2 / Phantom River: The Mississippi Ain't Where It Used to Be

2 / Phantom River: The Mississippi Ain't Where It Used to Be


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“Vicksburg, Mississippi, used to be a riverfront town, but it’s not anymore.”

One of the Mississippi River’s most prominent nineteenth century steamboat hubs was by the middle of the twentieth a shadow of its former self. Learn how a massive flood altered the city’s fortunes and gave us one of the most extraordinary map series of the century, and how modern technology is adding a new dimension to those old maps. We will also learn about oxbow lakes, bodies of water orphaned by the ever-shifting river, and how some historical events, like the Vicksburg massacre, become like ‘oxbow lakes’ of history, removed from the main thoroughfare of American memory.

[00:00] The Historical Significance of Vicksburg
[01:41] A Riverfront Town No More
[04:05 Every river has a story
[05:00 Where Would You Like Me to Put this River, Sir?
[06:13] God Said, “Out on Highway 61”
[07:44] Harold Fisk and the Mississippi River Commission
[10:33] Oxbow Lakes & The Interstate of American Memory

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About the Show:
You've been listening to THE DETOURIST, which belongs to the ecosystem of A DEEPER SOUTH. My name is Pete Candler, and I’m responsible for what you see and hear here. A DEEPER SOUTH emerges from the particular experience of traveling the American South for over 25 years, and coming to unlearn the myths of history and self with which I was raised. I really hope that what you hear and experience at THE DETOURIST will open up some cracks in the received versions of American history and of the American landscape. And within those cracks, I hope that you will find a more interesting, richer and fuller version of the story of this country in this region, and also maybe even an understanding of your own role within that story. Thank you so much for being here.