American Contract Bridge League moves headquarters to Memphis

Memphis, Tennessee, November 28, 1972: The prestigious American Contract Bridge League (ACBL) officially moved its North American headquarters from way up north in Greenwich, Connecticut, to way down south in Memphis, Tennessee, at 2200 Democrat Road. ACBL opened its offices, here yesterday, near the airport.

The decision to move did not come easily for the 44 year old card playing organization, especially from the standpoint of maintaining its rather stable—if not stodgy– historical tradition.

British socialists establish utopia in Tennessee backwoods

Rugby Colony, Tennessee; October 6, 1880: ”We are about to open a new town here. A new center of human life, human thought, and human activities… in this strangely beautiful solitude.”

With those words, Thomas Hughes, noted British author and avowed Christian socialist, dedicated the Rugby Colony here in northeastern Tennessee, yesterday, amid great fanfare, applause, and adoration among the 200 people who are about to make this colony their utopian dream come true—their utopian home.

Since it is being populated primarily by British immigrants, it is being described by some as “the last British colony in America.”

A prerequisite for a utopia, of course, is to be located in a beautiful place. Rugby certainly meets that criterion. Looking over the development drawings, while visually looking at the terrain around it, the settlement is laid out perfectly between the picturesque gorges of clear Fork River and White Oak Creek on the gently rolling, foliage laden Cumberland Plateau.

First Mississippi River bridge pits North and South

Memphis, Tennessee, April 24, 1856: The first bridge spanning the Mississippi River is now completed-not in Memphis, Vicksburg, or New Orleans – but in the North, connecting Rock Island, Illinois, to Davenport, Iowa. With this new Mississippi River bridge, the North has beaten the South in establishing a means of better trade and commerce directly to the expanding American West.

Bands played and citizens in Rock Island and Davenport cheered Tuesday afternoon as they watched three locomotives pull eight passenger cars across the Rock Island Railroad Bridge.

Ever since US Army surveyor Lt. Robert E. Lee surveyed the bridge site back in 1837, this bridge has been controversial.

Richest woman in the South saves fortune from Union and Rebel armies

Millionairess Adelicia Acklen, 49, who built and lives on the elegant Belmont Estate southwest of downtown, high on a hill overlooking the city, is now able to reveal how she cleverly manipulated both Union and Confederate officers during the last year of the Civil War to save much of her considerable fortune from the ravages of war. She did it through planning, cunning, and persuasion.

Everyone who knows the formidable Mrs. Acklen knows that beyond the shadow of a doubt her strongest attribute, other than her beauty, is her persuasion. Her youngest sister has always said, “Adelicia could talk a bird out of a tree.” She is intimidated by no one—not royalty, not presidents, nor captains of industry and certainly not by men in blue uniforms or grey uniforms armed with guns and a lot of brass insignias on their shoulders.

Hillbilly singer Jimmie Rodgers seeks success in the ‘bigtime’

All of Bristol has been excited for more than a week now, about our visit from a “bigtime” talent scout from New York City.Ralph Peer, a talent scout for the Victor Talking Machine Company (later RCA), the world’s largest phonograph record producer, has been advertising every day about his search for singers here.

Peer says Bristol is just his first stop. When he leaves here, he will hold singing auditions all over the South, looking for what he describes as “hillbilly” singers. Those are the singers the Victor company wants. Hillbillies are people from this country’s hills and plains who write and sing songs about the rural American experience. Just plain country folk who can really feel their music.