Today in New Orleans History

December 1

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 Barnett's at 537 Baronne Street
December 1, 1925 advertisement from the Times-Picayune

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WGSO radio was originally an AM daytime station.  In the 1950s it used the call sign WJMR owned by George Mayoral and broadcast from the Jung Hotel. WJMR would become the sister station of WJMR-FM and WJMR-TV (New Orleans second television station in 1953).  In the mid-1950s it was home to "Poppa Stoppa" whose program featured long runs of uninterrupted Rock and Roll music. When WJMR-TV was sold the station call sign was changed to WNNR (Winner Radio). The station briefly became WLTS in the fall of 1984. On June 4, 1985 it became WYAT, broadcasting a syndicated Oldies format with some local DJ's during the day. On December 1, 1993 the station became WGSO.  In 2001, WGSO introduced New Orleans' first Business Talk format.

The record attendance at Tulane Stadium of 86,598 was set on December 1, 1973, during the last game played by LSU against Tulane in the Sugar Bowl. Tulane defeated LSU 14-0, ending a 25-year winless streak against LSU.

On December 1, MTV (Music Television --  described by a spokesperson for Warner Satellite Entertainment Company "as a blend of FM radio and good old television" providing "music video records") first came into the homes of 66,000 Jefferson Parish subscribers of Cox Cable.

The Freret Street streetcar, which first ran on September 7, 1924, was replaced with a trolley bus on December 1, 1946 and later with a diesel bus.

Francesco Todaro was an Italian-American mobster and onetime boss of the New Orleans crime family. Todaro briefly succeeded Corrado Giacona upon his death on July 25, 1944. Francesco "Frank" Todaro was born in the area of San Cipirello, Province of Palermo, Sicily in about 1889. Son of Giuseppe Todaro and Giuseppa DiMaggio. Frank Todaro along with brothers Carlos "Charlie", Giuseppe "Joe", and Salvatore "Sam" immigrated to the United States in 1907 and settled in New Orleans Another brother, Angelo Todaro, remained in Sicily. Frank married to Nunzia "Nancy" Giammalva on July 14, 1914 in New Orleans and they had four children two sons, Joseph and Clement, and two daughters, Jacqueline and Josephine. Frank Todaro was alleged to be underboss of the New Orleans Mafia and to have briefly served as head of the New Orleans family before his death. Further it has been erroneously reported by John H. Davis that he was the father-in-law of Carlos Marcello. Carlos Marcello was in fact married to Todaro's niece Giacomina (Jackie), the daughter of his brother Joseph. Frank Todaro died at his residence on S. Broad Street in New Orleans at 5:45 a.m. on Wednesday November 29, 1944 from complications related to throat cancer. He was about 55 years of age. His funeral was held on December 1, 1944, the wake was conducted at Lamano-Panno-Fallo Funeral Home, a Roman Catholic Requiem Mass was held at St. Mary's Church and he was interred at Metairie Cemetery.  From

The Nix Branch, New Orleans Public Libary's sixth branch and the first to be built without the benefit of Carnegie funds, opened on December 1, 1930 after a long campaign by Carrollton residents to bring library service to their neighborhood.

Soraparu Park/Playground opened at Soraparu and Rousseau Streets on December 1, 1917.

Through the influence of Colonel Charles C. Bird of Baton Rouge, Martin Behrman ran for the office of State Auditor and was subsequently elected. In 1904 he was elected Mayor of the City of New Orleans for the first time. He took office on November 6, of that year. His second term as mayor began on November 3, 1908 and his inauguration took place on December 7, 1908. Mayor Behrman was again elected for his third term on October 2, 1912. He took office on December 1, 1912 and his term expired December 4, 1916. He was elected for the fourth time without opposition on November 7, 1916, and remained in office until December 6, 1920 when Andrew J. McShane became Mayor of the city. Again in 1925, Martin Behrman ran for mayor being opposed by Paul H. Maloney and Andrew J. McShane. A second primary became necessary owing to the closeness of the count, but was not called due to Mr. Maloney withdrawing from the race. Martin Berhman was conceded the election on Monday, April 13, 1925, taking office May 4, 1925.

On December 1, 1898, Ormond plantation was purchased by State Senator Basile LaPlace, Jr., son of New Orleans pharmacist and land owner after whom the town of LaPlace is named. Mr. LaPlace was a well-known Justice of the Peace and then as a state Senator, and also successfully managed the LaPlace land area left to him by his father. Legend has it that on the night of October 11, 1899, Basile LaPlace, Jr. was shot and hung from one of the oak trees on the property by members of the Ku Klux Klan after a prior disagreement, according to

The National Leprosarium, a home to quarantine lepers living in America, especially those living in Louisiana was opened in 1894 in Carville, Louisiana. The first seven patients of the leprosarium were from New Orleans and arrived at the leprosarium on December 1, 1894. This was the first and only in-patient hospital in the U.S. for the treatment of leprosy. Due to several name changes throughout the years, the treatment center was frequently referred to as, "Carville," because of its location. The goal of this treatment center was to provide a place for lepers to be isolated and treated humanely.

In 1890, Father Lavaquery built Sacred Heart Church at Lacombe, Louisiana. Archbishop Janssens dedicated it on December 1, 1890, before the roof was completed.

Albert Baldwin Wood (December 1, 1879 – May 10, 1956) graduated from Tulane with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1899. He was hired by the Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans in 1899 to try to improve the flood-prone city's drainage, Wood invented "flapgates" and other hydraulic devices, most notably efficient low maintenance high volume pumps, including the Wood Screw Pump (1913) and the Wood Trash Pump (1915). Wood spearheaded the reclamation from swamp and the efforts to develop much of the land now occupied by the city of New Orleans. While he spent most of his career in New Orleans, Wood also consulted and designed the drainage, pumping, and sewage systems for other locations including Chicago, Milwaukee, Baltimore, San Francisco, as well as projects in Canada, Egypt, China, and India. His work was especially helpful in the Zuiderzee Works, which reclaimed large areas of land from the Zuider Zee in the Netherlands. Some of Wood's pumps have been in almost continuous use in New Orleans for over 80 years without need of repairs, and new ones continue to be built from his designs. When Wood died, he left a bequest to Tulane University on the condition that it preserve and display his sailing boat, the Nydia, for 99 years. Until 2003, the boat was housed in a specially constructed glass-fronted display area located between the University Center and Fogelman Arena. It was moved to make room for the renovation and expansion of the University Center. Because Tulane did not fully adhere to the terms of the will, Wood's heirs have recovered possession of the boat through legal means. The Nydia is on display at the Biloxi Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum in Biloxi, MS, not far from where the boat was originally constructed at the Johnson Shipyard.  From

Andrew Jackson arrived in New Orleans on December 1, 1814  to discover that the city had not created any defenses. It had approximately 1,000 unseasoned troops and two ships for its use. Although the city kept control of the eight ships taken from Lafitte, it did not have enough sailors to man them for defense. Resentful of the raid on Barataria, Lafitte's men refused to serve on their former ships. In mid-December, Jackson met with Lafitte, who offered to serve if the US would pardon those of his men who agreed to defend the city. Jackson agreed to do so. On December 19, the state legislature passed a resolution recommending a full pardon for all of the former residents at Barataria. With Lafitte's encouragement, many of his men joined the New Orleans militia or as sailors to man the ships. Others formed three artillery companies

The erection of streetlights was put out up for public bid, as was the repair of the city jails, on December 1, 1794.

Don Alejandro O'Reilly, Governor and Captain-General of the province of Louisiana, appointed, on December 1, 1769, six perpetual regidors or aldermen to form a city council, or cabildo, "for the administration of justice and preservation of order" in the city of New Orleans. These aldermen also were assigned individual administrative and/or judicial responsibilities. The Cabildo annually elected other officers, including judges, an attorney general, and a treasurer. The Cabildo met weekly, "for the purpose of deliberating on all that may concern the public welfare." All decisions made by the Cabildo were to be recorded by the body's secretary in a book of resolutions. The various "decrees, royal provisions, and dispatches, which may be addressed to the corporation either by the governor or other authorized minister," were to be recorded and the originals preserved in the archives of the Cabildo.

December 1, 1769 -- Governors Don Alejandro O'Reilly formed a Cabildo or Municipal Government; appointed six commissioners and a secretary at a meeting held at his residence. Don Luis de Unzaga, Colonel of the Royal Armies and Governor Elect of the city by authority of the King, was present at this meeting and was appointed as successor to O'Reilly during his absence.

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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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