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Monday, August 10, 2009

So You Thought You Knew Memphis?

Memphis –
• is the largest spot cotton market in the world with nearly half of the U.S. cotton crop going through Memphis.

• is home to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, founded in 1962 by entertainer Danny Thomas with continuing leadership from his daughter, Marlo. St. Jude is one of the world's premier centers for research and treatment of catastrophic diseases in children.

• is the Pork Barbecue Capital of the World. • is the home of the first Greyhound and Continental Trailways bus lines.• is home to FedEx, the world's largest overnight package delivery company.

• is home to Holiday Inns, Inc., the first family-oriented motel (and chain) in the nation. Memphian Kemmons Wilson Sr. was inspired to develop the motel when he, his wife and their five children took a road trip and found that appropriate lodging was nearly impossible to locate.

• has one of the top urban park systems in the nation covering 7,000 acres.

• is the location of the world's first self-service grocery store, Piggly Wiggly, which opened in 1916.

• was home to Volney, the lion who roared at the beginning of all the old MGM movies. He lived at the Memphis Zoo until his death in 1944.

• is the site of the first Welcome Wagon, founded here in 1928.

• is the location of Cleo Wrap, the world's largest manufacturer of Christmas wrapping paper -- producing two billion feet of gift-wrap each year.

• is the hardwood capital of the world. • has the world's largest artesian well water system.

• is the only five-time winner of the nation's cleanest city award (but not recently).

• nurtured the Memphis Musicians Union, founded in 1873, as the first musicians' union in the country.

• has been the site for some of the more intriguing films of the past few years:

"The Firm" starring Tom Cruise

"The Client" starring Susan Sarandon and Tommy Lee Jones

"The Rainmaker" from director Francis Ford Coppola

"A Family Thing" with James Earl Jones and Robert Duvall

"The People vs. Larry Flynt"

"The Road to Graceland" starring Harvey Keittel

"Forty Shades of Blue"

"Hustle & Flow"

"Walk the Line"


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