Friday, December 12, 2014

82. Interview with poet Thomas Parrie

82.  We interview poet Thomas Parrie.  Thomas writes about life in the Native American community around Toledo Bend.
  1. This week in Louisiana history. Dec. 15 1802 Pres. Jefferson, worried of French takeover of La., seeks to purchase Isle of Orleans.
  2. This week in New Orleans history.   Bonnet Carré Spillway is Dedicated December 13, 1935
         Airline Highway originally was a two-lane road that ran from Prairieville to Shrewsbury (now Metairie). The first section, running between Williams Boulevard in Kenner and Shrewsbury Road, opened in June 1927. It was begun by the Jefferson Parish Police Jury as a local road and incorporated into the plan for Airline Highway during construction.
         The remainder of the highway was built between 1928 and 1933 by the Louisiana Highway Commission with federal aid, as the road would carry US 61 upon completion. The section north of the spillway was officially opened on July 4, 1933, and the section on the south side followed three weeks later. (Various sections had been temporarily opened to traffic beginning in October 1931.) Completion of the bridge over the Bonnet Carré Spillway was delayed until 1935, necessitating a detour over the Jefferson Highway (River Road) via temporary gravel roads along the spillway guide levees. The eight-lane extension into Tulane Avenue (reached by a now-demolished six-lane bridge over the former New Basin Canal) was officially opened on August 26, 1940.
         The Bonnet Carre Spillway, as well as the spillway bridge on Airline Highway,  was dedicated on December 13, 1935 as  part of the Mississippi Flood Control Project at a cost of  more than $13 million. Its construction was prompted by the devastating floods of 1927.  The spillway flood-way would route 250,000 cubic feet of water per second from the Mississippi River to Lake Pontchartrain then Lake Borgne and into the Gulf of Mexico, thus sparing the Greater New Orleans area from high-water river flooding.
  3. This week in Louisiana. 
  4. Battle of New Orleans  Dec. 14 1814 First clash with British in War of 1812 on Lake Borgne
    December 27, 1814
    NO. XXV
    Major-general Jackson to the secretary of war.
    Head-quarters, 7th military district, camp below New Orleans, 27th December, A. M.
         The loss of our gun-boats near the pass of the Rigolets, having given the enemy command of lake Borgne, lie was enabled to choose his point of attack. It became therefore an object of importance to obstruct the numerous bayous and canals leading from that lake to the highlands op the Mississippi. This important service was committed, in the first instance, to a detachment from the 7th regiment, afterwards to colonel Delaronde of the Louisiana militia, and lastly, to make all sure, to major-general Villeré, commanding the district between the river and the lakes, and who, being a native of the country, was presumed to be best acquainted with all those passes. Unfortunately, however, a picquet which the general had estsblished at the mouth of the bayou Bienvenu, and which, notwithstanding my orders, had been left unobstructed, was completely surprised, and the enemy penetrated through a canal leading to his farm about two leagues below the city, and succeeded in cutting off a company of militia stationed there.
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