Photo courtesy Special Collections, University of Memphis Libraries
In our October issue, I wrote about the Julius Lewis chain of department stores in Memphis, and I made special note of the fancy new store the company opened on Union, because the style and architecture of the new building made our city’s mayor, who was there on opening day, wonder if such a marvelous place could even exist in this city.
Well, thanks to a typical Memphis driver, there’s no doubt this was indeed Memphis.
On the afternoon of October 13, 1975, a fellow (I won’t mention any names here) driving west down Union somehow lost control of his car at the intersection of Kimbrough, and the result is what you see here. After first colliding with another car, he careened through the huge plate-glass windows at the corner of the store.
The Press-Scimitar reported, “It really wasn’t a shopping special at the Julius Lewis store that brought this car hurtling through the window of the store, but a disregarded red light.” And that’s what the driver was ticketed for: disregarding a red light. That doesn’t really convey the full extent of the accident, if you ask me.
Even though it could have been a disaster, there were no injuries.