Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Walking in Memphis, Part 1

We were in Memphis, Tennessee during the week of September 7, 2009 for the National Baptist Convention’s Annual Session. While there, I went walking early each morning. One day, I happen upon a nice park stretched along the bank of the Mississippi River. Tom Lee Park was named in honor of a Memphis hero, Tom Lee.

“The memorial commemorates local hero Tom Lee who, in 1925 despite his inability to swim, saved thirty-two people from drowning in the Mississippi River from a capsized steamer. Tom Lee witnessed the M.E. Norman capsize in the swift current about 15 miles downriver from Memphis at Cow Island Bend. Although he could not swim, he rescued 32 people with five trips to shore. Lee acted quickly, calmly and with no regard for his own safety, continuing to search after night fell. Because of his efforts, only 23 people died."

"To honor the hero, the Memphis Engineers Club raised enough money to purchase a house for Lee and his wife. Tom Lee died of cancer on April 1, 1952 at John Gaston Hospital. Two years after his death, the park along the Memphis Riverfront was named in his honor and a granite obelisk marker was erected. In October 2006, a new bronze sculpture was erected in the park to commemorate the event and to honor the civil hero. The sculpture statue depicts Tom Lee rescuing a survivor in the Mississippi River.” By Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia on THE HISTORICAL MARKER DATABASE


I snapped these pictures with my cell phone camera.

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See more here or here.

2 comments:

Kerry Crawford said...

I love the Tom Lee Park statue. Memphis has a lot of great statues - Elvis (on Beale Street), the doughboy in Overton park, the giant sculptures at the Metal Museum...

How was the rest of your trip?

moe lauher said...

Kerry, thanks for your comment on “Hmm, I don’t know what to tell ya!” We had a great time in Memphis last week. Our time was taken up by the National Baptist Convention but I was able to see things on my morning walks around downtown. We also enjoyed dining at The Germantown Commissary.