In May 1925, a steamboat operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers capsized on the Mississippi River with 72 passengers.
River worker Tom Lee was the sole witness of the tragedy and rushed to the aid of the survivors drowning in the river despite the risk they posed to swamping his own vessel. Lee single-handedly saved 32 people – a feat made more remarkable by the fact that he himself could not swim.
Two years after his death, the park along the Memphis waterfront was named in his honor and now hosts some of the most popular events in Memphis.
– Carlisle Willard, The 100 Companies