‘First Thursdays’ educates community on 1927 flood

JACKSON, Tenn.–Community members gathered to learn about a major historic event, the Mississippi River flooding of 1927.

“It’s along the lines of what the Mississippi River has been doing the last several years, flooding crop land and destroying cities,” President of the Friends of the Jackson-Madison County Library Ann Van Der Linde said.

Guest speaker Rodger Holtin shared newspaper articles on this significant flood, and its effects on West Tennessee, and several other states along the river.

But the flooding had some positive effects.

“It had a good effect on singing the blues. The bad news was that it was a terrible situation,” Van Der Linde said.

It inspired many blues hit, including “Muddy Water” by Bessie Smith.

“I know I’ve heard “Muddy Waters,” and I didn’t connect it with the flood. There’s stuff here that we’re able to put together that a lot of us wouldn’t have thought of before,” Van Der Linde said.

That flood happened just before the Great Depression.

It was a result of heavy rains and melting snow in the north, which broke the levees.

Van Der Linde says the issue of flooding is one people can relate to, and it attracted a room full of interested listeners.

“I’m pleasantly surprised at the number of people who are here,” Van Der Linde said.

Categories: Local News, News