The Mississippi Department of Archives and History has placed a marker for Mississippi River Levee on the levee in Greenville, Mississippi.
This marker is located on the Levee on the east bank of the Mississippi River in Greenville, Mississippi. It was placed here in 2012. The marker reads:
“MISSISSIPPI RIVER LEVEE – The Mainline Mississippi River Levee was originally built in the 1800s. Following the flood of 1927, Congress passed the Flood Control Act of 1928, creating the Mississippi River & Tributaries (MR&T) Project. The notches at Main and Central Streets were the top of the levee in 1927. The levee was then raised 10 feet and cut-offs were built that shortened the river by 170 miles. The banks were stabilized to keep the river in one location. The MR&T Project was successful in containing the record 2011 Flood.”
For a photo gallery of the 1927 Flood, click here.
The 1927 Flood inundated an area of about 27,000 square miles. It displaced 700,000 people in Mississippi and killed 246. Property damage was estimated at $400 million (1927 dollars).
Here are some videos of the 1927 flood:
Silent film footage from the Hoover Presidential Library. It’s definitely promoting Herbert Hoover but it has some very good footage of the 1927 flood and its effects. Here’s a link to the full movie (42:38).
1927 U.S. Army Signal Corps footage
Here’s a report on how Mississippi agriculture was affected by the 2011 flood.
Memphis Minnie‘s song “When The Levee Breaks” and Charley Patton’s recordings “High Water Everywhere, Pt.1” and “High Water Everywhere, Pt. 2” are about the 1927 Mississippi Flood.
The Mississippi River levee at Greenville is also significant historically because thousands of people gathered on top of the Greenville levee in 1927 to escape the flood waters. Memphis Minnie‘s song “When The Levee Breaks” contains the lyric, “All last night, sat on the levee and moaned” which reflects the historic reality of people camping on top of the levees in 1927 to escape the flood waters.
Memphis Minnie’s “When The Levee Breaks” was covered by Led Zeppelin on the Led Zeppelin IV album.
The photo below was taken near the Mississippi Department of Archives & History marker and gives an indication of the height of the Mississippi River levee at Greenville, Mississippi.
There is another Mississippi Department of Archives and History marker nearby, which describes the River Stages At Greenville.
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