Today in New Orleans History


Shushan Airport Milneburg Joys

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1952 The Falstaff Weather Ball is First Lit

David Ferrie and Gordon Novel

In a 1963 interview with the FBI, David William Ferrie (who was alleged to have been involved in a conspiracy to assassinate President John F. Kennedy) stated that he was employed by G. Wray Gill as an investigator. He lived at 331 Atherton Drive in Old Metairie. From that same address he was charged in August 1961 with extortion, intimidation, threats, and five counts of indecent behavior with juveniles.

In1961 Gordon Novel (pictured n the right in 2007) and his wife drove from their residence at 124 Lake Avenue to David Ferrie's home from which they drove to Houma, stole ammunition,explosives, and aerial devices then returned – storing most of it at Ferrie's house allegedly for use to aid anti-Castro Cubans. He later caused a stir when he admitted to a night-launching of an 18 foot florescent balloon over the area – apparently one of the stolen goods.  #108 llm

Gennaros and Dwyers

The Dwyers and the Gennaros have long resided in Metaire. William J. Dwyer Jr., was the first city marshall in 1927. His son, William J. Dwyer III (pictured) was a parish commissioner in 1955, Chairman of the Railroad Commission and president of the Metairie Business Association in 1957, a parish jurist/councilman from 1956 through 1960 and a state legislator from 1960 through 1964. He was a charter member and first king of the Krewe of Zeus in 1958 – Dwyer said that their first parades were organized at Gennaro's bar. He was also Grand Marshall of the Metairie Road St. Patrick's Day parades and president of the Air-Line Lions Club. A World War II veteran he was married to Antoinette Gennaro and had managed Gennaro's Inn (where his family lived on the second floor) on Metairie Road at Causeway for 40 years before he died in 1987 at the age of 68.

Gennaro's first opened by Charles Gennaro in 1937. New owners celebrated its 75th Anniversary in August of 2012, still using the old slogan William Dwyer had coined years ago: “The Oldest Bar in Metairie”. During the 1940s and 50s orchestras played to a finely turned-out clientele which occasionally included well-known celebrities. Mr. Gennaro was also a grocer, oyster dealer, and manager of Gennaro Park – a baseball field he opened in the late 1920s, located at what is now Airline Drive at Causeway where local high school teams played as well as others. A one block street, Gennaro Place, is located across Metairie Road from the bar. It was here, at house number 126 that Charles and his family lived. #101llm

The Father of the Superdome, Dave Dixon, was also a super salesman who worked first to bring professional football to New Orleans with a sold-out 1962 AFL pre-season game at City Park Stadium. After Dixon died in August 2010, Mayor Mitch Landrieu called him "one of the most visionary civic leaders in New Orleans' nearly 300-year history." He lived in Metairie.

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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).

Shushan Airport
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