New Orleans’ once bustling Chinatown was one of the largest in the country, behind San Francisco and New York City. Due to numerous obstacles, ranging from stringent immigration policies to excessive demolition, Chinatown eventually faded from both modern maps and, for most residents, our collective memory. Tangible vestiges of this once active community are slim,Continue reading “The Lost Chinatown of New Orleans”
The Civil War broke out in 1861. The Union captured New Orleans in April, 1862, saving the city from the destruction faced by other Southern cities. New Orleans remained an occupied city until the end of the war.
The word levee comes from the French verb lever, “to raise”, and was first used in New Orleans shortly after its foundation. As humanity’s battle with water continues, millions depend on them. Nowhere is this truer than the New Orleans region, where battling nature is second nature. Unfortunately, Louisiana levees in 1927 faced an atypicalContinue reading “When the Levees Blew Up: A “Public Execution” of a Community”
After the United States took control of New Orleans via the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, thousands of Americans migrated there to seek better opportunities. Many of them moved into the emerging American sector of New Orleans as they did not mesh well with the already existing Creoles. The Creoles looked at them as barbaric, butContinue reading “Craps: A New Orleans Creation”
The American Gilded Age provided economic opportunities and living wages substantially higher than Europe. The rise of industrialization meant a demand for cheap labor. New Orleans, by far the most populated southern city, was ripe with economic opportunities from hungry factories and emptying plantations. Since busy trade routes already existed from Sicily to New Orleans,Continue reading “Vendetta: A Mass Lynching of Italians in New Orleans”
Race violence was all too common throughout American history. As I studied the history of my own parish, St. Bernard, I started to unravel a brutal massacre absent from almost any historical narrative. Congressional inquiries into the massacre paint an atrocity. At the time it was dubbed the St. Bernard Riot, but it really hasContinue reading “A Forgotten Massacre in Southeast Louisiana”