When the Levees Blew Up: A “Public Execution” of a Community

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”

Craps: A New Orleans Creation

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”

Vendetta: A Mass Lynching of Italians in New Orleans

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”

A Forgotten Massacre in Southeast Louisiana

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”