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Shelby County Courthouse Centennial Celebration, October 13th, 2009

Celebrating 100 Years!
1909 - 2009

On Tuesday, October 13, 2009, the Memphis Bar Association (MBA), the Shelby County Government, Memphis Heritage and AIA Memphis, with support from many generous sponsors in the legal community, will host the Shelby County Courthouse Centennial Celebration from 4:30-7 pm. The event will be held on the south lawn of the Courthouse, along Adams Avenue. There will be live music by the historic Christian Brothers High School Band. Both Adams and Washington between Second and Third Streets will be closed for the event. Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton, Memphis Mayor Pro Tem Myron Lowery and Tennessee State Historian Walter Durham will be honored guests at the event.

Tours will be given inside the building, led by Historian Jimmy Ogle and other docents. Guests will learn everything from the fascinating architecture and construction of the building to the notable trials that have taken place within its walls and the grand figures who have walked its halls. As part of the educational aspect of the event, the organizers have contracted with Icon Archive Company to install displays in the Courthouse's south corridor, as a lasting contribution to the facility. Case highlights will be an exhibit about the movies filmed at the Courthouse, including Great Balls of Fire, The Rainmaker, The Client, A Family Thing and The People vs. Larry Flynt. The Memphis & Shelby County Television and Film Commission has loaned several items from these films.

The Court House an Historic Landmark
"One hundred years ago, in the Fall of 1909, the Shelby County Courthouse opened its doors to its first occupants-a diverse group of judicial and non-judicial City and County offices, in addition to Shelby County's civil, criminal, and juvenile courts. By the day of its official dedication ceremony, January 1, 1910, the new Courthouse was also home to the Mayor of Memphis, E.H. Crump having been sworn in for his first term on the same day. That the same Courthouse is still in use one hundred years later is a fitting tribute to the Courthouse's planners, architects, and artisans who crafted the neo-classical structure which encompasses an entire city block."

For more information contact:
Dottie McCallen at or 901.527.3573.