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 1942, the United States had drastically increased their naval presence in the Atlantic and presented a distinctive challenge to German U-boats who previously had patrolled with little resistance. This newfound challenge coerced U-boats to find less militarized areas to patrol and harass. The Nazis turned their attention the Gulf of Mexico. Heavy traffic from New Orleans and the consistent flow of oil from the region made the waters a prime target. The Gulf Coast was unprepared to defend against Nazi submarine attacks. The Nazis felt they could significantly undermine the American war effort if they could successfully disrupt the free flow of oil.
Continue reading “U-166: The Nazi Submarine Sunk in Louisiana Waters”
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, yet its lore continues in New Orleans’ dynamic history.
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.
Continue reading “‘White’ Slaves of New Orleans (PHOTOS)”
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 has no official name. What’s in a name, anyway? The term riot was provided by whites, whether in the newspapers or remaining government records. That term does not give it justice, and implies mass chaos must’ve ensued. It has been recognized and used by the very few who mention it, but I choose to label it by a much more appropriate term: The St. Bernard Massacre of 1868. It was not chaotic, but a deliberate, systematic slaughter of humans who were just liberated from their chains circa six years prior à la the Emancipation Proclamation. In order to understand the violence, we must understand the circumstances associated with it.
Continue reading “A Forgotten Massacre in Southeast Louisiana”