What a great follow-up to his memory and legacy…Read more here.

The Importance of the Obvious

President Coolidge recognizing Thomas Lee

Tom Lee, working for a levee repair contractor along the Mississippi, was returning from Helena, Arkansas to Memphis, Tennessee, on the afternoon of May 8, 1925. Alone and operating the company’s motorboat, he came to Cow Island Bend 16 miles south of the city when he saw the steamboat M. E. Norman. Passing it on the left, he happened to look back a half-mile upriver to see the vessel had begun listing and the wheel had stopped. The steamboat suddenly capsized but Mr. Lee had already turned around, heading back to the scene.

The Norman was a 114 foot boat, included a crew of 10 and was bringing several engineers and their families out to enjoy the River while they dined and surveyed project sites along the riverbanks. Listening to lectures, most of the engineers were below decks at the time and when the Norman capsized it disoriented everyone…

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President Coolidge Recognizing Thomas Lee

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