Memphis Centennial Celebration -1919

"Come Monday and Spend the Week"


The city of Memphis was 100 years old in 1919 and planned a grand celebration to commemorate its centennial anniversary - a birthday party the like of which Dixie had never seen.  The celebrations were held May 21 and 22, 1919.  The historic events during Memphis' first 100 years were commemorated in the celebration.  The spectacular parade during the first night was the biggest feature.  The afternoon of the second day featured a wonderful floral parade and at night a great display of fireworks over the Mississippi.  A memorial to De Soto (the discoverer of the area) was dedicated in De Soto Park.  In addition, there was an industrial exposition and performances in a great open-air amphitheater.  For the event, Memphis adopted the slogan "Come Monday and spend the week".

Mayor F. L. Monteverde


 Click on small photos to enlarge them. 


All city-owned vehicles joined the parade

Fire Department shows off its new fire wagon

Early Red Cross Group A woman soldier participates

Memphis prepared a wonderful reception for her centennial celebration, with a riot of color and the greatest display of flags the city had ever attempted.  Owners of all the prominent downtown buildings assured centennial workers that their buildings would be decorated from top to bottom.  Long streamers ran from the tops of skyscrapers and huge searchlights were placed on top of the highest office buildings to sweep the river and downtown streets with streaks of dazzling white.  


  Photography Group Confederate Veterans parade



Crippled Children's Hospital Float Lavishly decorated with flowers

Performance-Court House steps


 "Car Float" Another "Car Float"        Performance-Court House steps

1919 Ad in Billboard 1919 Veterans  De Soto Memorial Dedicated

News Scimitar article 1919

News Scimitar article

Centennial Parade

"The Blossoming of the Century Plant" -  The complete, Official Centennial Program, 1919


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Thanks  to the Memphis Public Library and the University of Memphis Library for many of the  photos on this page




The Historic-Memphis website does not intentionally post copyrighted photos and material without permission or credit.  On occasion a "non-credited" photo might possibly be posted because we were unable to find a name to give credit.  Because of the nature of our non-commercial, non-profit, educational website, we strongly believe that these photos would be considered "Fair Use.  We have certainly made no monetary gain, although those using this website for historic or Genealogy research have certainly profited.  If by chance, we have posted your copyrighted photo, please contact us, and we'll remove it immediately, or we'll add your credit if that's your choice.  In the past, we have found that many photographers volunteer to have their works included on these pages and we'll  also do that if you contact us with a photo that fits a particular page. 


The "Historic-Memphis" website would like to acknowledge and thank the following for their contributions which helped make this website possible:  Memphis Public Library, Memphis University Library, Memphis Law Library, Memphis Commercial Appeal, Memphis Press Scimitar, Shelby County Register of Deeds, Memphis City Schools, Memphis Business Men's Club, Memphis Chamber of Commerce, Memphis City Park Commission, Memphis Film Commission, Carnival Memphis, Memphis Historical Railroad Page, Memphis Heritage Inc, Beale Street Historic District, Cobblestone Historic District, Memphis Historic Districts, Vance Lauderdale Family Archives, Tennessee State Archives, Library of Congress, Kemmons Wilson Family, Richard S. Brashier, Lee Askew, George Whitworth, Woody Savage and many individuals whose assistance is acknowledged on the pages of their contributions.  Special thanks to Memphis Realtor, Joe Spake, for giving us carte blanche access to his outstanding collection of contemporary Memphis photos.

We do not have high definition  copies of the photos on these pages.  If anyone wishes to secure high definition photos,  you'll have to contact the photographer  or the collector.  (To avoid any possibility of contributing to SPAM, we do not maintain a file of email addresses for anyone who contacts us).