South Louisiana: The Almost Hippopotamus Capital of the West

As the United States entered the 20th century, increasing population and industrialization led to a nationwide meat shortage.  Moving west to acquire more land for grazing or hunting became a limited option as the frontier closed and buffalos were hunted into near extinction.  In southern Louisiana, newly invasive water hyacinths, similar to water lilies, transported … More South Louisiana: The Almost Hippopotamus Capital of the West

The Infamous Bombing of St. Louis Cathedral

New Orleans’ St. Louis Cathedral faced a myriad of obstacles through its circa 300 years of existence.  It was first built in 1718, the same year the city was founded under French explorer and colonizer Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville.  The Great New Orleans Fire of 1788 scorched the original structure, and a new structure … More The Infamous Bombing of St. Louis Cathedral

Raquette: The Lost Sport of New Orleans

“A blow across the shins with a racket is permissible, and broken heads are not uncommon.” The Choctaw Nation of the lower Mississippi River Valley was one of the most influential yet lesser-known groups of 18th century New Orleans.  Since French involvement in the region, interactions between the groups were frequent.  Native-American and African-American relations … More Raquette: The Lost Sport of New Orleans

U-166: The Nazi Submarine Sunk in Louisiana Waters

On December 11, 1941, days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Adolf Hitler addressed the Reichstag to declare war on the United States.  Although American efforts to assist Great Britain were well underway, Hitler’s declaration officially brought the country into the European theatre.  The United States was at war on both fronts. By early … More U-166: The Nazi Submarine Sunk in Louisiana Waters

Louisiana’s Fight in the Revolutionary War

Background Despite common belief, the American Revolution was more than 13 colonies fighting an oppressive European force; it was a transatlantic conflict involving multiple countries and their colonies. Louisiana, then under the Spanish flag, waged impressive campaigns to attack British territories and undermine the British war effort. Spain decided to assist the rebels because of … More Louisiana’s Fight in the Revolutionary War

The Lost Chinatown of New Orleans

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, … More The Lost Chinatown of New Orleans

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