Today in New Orleans History

April 9

Shushan Airport Milneburg Joys

Happy Birthday Sharkey
April 9, 1904


Born in Milneburg in 1898, trumpeter Gustave Joseph (Sharkey) Bonano entered the world as Jazz was beginning to brew in his hometown. Sometimes compared to Louis Prima, he was known as a charismatic personality and a fine musician. Never losing touch with his New Orleans roots, Sharkey is pictured here casually dressed, presumably either recording or doing a radio show. Sharkey Bonano passed away on March 27, 1972 in New Orleans. (Photo Courtesy Louisiana Digital Library. Text from Lake Pontchartrain (Images of America) by Catherine Campanella.)

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Shushan Airport Milneburg Joys

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Norman Edward Brownlee, musician, cemetery director.  Born, New Orleans, February 7, 1896; son of Charles Henry Brownlee (q.v.) and Ellen Agnes Connell.  Education:  local schools.  World War I veteran.  Jazz orchestra leader "Brownlee's Orchestra," New Orleans, 1920-1930.  Although best known as a Dixieland jazz pianist, he was also an outstanding bass-violinist, and his bass fiddle is in the New Orleans Jazz Museum.  His memoirs deposited in the Jazz Archives of Tulane University.  Recorded for Okeh and Columbia records, including two of his own compositions, "Peculiar" and "Dirty Rag."  Listed in Who's Who in New Orleans Jazz.  An early amateur pilot, 1925.  President, Pensacola Federation of Musicians, Local No. 283.  President of the "MOPS"—former professional musicians; secretary-treasurer of the musicians union.  Member, Escambia Masonic Lodge No. 15, a York Rite and Scottish Rite Mason; a Shriner; Pensacola Rotary Club; Christ Episcopal Church of Pensacola.  Married, in New York City, December 7, 1918, Irma Lee French of New Orleans, daughter of Henry David French (q.v.) and Matilda Louise Sutherland.  Children:  Norman Edward (b. 1920), Robert Henry (b. 1924), Henry French (b. 1931).  Died, Pensacola, Fla., April 9, 1967; interred Bayview Cemetery.  C.M.B.  Sources:  New Orleans Vital Birth Records, Book 1VL, folio 648; family records; Raymond J. Martinez, Portraits of New Orleans Jazz; MacMillan Dictionary of Biography, Index, 1981-1982 supplement, 2nd edition; Al Rose and Edmond Souchon, New Orleans Jazz, A Family Album (1984); Marriage License Bureau, Manhattan, City of New York, City Clerk, Record No. 33445/1918; death certificate, Vital Records, Florida, No. 67-019912, 374; obituary, Pensacola News, April 10, 1967; New Orleans States-Item, April 14, 1967; New Orleans Times-Picayune, April 11, 1967; Howard Jacobs, "Remoulade," New Orleans Times-Picayune, April 14, 1967; cemetery records and tombstone inscription  From

On April 9, 1986, Mayor-Elect Sidney Barthelemy announced that he would reappoint Warren Woodfork as Police Superintendent .

On Sunday, April 9, 1893, 550 club members and guests of the Crescent City Excursion Club journeyed on a chartered, seven-coach train from New Orleans to the New Iberia area. They toured the salt mines at Avery Island and also made a quick visit to New Iberia itself. It had to be a quick visit -- the train left New Orleans at 3:10 in the afternoon and started its return trip from New Iberia at 6:30 p.m. (NOPL)

Isidore Cohn, surgeon, teacher, civic leader. Born, Bruslé Landing, West Baton Rouge Parish, La., April 9, 1885; son of Henry Cohn, Jr., and Sophie Farrnbacher Cohn of Baton Rouge, La. Education: Louisiana State University, B. S., 1903; Tulane University School of Medicine, 1907. Interned, Charity Hospital, Shreveport, and Touro Infirmary, New Orleans. Appointed to Touro Infirmary Surgical Staff, 1911; chief, 1935-1940. Consulting surgeon, Charity Hospital, Flint-Goodridge Hospital, Sarah Mayo Hospital, New Orleans. Member, Orleans Parish Medical Society, Louisiana State Medical Society, American Medical Association, Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine, American College of Surgeons, American Board of Surgery (Founder's Group). Teaching positions: Tulane University, 1908-1937; Louisiana State University, 1938-1952. Surgeon to the Jewish Children's Home, Hope Haven Institution (Marrero), and the Episcopal Children's Home of the Diocese of Louisiana. Chairman of the Committee for the Rudolph Matas History of Medicine Trust Fund. Publications include Normal Bones and Joints (1924); Rudolph Matas: A Biography, with Herman Deutsch (1960); and over 400 articles and pamphlets on medical and religious subjects. Married Elsie Waldhorn of New Orleans, April 5, 1910. Three children: Babette Cohn Golden (b. 1913); Elise Cohn Rosenthal (b. 1917), and Dr. Isidore Cohn, Jr. (b. 1921), now professor of Surgery at Louisiana State University Medical School. Member, International Society of Surgery, American Association for the Surgery of Trauma, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Touro Synagogue, Round Table Club, International House, National Conference of Christians and Jews, and the Foreign Policy Association. Chairman, Doctors' Division of the Community Chest; president, New Orleans and Southeastern Surgical societies. Honorary faculty member of Alpha Omega Alpha, Omega Delta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, and Phi Delta Epsilon. Died, New Orleans, January 3, 1980; intrerred Hebrew Rest Cemetery.  From

On April 9, 1803 Governor Salcedo dispatched a copy of a letter to the Cabildo, sent by Colonial Prefect Laussat in order to complete a certain number of beds for the Charity Hospital to receive the sick soldiers from the French army taking possession of the country.(NOPL)

According to Buddy Stall, "Louisiana was discovered by French explorer Robert Cavalier Sieur De La Salle on April 9, 1682. La Salle made the discovery out of Canada by way of the Mississippi River, and returned the same way. In 1684, he was sent back by way of the Atlantic Ocean into the Gulf of Mexico to find the mouth of the Mississippi River. Unfortunately, on March 20, 1687, he was assassinated by his disenchanted men in what is now Texas. "

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Abreviations used on this site: NOPL (New Orleans Public Library), LOC (Library of Congress), LDL (Lousiana Digital Library), HNOC (Historic New Orleans Collection), WIKI (Wikipedia).

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