Memphis Bicentennial

WKNO will commemorate the 200th year of Memphis with Memphis Bicentennial! The Memphis Bicentennial is a year-long celebration of Memphis history through special programming.

The Memphis Bicentennial is sponsored by:

Here are some of The Memphis Bicentennial programs coming up on WKNO:

Joe Scott:
Memories of the Negro Leagues

The Negro Leagues produced some gifted baseball players and many memorable games; however, most of the games and their players would never be seen. Many Negro League players were relegated to playing backwaters and prohibited from appearing in many of the larger stadiums in the segregated South. WKNO presents a fascinating conversation with one of these underappreciated men in Joe Scott: Memories of the Negro Leagues.

Hosted by Reggie Williams, who was Vice President for Community Relations for The Memphis Redbirds and a former major league baseball player, Joe Scott delves into the memories of the then 86-year-old ball player. Scott talks about the early days of the Negro Leagues in Memphis. He also reminisces about his long association with Baseball Legend Satchel Paige and takes a memory-filled journey to the Negro League Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri.

The half-hour also includes observations from civil rights luminary Julian Bond and Major League Baseball Vice President Jimmy Lee Soloman. Together they paint a portrait of the old Negro Leagues whose history is just starting to be appreciated.

Fri, 11/02 at 7:30 PM

Sat, 11/03 at 3:30 PM

City of Good Samaritans:
Memphis Medicine 1819 - 1962

Why did we develop a thriving medical community that today represents over 10% of the economic output of the city and employs one out of every nine workers in Memphis." The answer begins in the nineteenth century with the geography of the city. Sitting on the Mississippi River and intersected by the railroads, Memphis became a crossroads for hundreds of thousands of travelers every year. That brought doctors to the region and prompted the state to build the first hospital here.

Nearly 150 years of Memphis medical history will be examined in this WKNO 60-minute documentary. It is a history filled with growth, disaster, disease and achievements.

In 1858 the Steamboat Pennsylvania exploded down river from Memphis. Among the seriously injured that were taken to Memphis was Henry Clemens, brother of Samuel Clemens, a.k.a. Mark Twain. Twain came to his bedside, wrote letters home to the family and was here when Henry died. Years later in his memoir Life On The Mississippi, Twain re-visited his days in Memphis and praised the doctors and nurses who cared for Henry and proclaimed that the city was "experienced . . . in the gracious office of the Good Samaritan.

Interesting Facts About Memphis Medicine

* Memphis was the site of the first hospital in the state, established by the legislature in 1829, just ten years after the founding of the city.

* Throughout much of the nineteenth century hospitals were open only to travelers and transients - by law. Citizens of Memphis who got sick were treated in their homes.

* Throughout much of the nineteenth century doctors were not licensed or board certified. Most served one or two years as an apprentice to an experienced physician and then attend two semesters of medical college to get a degree.

* The yellow fever epidemic of 1878 almost wiped Memphis off the map. From mid-August to mid-October, there were 17,000 reported cases of yellow fever and 5,150 people died. That death total is higher than either the attack on Pearl Harbor or Nine Eleven.

* Dr. Willis Campbell, founder of the Campbell Clinic, wrote Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics in 1939. Now in its eleventh edition and available as an app for the iPhone, this volume is recognized worldwide as the "bible" of orthopaedic surgery.

* Ever wonder why Danny Thomas picked Memphis as the site of St. Jude? In the mid-fifties Danny began to actively pursue his desire to build a clinic or hospital open to all, regardless of race, religion or ability to pay. He was deeply moved by the racial prejudice and injustice he read about, particularly in the South. He consulted his mentor and friend, Archbishop Samuel Stritch of Chicago. Earlier in his career, Cardinal Stritch had served as pastor of St. Patrick's Church in Memphis, and he felt the city would be an ideal choice. Danny took his advice and the rest is history.

Mon, 11/05 at 8:00 PM

Tues, 11/06 at 8:00 PM

Call of Duty:
WWII in the Mid-South

Call of Duty: WWII in the Mid-South is WKNO's award-winning oral history documentary. This WKNO documentary tells the stories of courage, determination and sacrifice demonstrated by members of our community in their own words and through their own eyes.

When President Roosevelt called on every man, woman and child in America to do their part for Allied victory in World War II, the Mid-South answered without hesitation. Children collected scrap metal, purchased war stamps and grew vegetables in victory gardens. Women ran households under the constraints of rationing, took vital jobs in war industries, volunteered in the community and even served in the armed forces. Men fought on the battlefront, protected the home front in the civil defense and worked in essential industries.

Mon, 11/12 at 8:00 PM

Tues, 11/13 at 8:00 PM

Memphis Memoirs:
At The Movies

Memphis Memoirs: At the Movies takes a nostalgic look back at the movie-going experience in Memphis. Featuring interviews with Memphians ranging in age from 20 to 90, viewers will travel back in time to the rise of silent films and trace the career Lloyd T. Binford, head of Memphis censor board who banned anything questionable from movies in Memphis for decades. Viewers will also hear about some of the haunted theaters in Memphis, visit some of the old neighborhood theaters, and witness the arrival of Multiplexes as some of the old theaters close their doors.

Wed, 11/28 at 7:00 PM
Wed, 11/28 at 10:00 PM
Thur, 11/29 at 12:30 AM

Thur, 11/29 at 7:00 PM

The Memphis Bicentennial is sponsored by:

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