Fugitive at the Museum

Here’s another piece of weird Pink Palace and Memphis history that I wrote for the museum’s blog:

The Pink Palace Family of Museums

October 24, 1950, started as a normal day at the Memphis Museum. Visitors explored the galleries and looked at exhibits of animal heads, glass, documents and fossils. One of those afternoon visitors was James Eddington who made a trip to the museum as part of his vacation to Memphis. Eddington lived in Kentucky and worked as the farm manager at the Kentucky State Reformatory in LaGrange, KY. As he walked through the exhibits, he noticed another museum guest who looked familiar. He recognized the man as an escaped prisoner from the Kentucky Reformatory.

Chester Merrifield was serving prison time for robbery when he decided to make an escape. He had been in Memphis for a few days and struck up a “close friendship” with a Memphis businessman. The police elected to withhold the name of the “well known Memphian” who drove Merrifield to the museum. When Eddington recognized Merrifield, he…

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Prepping

I’m teaching the first half of US history at Mid-South Community College in West Memphis, AR this fall. Here’s my game plan:

Step one, read book. (I’m one chapter into Eric Foner’s Give Me Liberty textbook. ) Step two, shamelessly borrow from the syllabi of those who have gone before me. Step three, reread book and hope that it all turns out fine.

By the way, it’s amazing that it is July and I can do this:

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