At the intersection of Union and Cooper, an 11-year-old boy stricken with polio waited eagerly for the convertible transporting the future 35th president of the United States to pass his way en route to the riverfront to deliver a campaign speech. Transfixed by the thrill of seeing Sen. John F. Kennedy, Steve Cohen aimed his camera, framed the senator, and fired the shutter that day in September of 1960.
Today, the vintage black and white photograph of a beaming Kennedy sitting atop the convertible with then-Memphis mayor Henry Loeb and then-Senator Albert Gore Sr. hangs conspicuously among Cohen's extensive collection of photographs, posters, artwork, hundreds of campaign buttons, and other political paraphernalia in his Spanish Tudor-style home on the periphery of Overton Park.
The paraphernalia are decades-long records of events and personalities that inspired and shaped Cohen. His brush with Kennedy subsequently would seal his fate as a public servant in local, state and national politics.
Some would say that we've seen this kind of outreach before from the Republican Party. The year was 2000. President George W. Bush had just "won" a photo-finish presidential race branded by "hanging chads" that led to the disqualifying of Democratic ballots and a painful loss for Tennessee favorite son, Al Gore Jr.
One week after the presidential election, Bishop G.E. Patterson of the Church of God in Christ had been elected presiding bishop. The acrimony between the political parties was palpable.
In late March of 2001, President Bush welcomed key African-American religious leaders, including Bishop Patterson, to the White House. More than a dozen convened with the president to lend their support for a plan to award federal dollars to faith-based programs. Patterson was quoted as saying that he did not vote for President Bush, adding that if the plan worked as intended, "there would be no reason for black people not to vote for him four years from now."
Kimberly Taylor, owner and operator of K'PreSha Boutique, a Downtown apparel store, celebrated her birthday on May 1st. She also recently observed the third anniversary of K'PreSha. So what "gift" would send her "over the moon with excitement?"
The answer is mobile and it was slated for an unveiling Thursday (May 8th) in front of City Hall at 125 N. Main St.
The gift is an opportunity courtesy of the Mayor's Innovation Delivery Team (MIDT), which – in conjunction with alt.Consulting, a small business advisory and lender, is introducing MEMMobile, a small business incubator. MEMMobile is focused on developing and launching a fleet of mobile retail trucks that represent a diverse variety of merchandise and service offerings.
Though the cheering had already started much earlier, Deidre Malone did not accept the fact of her victory in the Democratic Party primary until 9:43 p.m. Election Night.
Local Democratic Party activist Lexie Carter quieted the crowd, and from the Madison Avenue headquarter's back porch steps announced, "With 94 percent of the precincts in, she (Malone) has 13,340 votes, (the Rev. Kenneth T. Whalum Jr.) is at 12,148, giving him 33 percent. So with (County Commissioner) Steve Mulroy already conceding, Deidre has won. Mr. Whalum would have to get 5 percent of the total remaining votes to win."
Accepting the numbers at that moment, a visibly-moved Malone released a few tears. She turned and hugged her husband strongly for several seconds, then waded through the usual media blather before answering this question: Can she really beat incumbent Republican Mark Luttrell?
Deidre Malone's marching orders to her constituents were succinct: "Let's take this thing."
That "thing" is the office of Shelby County Mayor. She earned the right to issue the summons to action by outdistancing the Rev. Dr. Kenneth T. Whalum Jr., who surprised many coming in second, and County Commissioner Steve Mulroy in Tuesday's Shelby County Primary Elections.
Of the votes cast, Malone polled 35.8 percent, with Whalum 32.8 percent and Mulroy drawing 31.2 percent. Those percentages reflected all but one precinct.
After Tuesday's Shelby County Primary Elections, the Shelby County Board of Commissioners is shaping up, with the Aug. 7th General Election on the horizon.
Terry Roland (Republican, incumbent)
George Chism (Republican)
David Reaves (Republican)
The online, non-profit university WGU (Western Governors University) Tennessee and Southwest Tennessee Community College have formed a partnership that allows Southwest graduates and staff to receive application fee waivers and discounted tuition to WGU.
"Southwest Tennessee Community College has long been known for providing adult learners with quality higher education," said Dr. Kimberly Estep, WGU chancellor. "This partnership with WGU Tennessee will offer Southwest graduates and staff an even more affordable pathway toward achieving the dream of earning a bachelor's degree."
Gov. Bill Haslam launched WGU last July as part of his "Drive to 55" initiative to bring the percentage of Tennesseans with a college degree or certificate to 55 percent by 2025. The online university is primarily aimed at working adults seeking to earn a bachelor's or master's degree.