National Geographic : 1960 Nov
Bluff-top Memphis enjoys the boon of river commerce without the bane of flood; Nor is fishing what it used to be. The swifter current has washed away many quiet breeding spots. Our next stop, Greenville, Mississippi, had grim and tragic experiences during the great flood of 1927. But William T. Wynn, a Greenville attorney, recounted one of the lighter incidents to us. When the town was inundated, 10,000 low land residents were evacuated to temporary camps on the crest of the levee. They were divided according to precincts, and each per son had to report to the medical tent of his own precinct to get typhoid shots. One woman who came to the wrong place was flatly told: 688 "You don't belong here. You've got to get vaccinated in your precinct." "But why can't I get vaccinated in my arm, like everybody else?" the woman asked. From Greenville we drove 150 miles back to Memphis, where we boarded the southbound towboat Wake Island. We had made the acquaintance of these craft during our travels on the upper river. Diesel-powered work horses of the Mississippi, they hustle their staggering loads, some of them equal to the cargo of two ocean-going freighters, up- and downstream in a fraction of the time it once took the romantic but cumbersome old stern wheelers.