desire to control the entire North American continent. With an army of fewer than... Continue Reading »
Middle Tennessee State University
Located in Murfreesboro, Middle Tennessee State University was created by the General Education Bill of 1909 and dedicated on September 11, 1911, as Middle Tennessee State Normal School. Many local re... Continue Reading »
Middlebrook, Harold
Born in Memphis on July 4, 1942, the Reverend Harold Middlebrook was a friend of the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. and an active member of the civil rights movement. Middlebrook received hi... Continue Reading »
Milan Arsenal
This important munitions facility was created in October 1945 by the combination of the Wolf Creek Ordnance Plant and the Milan Ordnance Depot. The combined physical plant of the two installations inc... Continue Reading »
Miles, Emma Bell
Emma Bell Miles, artist, naturalist, and author of The Spirit of the Mountains (1905) as well as poems, stories, and essays, was born in Evansville, Indiana, on October 19, 1879, to schoolteachers Ben... Continue Reading »
Milky Way Farm
The builder of Milky Way Farm, Franklin C. Mars, was the founder of Mars Candies Incorporated, maker of the famous Milky Way candy bar for which the estate was named. Mars and his wife, Ethel V. Mars,... Continue Reading »
Miller, Pleasant Moorman
One of the most influential figures in Tennessee politics and law during the first half of the nineteenth century, Pleasant M. Miller was born the son of a tavern owner in Lynchburg, Virginia. Miller ... Continue Reading »
Miller, Randolph
Randolph Miller, former slave and newspaper editor, was emancipated with hundreds of other African Americans on June 9, 1864, in Newton County, Georgia, as General William T. Sherman's army swept... Continue Reading »