Today in New Orleans History

December 17

Shushan Airport      Milneburg Joys

 Lakefront at West End
December 17, 1926  


 Before view (12/17/1926) shows the new shoreline near West End.


After view shows the new seawall and the network of drives paved by the WPA in a vast lakefront improvement program.
Photos from the New Orleans Public Library.

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Restaurateur Chris ‘Bozo’ Vodanovich died on Wednesday, December 17, 2013 at the age of 86.

On December 17, 2006, the Saints clinched their third division title and their first NFC South title in franchise history. For the first time in Saints' history, they clinched their NFC South title on their home field.

On December 17, 1967, the Saints defeat the Washington Redskins, 30-14, to wind up with a 3-11 record, which tied the record for most wins by a 1st-year expansion franchise.

James Carroll Booker III (December 17, 1939November 8, 1983) was a New Orleans rhythm and bluesmusician born in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States. Booker's unique style combined rhythm and blues with jazz standards. Musician Dr. John described Booker as “the best black, gay, one-eyed junkie piano genius New Orleans has ever produced.

Born in New Orleans on December 17, 1937, Arthur Lannon "Art" Neville is a member of one of the most famous musical families of New Orleans, the Neville Brothers and was a founding member of The Meters, and the spinoff group the The Funky Meters. As a session musician, he has played on recordings by many notable artists from New Orleans and elsewhere, including Labelle (on "Lady Marmalade"), Paul McCartney, Linda Ronstadt, Lee Dorsey, Robert Palmer, Dr. John and Professor Longhair.

From the New Orleans Public Library: This image appeared with several others in the New Orleans Item on December 17, 1922. It shows girls in one of the domestic science classes at Beauregard School, where they were "learning how to make milk dishes of especial nutrituve value." The caption for this image reads, "Nowhere is there a more spic and span kitchen than this one at Beauregard school where the girls are taught scientific cooking. Not only are New Orleans school girls taught how to cook, but they are taught what kinds of food have the greatest nutritive value."

On December 17, 1908 residents in the immediate neighborhood of Prieur and Columbus n the 7th ward petitioned the city for a streetlight.

Property owners in the vicinity of Solomon, Banks & Baudin petitioned the city for drainage and a streetlight on December 17, 1907.

Photo -- Wharves, Lafayette Street to Canal Street, December 17, 1896.

Colonel Maunsel White (c. 1783 – December 17, 1863) was an Episcopalian Irish-American politician, merchant, and entrepreneur. He is remembered for promoting the use of peppers and peppery sauces – a brand of which his descendants still manufacture today. Although he is usually associated with New Orleans, he also resided in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, where he owned Deer Range Plantation, in addition to three other plantations.

Jacques Philippe Villere was born in St. John's Parish, Louisiana on April 28, 1760. His education was attained in France at the expense of Louis XVI. Villere served in the French Army, as first lieutenant of artillery, stationed in Saint Domingue. After returning to his native state, he served as a major general in the territorial militia and fought in the Battle of New Orleans. Villere entered politics in 1812, serving as a member of the first State Constitutional Convention. He was elected governor by a popular vote on July 1, 1816, and then confirmed by the legislature. This was the election procedure according to the 1812 State Constitution. Villere was sworn into office on December 17, 1816. During his tenure, legislation pertaining to the Black Code was sanctioned, the death penalty was imposed on anyone who killed a person in a duel, limitless immigration was banned, and negotiations between the American and Creole populations were conducted. After completing his term, Villere left office on December 18, 1820. Four years later, he ran unsuccessfully for reelection to the governor's office. He later served as a presidential elector in 1826. Governor Jacques P. Villere passed away on March 7, 1830. According to Buddy Stall, Villere, as governor, gave the shortest inauguration speech on Louisiana record. Sources: Dawson III, Joseph G. The Louisiana Governors: From Iberville to Edwards. Baton Rouge: Lousiana State University Press, 1990. From


On December 17, 1779 a number of citizens met with the Cabildo (the city's Spanish governmental leaders) to discuss the shortage of cattle due to the great mortality among them. The President advised that the three contractors were unable to obtain meat to supply the public. It was agreed to obtain cattle from the inhabitants of the coasts in the proportion of 10 percent of the number they own from each. The citizens and the Commissioners signed this agreement. Also on this date,  there arose a discussion upon the advisability of establishing a market in this city; considered necessary in order to have all the retailers in one place. In view of the fact that the number of retailers had increased, the Cabildo decided to construct a market large enough to accommodate all the daily food supplies, to be independent of the butcher shop which was established more than two year ago. Such a place for the assembling of peddlers has been desired for some time in order that the goods they sell might be subject to inspection by the Commissioners. Rules governing this market and its use by the retailers were drafted and approved. (NOPL) And so the long history of our public markets began. See Makin' Groceries in New Orleans for a glimpse of how New Orleanians have shopped for well over two centuries.

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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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