Memphis History

Our History

For 200 hundred years, Memphis has been a beacon of light in the south, the country, and the world. Whether it’s hospitals that save children’s lives or ideas that create industries, see how Memphis has truly changed the world.

Memphis Bicentennial

Memphis- like all cities, has a history of both highs and lows. We’ve been touched by the best of mankind, but also the worst. The one constant in Memphis, however, is our relentless pursuit of positive change to make our city a better place.

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Shelby County Bicentennial

For early leaders, Shelby County was not just a place to be drawn on a map. It was their home and like county leaders today, they worked to make this a place where citizens would be offered a special place for their families and themselves to find happiness, meaning and pride.

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Memphis Heritage Trail

Walk the path of African American trailblazers in Memphis and learn more about the business, cultural, and musical heritage that shaped this city.

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National Civil Rights Museum

Providing a history of Civil Rights in the United States, the National Civil Rights Museum features exhibits that spans five centuries of history. See the moving museum located at the Lorraine Motel, the site of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination.

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Clayborn Temple

A hub for activists in the Civil Rights Movement, after years of disuse Clayborn Temple has been revitalized as a place to gather, commune, and support the arts.

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Memphis Public Libraries

Take a deep dive into the 200 year history of Memphis. From historical photos and timelines to events, Memphis Public Libraries and its partners have aggregated a powerful collection showcasing Memphis, both then and now.

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Historic Memphis Properties

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Connect With Mem200

Get the latest updates about the Memphis & Shelby County Bicentennial Celebrations.