Memphis is a city steeped in history. It’s also a city steeped in fun facts. You might be amazed by some of these interesting factoids and bits of information. Maybe you know some of these facts, but there’s a good chance you don’t know them all. So whether you’re from Memphis or you’re just passing through, here are some fun and interesting facts to know about the city.
If you were to look at a map of the United States, you’d find numerous cities named after other cities around the world. Athens, Florence and Dublin are just a few of these cities. But did you know that Memphis is named after a historical city? It’s true. Memphis got its name from Memphis, Egypt, which has been abandoned since the seventh century and is located about 12 miles south of Giza. However, the city lost favor after the invasion of the Roman Empire. By the time the Byzantine and later the Coptic periods took place, the city had become a shell of its former glory. Eventually, conquering Arabs dismantled many of the stone temples of Memphis to help build a new capital in the region.
Foundation of Memphis
Like much of the region, before European settlers began to build a new city, Native Americans called the area home. It was an important trading center with its location on the Mississippi River. Eventually, European forts were constructed in the area to help increase trade. Memphis was founded in 1819 by Andrew Jackson, James Winchester (a brigadier general who served in both the American Revolution and the War of 1812) and John Overton.
If you’re an Elvis fan, you may already know that Elvis Presley made Memphis his home after his family pulled up shop and moved from Tupelo, Mississippi, following World War II in 1948.
Memphis is one of the most important musical cities in the world. Music that went on to be known as rock ’n’ roll was first recorded at Sun Studio, which is just outside of downtown Memphis. (Of course, the term was coined by a Cleveland disc jockey, which is why the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is located in Cleveland, Ohio.)
Of the first 100 inductees into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, 24 came from within a 100-mile radius of Memphis. Additionally, Memphis is mentioned in more songs (over 400, according to Billboard magazine) than any other city in the world.
If you love the great outdoors, you will love Memphis. Despite being an urban city destination, it has one of the top urban park systems in the entire country, with over 7,000 acres of parkland.