Meaning of MEMPHIS in English

also spelled Manf, Minf, or Manfish, city and capital of ancient Egypt during the Old Kingdom (c. 2575c. 2130 BC), located south of the Nile River delta, on the west bank of the river, and about 15 miles (25 km) south of modern Cairo. Closely associated with the ancient city's site are the cemeteries, or necropolises, of Memphis, where the famous pyramids of Egypt are located. From north to south, the main pyramid fields are: Abu Ruwaysh, Giza, Zawyat al-'Aryan, Abu Sir, Saqqarah, and Dahshur. city, seat (1819) of Shelby county, extreme southwestern Tennessee, U.S. It lies on the Chickasaw bluffs above the Mississippi River where the borders of Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee meet. Founded in 1819 on the site of a Chickasaw Indian village and a U.S. fort (1797), it was named for the ancient Egyptian city because of its location on the Mississippi. Andrew Jackson, later U.S. president, was one of its founders. Memphis grew rapidly with the expansion of cotton growing in the South and because of its transportation facilities by railroad and river. It was incorporated as a town in 1826 and received a city charter in 1849. A Confederate military centre early in the American Civil War, it was captured by a Federal gunboat force in 1862 and remained occupied until after the war. In the 1870s yellow fever devastated Memphis, killing 8,000 residents. The city became bankrupt; its population declined, and in 1879 it surrendered its charter. Drastic sanitary reforms and its central location contributed to its economic recovery, and a new city charter was granted in 1893. By 1900, with a population of more than 100,000, Memphis had regained its position as the state's largest city. Economic development was accelerated after World War II. Memphis is a major cotton and inland hardwood-lumber market, a wholesale centre, a producer of mixed feed, and a distributor of drugs and chemicals. It manufactures a wide variety of goods and serves an agricultural area noted for livestock and poultry, cotton, soybeans, vegetables, and forest products. Also important to the city's economy are its extensive medical and educational facilities. Educational institutions include Rhodes College (1848; Presbyterian), LeMoyne-Owen College (1862), Christian Brothers University (1871; Roman Catholic), University of Memphis (1912), a state technical institute, and the University of Tennessee, Memphis, The Health Science Center. Since 1931 Memphis has held a cotton carnival in May. Memphis is one of the birthplaces of the blues and is associated particularly with the black composer W.C. Handy, who immortalized the city's Beale Street in one of his songs. The civil-rights leader the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., while visiting Memphis in support of a 1968 sanitation workers' strike, was killed on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel by a sniper's bullet. James Earl Ray was convicted of the murder. The motel room in which Dr. King stayed during his visit is now a museum. Elvis Presley launched his rock and roll career from a Memphis recording studio, and since his death in 1977 Graceland, his city mansion and burial site, has become a shrine. Aside from West Memphis, Ark., Memphis' main suburbs in Tennessee include Whitehaven, Millington, and Germantown. Large U.S. Navy installations are at Millington to the north; Chucalissa, a prehistoric Indian village, is to the south. Pop. (1990) city, 618,652; Memphis MSA, 1,007,306; (1994 est.) city, 614,285; (1995 est.) Memphis MSA, 1,068,891. Additional reading Dorothy J. Crawford, Jan Quaegebeur, and Willy Clarysse, Studies on Ptolemaic Memphis (1980), describes the interaction between rulers and priests in Memphis in cultural and political terms. Dorothy J. Thompson, Memphis Under the Ptolemies (1988), studies all aspects of the city during the Hellenistic period.

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