- Memphis was named by
American Heritage Magazine as the Great American Place for 1998.
- Memphis is the Pork
Barbecue Capital of the World.
- Memphis' Official City
flower is a shrub, the crepe myrtle.
- Memphis' Official City
tree is the dogwood.
- Memphis is the home of
the first Greyhound and Continental Trailways bus lines.
- Memphis is home to
FedEx, the world's largest overnight package delivery company.
It was created by Memphian Fred Smith in 1973.
- Memphis is
the busiest cargo airport in the world - because of FedEx.
- Memphis is home to St.
Jude Children's Research Hospital, founded in 1962, by
entertainer Danny Thomas. St. Jude is one of the world's premier
centers for research and treatment of catastrophic diseases in
children. Peter Doherty, Ph.D., chairman of the hospital's
immunology department was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine
- Memphis is home to one
of the busiest cement terminals in the country, which is located
at the foot of the Interstate 240 bridge across the Mississippi
River. The Lone Star Industries terminal supports the Memphis
"Home of the Blues, Birthplace of Rock'n'Roll" neon sign. More
than 400,000 tons of cement are shipped each year through the
- The Piggly Wiggly, the world's first
self-service grocery store, opened in Memphis
- Memphis is the site of
the first Welcome Wagon, founded here in 1928.
- Memphis was
home to the first lodging chain, Holiday Inn, which opened in
1952 by Memphian Kemmons Wilson.
- Cleo Wrap of
the world's largest manufacturer of Christmas wrapping paper
producing two billion feet of gift-wrap each year.
- Memphis is the hardwood
capital of the world.
- Memphis is the largest
spot cotton market in the world, with nearly half of the U.S.
cotton crop going through Memphis.
- Memphis has one of the
top urban park systems in the nation covering 7,000 acres.
- The Port of
Memphis is the second largest inland port on the Mississippi.
Joseph R. Hyde created AUTO ZONE in 1979. Today there are
over 4,000 AutoZone stores nationwide.
- Memphis is
the #6 City in the nation for listings of properties in the
National Register of Historic Places - behind Washington DC,
Baltimore, Philadelphis, Boston, and New Orleans
- Memphis has the world's
largest artesian well water system. Artesian well water first
became available to the city in 1887.
- Memphis is the only
five-time winner of the nation's cleanest city award.
- The Memphis Zoo was
founded in 1905 when Natch, a black bear mascot for a Memphis
baseball team, was kept chained to a tree in Overton Park.
- The Rotary Lift (used by
mechanics at all auto garages) was invented in Memphis in 1924.
Some Memphis celebrities include Academy
Award-winning actress Kathy Bates, Cybill Shepherd, Michael
Jeter, Tim McCarver, and Elvis. Other current or former
area residents include: Dixie Carter, Rick Dees, Wink
Martindale, Peter Taylor, W. C. Handy, Morgan Freeman, George Hamilton,
Aretha Franklin, Pat Kerr Tigrett, June Haver, Dana Buchman,
Shelby Foote and Justin Timberlake.
- 24 of the 97 stars featured in the
Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame are from within a 100-mile radius of
- The Memphis Musicians Union,
founded in 1873, is the oldest musicians' union in the country.
Already known as the "Father of the Blues," W.C. Handy was told
by George Gershwin, "Your work is the grandfather of mine."
- W.C. Handy
published the first blues song ever - The Memphis Blues - from
his Pace and Handy Publishing office on Beale Street.
- Memphis is
officially recognized at the "Birthplace of the Blues"
- "Memphis" is
sung in over 1,000 song lyrics and titles, according to
Billboard Magazine - more than any other name of a city in the
- Memphis is the site for
some major motion picture films: Great Balls of Fire,
Silence of the Lambs, The Firm, The Client, A Family Thing, The
People VS Larry Flynt, Cookie's Fortune, Cast Away, 21 Grams, 40
Shades of Blue, Walk the Line, Hustle & Flow and Black
- The Great
Bridge at Memphis, was the first steel bridge to span the lower
Mississippi in 1892. At that time it was the longest in
the nation and the 3rd longest in the world.
- Volney, the lion who roared at the
beginning of all the old MGM movies, lived at the
Memphis Zoo until his death in 1944.
- In 1954,
Elvis Presley recorded "That's All Right, Mama" at Sun Studio,
making Memphis the "Birthplace of Rock 'n Roll".
- The Orpheum theatre is reported to be
haunted by a little girl named Mary. The staff has repeatedly
fallen victim to her childish pranks.
- The Hunt-Phelan Home on Beale Street was
once used by Ulysses S. Grant as his headquarters during the
- The Orange
Mound, a neighborhood in southeastern Memphis, was the first
African-American neighborhood in the United States to be built
- Tom Lee Park
right on the bank of the Mississippi River is named after the
hero that saved 32 people from drowning when the steamship
Norman sunk in the Mississippi river.
- Poplar Ave (highway 72) is reported to be
the longest street in Tennessee beginning at front street
downtown and ending in Chattanooga.
Neil Diamond wrote
"Sweet Caroline" and "Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show"
while holed up in Memphis hotels.
WDIA Radio Station became the
first "all-black formatted" radio station in the world in 1948.
In 1957, Sam
Phillips and Kemmons Wilson began the first all-female staffed
radio station in the world - WHER.
the last home of Elvis Presley, is the second most visited
historic home in America - second only to the White House.
and worked in Memphis prior to her marriage to singing cowboy
Roy Rogers. The couple often returned to Memphis to perform and
to do charity work.
Memphian "Machine Gun Kelly" was
the nation's first "Public Enemy Number One" and the first one
captured by the FBI - in Memphis, in 1934.
Pyramid, at 321 feet tall, is the 3rd tallest pyramid structure
in the world - behind the Pyramid of Giza, Egypt and the Luxor
Hotel-Casino in Las Vegas.
If you will send
in additional trivia, it will be added to this page.