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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Memphis in Shelby County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

Danny Thomas

1912 - 1991

 
 
Danny Thomas 1912 - 1991 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Curtis Wise, August 4, 2020
1. Danny Thomas 1912 - 1991 Marker
Inscription.  Thanks to entertainer Danny Thomas, who founded St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital in Memphis, this road bears the name Beale Street. Created as an avenue in 1841, locals began calling it Beale Street after the African-American blues legend W.C. Handy, who wrote Beale Street Blues in 1917. By 1955, Memphis changed the names of east-west streets to avenues. Unhappy with the decision, Thomas recorded a song, Bring Back Our Beale Street, as an appeal to Mayor Frank Tobey to keep the streets name. "Memphis don't own Beale Street," read one lyric. "It belongs to the world." 2000 copies of the record were distributed to jukeboxes and proceeds from the song benefited St. Jude, where families never receive a bill for services. Because of Thomas' efforts, Mayor Tobey changed the name back to Beale Street. In 1960, when Thomas was in town to lay the cornerstone for St. Jude, he visited Beale Street for the Handy statue dedication and played a few notes from his song on Handy's trumpet. In 1962, St. Jude opened a mile from Beale street, on a road later renamed Danny Thomas Boulevard, in honor of its founder.
 
Erected by
Danny Thomas 1912 - 1991 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Curtis Wise, August 4, 2020
2. Danny Thomas 1912 - 1991 Marker
Tennessee Historical Commission. (Marker Number 4E 183.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansCharity & Public WorkEntertainmentRoads & Vehicles. In addition, it is included in the Tennessee Historical Commission series list.
 
Location. 35° 8.416′ N, 90° 3.262′ W. Marker is in Memphis, Tennessee, in Shelby County. Marker is on Beale Street just east of South November 6th Street, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 182 Beale St, Memphis TN 38103, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Schools For Freedmen (within shouting distance of this marker); The Grand Opera House / The New Orpheum Theatre (within shouting distance of this marker); Beale Street #2 (within shouting distance of this marker); Beale Street #1 (within shouting distance of this marker); Lansky Brothers (within shouting distance of this marker); Benjamin Franklin Booth (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Beale Street #3 (about 500 feet away); Beale Street #4 (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Memphis.
 
Danny Thomas 1912 - 1991 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Curtis Wise
3. Danny Thomas 1912 - 1991 Marker
Danny Thomas 1912 - 1991 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Curtis Wise
4. Danny Thomas 1912 - 1991 Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 5, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 5, 2020, by Curtis Wise of Jackson, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 96 times since then and 23 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 5, 2020, by Curtis Wise of Jackson, Tennessee. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.
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Feb. 25, 2021