Memphis offers history, music, animals…and food…


Aaron Weatherford, Arts/Feature Editor

For visiting memphis, we suggest a GPS, Google what you want to do…and take time to visit Beale Street

Since I started working for American Airlines, I decided to start doing a bit of traveling. So, a couple weeks ago, Ian and I took a trip.

Memphis sits six hours southeast of Joplin along the muddy banks of the Mississippi River. 

Our first stop was the Memphis Zoo. Upon leaving the Memphis International Airport, we drove into the zoo almost by accident. 

The zoo features more than 3,500 animals, indoors and outdoors. 

Both the pandas and penguins were favorites.

In 1950, Memphis Recording Service recorded for Sun Records. B.B. King, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and others all recorded there.

 In these early years, Beale Street was becomming an area for artists to showcase their talents.

Gracing the west end of Beale is the Peabody Hotel. According to the Memphis Department of Tourism, this hotel opened in 1923 and was considered (at the time) a “symbol of upper-class Southern elegance.”

Beale offers a variety of music venues and restaurants sure to please (almost) everybody. If you are there, we recommend Silky O’Sullivans. 

During the civil unrest of the 1960s, Memphis was home to many of the largest civil rights issues. 

Many African-American workers went on strike for better wages and working conditions. 

This caught the attention of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Because of his work though many areas of the south during the 1960s, Dr. King did not make any friends. 

As a result, on April 4, 1968, King was assasinated by a sniper at the Lorraine Motel. 

Lorraine Motel has become one with the National Civil Rights Museum. 

Fundraising efforts have been ongoing to make the motel a piece of the permenant museum, 

When we went to the Lorrain Motel, we were met by thousands of people, there to celebrate and remember Dr. King, as well as visit the museum.

When planning your trip, take time, Google places you want to go and take a GPS with you.

Oh, and try breakfast at the Blue Plate Cafe near the University of Memphis. Ian recommends the omelet and pancakes. And try to pick a day when it isn’t windy.