On This Day: 16 August 1977

Elvis Presley – the King of Rock and Roll – died in Memphis aged 42. (Aug. 16)

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Penny And Stackhouse both coaching In Tennessee

Memphis coach Penny Hardaway says Vanderbilt hiring Jerry Stackhouse is a huge win for the state of Tennessee and the SEC. Both men had long careers in the NBA. (Aug. 12)

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AP Top Stories June 13 A

Here’s the latest for Thursday June 13th: Trump: “open to listening” to dirt on opponents from foreign powers; 6 arrested in David Ortiz shooting; Rocks thrown at Memphis police after US Marshals kill man; St. Louis Blues win Stanley Cup.

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Anger and chaos after police shooting in Tennessee

Chaos erupted in Memphis, Tennessee as authorities investigated a shooting involving a regional fugitive task force. There was no immediate word of who may have been shot, but angry residents poured into the streets and confronted police. (June 13)

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Democrats Warren, Klobuchar on campaign trail

Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren campaigned in Memphis, Tennessee on Sunday. Democratic candidate Amy Klobuchar was in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (March 17)

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Tennessee house fire kills adult and 3 teens

(25 Dec 2018) Three teenagers and an adult were killed, and seven people were injured in a house fire in a suburb of Memphis, Tennessee, authorities said Monday. (Dec. 25)

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Kellie Pickler brings Christmas in July to Graceland

(16 Nov 2018) Country star Kellie Pickler battled with humidity in July to shoot her new Hallmark film, “Christmas at Graceland,” which was shot at Elvis Presley’s home in Memphis. (Nov. 16)

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Bus overturns in sleet near Memphis, 2 dead

(14 Nov 2018) Authorities say two people have died and several others are injured, some critically, after a tour bus overturned on an icy highway ramp in northern Mississippi. (Nov. 14)

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Most Black Kids Can’t Swim. It’s Not Just A Stereotype, It’s History. (HBO)

In 2014, the CDC found that an 11-year-old black child is 10 times more likely to drown than a white child the same age. The idea that “Black people can’t swim” may sound like a stereotype, but this disparity is rooted in a history of discriminatory access to swimming pools.

This summer has produced three high-profile incidents of white Americans calling – or threatening to call – the police on Black pool goers.

A South Carolina woman was charged with multiple accounts of assault for accosting a 15-year-old boy and a police officer. A North Carolina man lost his job after a video of him calling the police on a woman who refused to show him her identification. A property manager at a Memphis apartment complex also lost her job for calling the police on a man for wearing socks in the pool.

These episodes are just the most recent in a long history of discriminatory access at American swimming pools, going back almost 100 years. VICE News spoke with Jeff Wiltse, a professor of History at the University of Montana, and the author of “Contested Waters: A Social History of Swimming Pools in America.”

“It was socially normal for blacks and whites to swim together at these public pools during the late 19th and early 20th century but that all changed during the 1920s and 1930s when cities opened up large resort like pools,” says Wiltse. “That permitted males and females to use them together.”

Wiltse said that it was at that point that white swimmers and public officials imposed racial segregation because most whites did not want to allow black men to interact with white women at such intimate public spaces.

Pools were desegregated after World War II — frequently by court order — but like America’s public schools, integration in the water was more of a legal concept than a cultural one.

Racial desegregation of public pools rarely lead to meaningful sort of interracial use, said Wiltse. “In general, whites abandoned public pools that black swimmers started to use.”

“Swimming became broadly popular within white communities and was passed down from generation to generation. Because of African-Americans more restricted access, swimming did not become a broadly popular activity among Black families.”

In 2017, USA Swimming, the governing body for the sport of swimming in the US, has found that African-American children and their parents are three times more fearful of drowning than Caucasian children and parents. Additionally, 64% of African American children have low or no swimming ability.

Dezria Holmes knows how to swim, but wouldn’t call herself a strong swimmer. She’s trying to change that for her children, 12-year old Madison and 7-year old Mason. Both are enrolled in a Chicago swimming program launched by USA Swimming, Chicago Park District, and Illinois Swimming to get a more diverse group of young people in the water.

“My grandparents couldn’t swim because of segregation,” said Holmes. “So when I saw the opportunity for my daughter to swim, and then my parents were able to see their granddaughter swim. They were actually crying, because no one in our family swims like Madison. So to be afforded this opportunity has just been amazing.”

USA Swimming has found that Black children and their parents are three times more fearful of drowning than white children and their parents. Safety was the main reason Holmes wanted her kids to learn how to swim.

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AP Top Stories December 21 A

Here’s the latest for Thursday, December 21st: Car rams pedestrians in Australia; Olympic gymnast Maroney says she was forced to sign deal to keep alleged sexual abuse secret; Congress faces gov’t shutdown deadline; Memphis removes Confederate statues.

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Memphis Removes Two Confederate Statues

Crews in Memphis, Tennessee removed statues of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest and Confederate President Jefferson Davis late Wednesday. Mayor Jim Strickland says the statues “no longer represent who we are.” (Dec. 21)

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‘Racist, insensitive’: ‘Gone with the Wind’ film pulled from Tennessee theater

After targeting Confederate monuments, the split in U.S. society is now moving to the world of the big screen. A cinema in Memphis has stopped screening the 1939 classic ‘Gone With The Wind’. The iconic film about love and the Civil War was accused of being racist and insensitive… by America’s left-wing. Writer and comedian Jeffrey Mark Klein says the left is meddling with the past.

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Fans, impersonators remember Elvis 40 years after his death

They move, they sing, and even look like the King of Rock ‘n’ roll. 40 years after his death, Elvis Presley impersonators of all ages and backgrounds gather in Memphis, Tennessee. They join thousands of fans in the city where the King built his legacy.