In 1946, the airport was the first post-war international airport opened for service, dedicated by Lt. Gen. Jimmy
Doolittle, a famous World War II war hero.
Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, originally named Moisant
International Airport, was the largest commercial airport in the United States at the time at twice the size of New York's
LaGuardia or Chicago's O'Hare airports. Dignitaries from Latin American countries who attended the dedication declared
the airport to be vitally important to inter-American relations. Throughout the 1940s, Moisant served all major cities in
Central and South America.
The airport was first named for daredevil aviator named John B. Moisant, an impulsive flight
pioneer who designed and built the first all-metal plane in 1909. Moisant was the first to fly the English Channel with a
passenger Sept. 6, 1910. This American citizen was the founder and star in the first professional flying circus until a fatal
crash in his Bieriot monoplane took his life near New Orleans City Park on New Year's Eve in 1910. He was 37 years old.
The airport has had two name changes since the dedication in 1946. In December 1962, it became New Orleans International
Airport to more closely identify the facility with the city. The second name change took place July 5, 2001, when it was renamed
for jazz legend Louis Armstrong.
The first travelers at the airport waited in a quonset hut without air conditioning
and walked across the tarmac to 21- passenger DC-3 flights. The airport opened with six airlines: Chicago & Southern Airlines,
Delta, Eastern, Mid-Continent, National and Pan American World Airways.
info at http://www.centennialofflight.gov/essay/Dictionary/J_MOISANT/DI147.htm