Friday, December 26, 2014

84. Interview with former Poet Laureate Darrell Bourque

84.  We interview poet Darrell Bourque, the former poet laureate of Louisiana.  He served as an English professor and department head at ULL and found time to write several books of poetry.  Since his time as poet laureate, he has traveled the state of Louisiana as a public intellectual, reading his own poems and supporting the work of other poets as well.
  1. This week in Louisiana history. December 28 1862 (Old) State Capitol burned by Union Soldier.
  2. This week in New Orleans history. The Esplanade Avenue streetacar ran from June 1, 1861 until December 27, 1934.  It was the first streetcar line to traverse the "back-of-town" section of New Orleans, running all the way out Esplanade Ave. to Bayou St. John in its original routing. From 1901–1934 the Canal and Esplanade lines operated in a loop as the Canal-Esplanade Belt, until Esplanade Ave. went to buses in 1934.
  3. This week in Louisiana. New Year's Eve Kids' Countdown Make a noisemaker and paper bag party hat to wear for the countdown to noon, culminating in a balloon release and confetti toss. Admission: 2014 pricing TBA. Louisiana Children's Museum, 420 Julia St, New Orleans 504.523.1357.
  4. Battle of New Orleans  December 29, 1814. NOS. XXVI-XXVII.
    I lament that I have not the means of carrying on more offensive operations. The Kentucky troops have not arrived, and my effective force at this point, does not exceed three thousand. Theirs must be at least double; both prisoners and deserters agreeing in the statement that seven thousand landed from their boats.
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Friday, December 19, 2014

83. O. Henry's "Whistlin' Dick's Christmas Stocking"

83.  Bruce and Stephen talk about O. Henry's short story, "Whistlin' Dick's Christmas Stocking."  In this story set in the early 20th centrury, Henry takes us down the levee from New Orleans to a hobo jungle, where Boston Harry and his gang of tramps are plotting, like the Grinch, to steal Christmas.  Will Whistlin' Dick be able to foil their evil scheme?  Tune in to find out!
  1. This week in Louisiana history. Dec. 20 1803 United States Commissioners W.C.C. Claiborne and James Wilkinson formally receive possession of Louisiana for the United States for $15,000,000.
  2. This week in New Orleans history.  Governor James Albert Noe, born on December 21, 1890, served in World War I as a first lieutenant of the 369th Infantry in France. He was active in the Democratic party and served in the state senate from the 29th Senatorial District (Ouachita and Jackson parishes).  In 1932 he was the floor leader for Huey Long's administration and was appointed lieutenant governor in 1934. He became the Governor of Louisiana, serving from January through May 1936, following the death of Gov. O. K. Allen. He later returned to the senate until 1940. Noe made unsuccessful runs for governor in 1940 and 1959. He was active in the oil and gas industry, with operations in Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana, both as producer and overriding royalty owner. He owned and operated farms in Indiana and Ouachita and Tensas parishes, most notably, the Whitehall Plantation in Monroe. In 1936 Noe founded WNOE-AM and FM radio stations in New Orleans, established Monroes KNOE-AM and FM radio stations in 1944, and KNOE-TV in 1953.  In 1971 he was awarded an honorary LL. D. degree from Northeast Louisiana University.  He died died in Houston on October 18, 1976.
  3. This week in Louisiana. 
  4. Battle of New Orleans  December 28, 1814NOS. XXVI-XXVII.
    Copy of a letter from captain Henley, commanding late United States’ schooner Carolina, to commodore Patterson, dated
    New Orleans, December 28, 1814.
         At daylight, on the morning of the 27th, the enemy opened upon the Carolina a battery of five guns, from which they threw shells and hot shot; returned their fire with the long twelve-pounder, the only gun on board which could reach across the river, the remainder of her battery being light twelve-pound carronades.
         The air being light aid at north, rendered it impossible to get under way; the second shot fired by the enemy lodged in the schooner’s main-hold urder her cables, and in such a situation as not to be come at, and fired her, which rapidly progressed; finding that hot shot were passing through her cabin and filling room, which contained a considerable quantity of powder; her bulwarks all knocked down by the enemy’s shot, the vessel in a sinking situation, and the fire increasing, and expecting every moment that she would blow up, at a little after sunrise I reluctantly gave orders for the crew to abandon her, which was effected, with the loss of one killed and six wounded; a short time after I had succeeded in getting the crew on shore, I had the extreme mortification of seeing her blow up.
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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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Friday, December 5, 2014

81. Interview with O'Neil De Noux about Battle Kiss.

81. We talk to O’Neil De Noux again about his Battle of New Orleans historical novel, Battle Kiss.  Since O’Neil is also an expert about the Battle of New Orleans, we talk to him about that event as well.  In anticipation of the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 and the bicentennial of The Battle of New Orleans in 2015, New Orleans writer O’Neil De Noux spent two years researching and writing an epic historical novel set during that titanic struggle. Battle Kiss is an intense, accurate depiction of the battle, of life in New Orleans in the days and nights preceding and following the monumental event. It is a saga of love and war, of battlefield heroes, of young men and young women in love – a tale of spies and privateers, ladies and rogues, patriots and traitors, sudden passion and sudden violence as the battle unfolds in stages until the cataclysm of January 8, 1815, when a rag-tag army of Creoles, free-men of color, pirates, American backwoodsmen, Chickasaw, Choctaw and Attakapas braves, fortified by a limited number of U.S. army regulars and marines and led by a general whose only experience was fighting insurgent Creeks, stands between New Orleans and a battle-hardened army of British soldiers, led by one of the Duke of Wellington’s finest field commanders and hero of the Peninsula War against Napoleon – Major General Sir Edward Pakenham.
  1. This week in Louisiana history. Dec. 6 1889 Confederate President Jefferson Davis died in New Orleans
  2. This week in New Orleans history. Nearly three years after New Orleans police broke into Our Lady of Good Counsel Church to handcuff and evict parishioners trying to save it from closure, the 117-year-old church is being reopened on December 7, 2011.  The arcdiocese of New Orleans announced that the Center of Jesus the Lord, a community of charismatic Catholics, would move there from its home on North Rampart Street.
  3. This week in Louisiana. Russ-Town Band
    December 12th, 2014
    Dixie Center for the Arts
    212 North Vienna Street, Ruston, LA 71270
  4. Battle of New Orleans  December 26, 1814. NO. XXV.   Copy of a letter from general Andrew Jackson to the secretary of war, dated
    Camp near New Orleans, 26th Decmber, 1814.
           The enemy having, by the capture of our gun-boats, obtained command of the lakes, were enabled to effect a passage to the Mississippi at a point on the side of New Orleans, and about nine miles below it. The moment I received the intelligence, I hastened to attack him in his first position. It was brought on in the night and resulted very honourably to our arms. The heavy smoke, occasioned by an excessive fire, rendered it necessary that I should draw off my troops, after a severe conflict of upwards of an hour.
           The attack was made on the night of the 23d. Since then both armies have remained near the battle-ground, making preparations for something more decisive.
           The enemy's force exceeded ours by double, and their loss was proportionably greater. The moment I can spare the time, I will forward you a detailed account. In the meantime I expect something far more important will take place. I hope to be able to sustain tho honour of our arms and to secure the safety of this country.
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