During the 1950s Storyland in City Park was filled with Nursery Rhyme figures created by a young man who would
become the most noted Mardi Gras float builder in the city; it was funded by an older man who owned and operated the most
popular amusement park in the south.
Brothers John and Harry Batt Jr. had operated non-lucrative childrens rides in City Park since the late 1940s before
Harry Sr envisioned Storyland. Agreeing to deed it to the city if he was allowed to choose its location in the park, Storyland
was dedicated on December 30, 1956 to the memory of his parents. Behind it he placed six kiddie rides –
gross ride revenue soared as Storyland drew huge crowds.
Storyland was populated by nursery rhyme characters, some hanging in the ancient oaks and all designed by Blain Kern. This
enchanting world of plaster and cement figures included Captain Hook and his ship, the Old Woman and her shoe, Pinocchio and
the whale (with a gaping jaw to be walked into), Jack & Jill on their hill, Cinderella in her Pumpkin Coach (children
could join her), King Cole in his Castle, Red Riding Hood and the wolf, Hansel and Gretel, the Little Prince, Little Miss
Muffet, Alice in Wonderland. the Three Pigs, Snow White, Hey Diddle Diddle, and Humpty Dumpty (whose “wall” was
Storyland's maintenance shop). Built adjacent to the Flying Horses at a cost of $25,000, Storyland attracted ½ million
visitors in 1958 when Park Amusement Company was managed by Frank Davis. It is seen here in 1960 (right) and 2007 (left
photo by Infrogmation).
Storyland was restored by Friends of City Park
in 1986. 2006 brought the post-Katrina reopening of the the park's driving range Storyland, and Carousel Gardens Amusement
Park (which only ran during Celebration in the Oaks that year).
ZZ Top and Jay Boy Adams performed at A Warehouse on December 30, 1979.
On December 30, 1978 the Marshall Tucker Band, Firefall, and Jay Boy Adams performed at A Warehouse.
On December 30, 1977 Jerry Jeff Walker, Sea Level, and the Copas Bros. performed at A Warehouse.
On December 30, 1963, the United States Justice Department ruled that states were to have possession
of tidelands formed after they had been admitted to the Union. In Louisiana, some of the affected land had produced oil and
On December 30, 1903 the American Political Science Association was founded in New Orleans.
Julie Rose Calve, soprano, prima donna at the Théâtre d'Orléans. Born, Rennes,
France, May, 1815; daughter of J. H. Calvé. Training received in France; engaged by John Davis (q.v.) as prima donna
for the Théâtre d'Orléans, New Orleans, season 1837-1838; debut November 21, 1837, as Rosine in Le Barbier
de Seville (Rossini). Created leading soprano roles in the United States premieres of Le Postillion de Longjumeau (Adam);
Le Domino Noir and Zanetta (Auber); Les Huguenots (Meyerbeer); and Anna Bolena, Don Pasquale, Lucia di Lammermoor and Les
Martyrs (Donizetti), among others, during following nine seasons. Retired from stage after 1845-1846 season. Married,
May 29, 1858, impresario Charles Boudousquié (q.v.) of New Orleans. Died, New Orleans, December 30, 1898.
On December 30, 1803 the United States took possession of the Louisiana area from France at New Orleans
with a simple ceremony, the simultaneous lowering and raising of the national flags.
Luis Francisco Héctor de Carondelet, XV baron de, governor of Louisiana and West Florida. Born,
Cambrai, France, July 29, 1747; son of Jean Louis Carondelet and Marie Angélique Bernard de Rasoir. Entered Spanish
military service in 1762; served in Caribbean theater during American Revolution; participated in Spanish siege of Pensacola,
1781. Became governor of San Salvador, Audiencia de Guatemala, March, 1789; appointed governor of Louisiana and West Florida,
March 13, 1791; assumed duties in New Orleans, December 30, 1791. Carondelet governed Louisiana during
the most turbulent years of the Spanish era. Included among many problems he faced were intrigues among the Southern Indians
launched by William Augustus Bowles; expansionist pressures from sundry quarters in the United States; invasion threats
to Louisiana and West Florida fomented by the French minister to the United States, Edmond Gênet; internal dissension
inspired by the French Revolution; slave revolts; and threatened seaborne attacks from the French (1793-1794) and British
(1796-1797). Carondelet worked diligently—if unrealistically—at forging a grand alliance of the Southern Indians
as the primary defense of Louisiana and West Florida against U. S. encroachment, only to see his efforts dashed by Spanish
acquiescence in U. S. territorial demands and navigation rights to the Mississippi in the Treaty of San Lorenzo, 1795. Urged
without success making New Orleans a free port as a means of stimulating economic growth and was responsible for numerous
public improvements in New Orleans. Withal, was esteemed by some contemporaries as an energetic and honest administrator.
In 1796, reassigned to Viceroyalty of New Granada, eventually became president of the Audiencia of Quito. Left New Orleans
in 1797. Married, October, 1777, in Barcelona, María de la Concepción Castaños y Aragorri, a native
of La Coruña, daughter of Juan Felipe de Castaños, intendant of Portugalete, and María de Aragorri.
Children: Luis Angel (b. 1787), María Felipa Cayetana (b. 1788). Died, Quito, December 10, 1807. Source:
CALVE, Julie Rose, soprano, prima
donna at the Théâtre d'Orléans. Born, Rennes, France, May, 1815; daughter of J. H. Calvé. Training
received in France; engaged by John Davis (q.v.) as prima donna for the Théâtre d'Orléans, New Orleans,
season 1837-1838; debut November 21, 1837, as Rosine in Le Barbier de Seville (Rossini). Created leading soprano roles
in the United States premieres of Le Postillion de Longjumeau (Adam); Le Domino Noir and Zanetta (Auber); Les Huguenots
(Meyerbeer); and Anna Bolena, Don Pasquale, Lucia di Lammermoor and Les Martyrs (Donizetti), among others, during following
nine seasons. Retired from stage after 1845-1846 season. Married, May 29, 1858, impresario Charles Boudousquié (q.v.)
of New Orleans. Died, New Orleans, December 30, 1898. From http://lahistory.org/site20.php
Huey P. Long Bridge Contract Signed December 30, 1932
Huey P. Long had been dead a mere three months when the bridge linking the New Orleans
area to the west bank of the Mississippi River was dedicated in his memory on December 16, 1935. It was the first to span
the river in Louisiana, the 29th in the United States, and the world's longest railroad bridge. Designed by Ralph Modjeski,
it span of 135 feet rises 409 feet above the high water mark and includes two 18-foot wide automobile roadways (a local radio
personality was fond of calling it the "Huey P. Narrow") with two 2.5 foot pedestrian walkways. As many as
1,000 workmen spent three years pouring 413,370 tons of concrete and handling 4,400 tons of granite and 60,000 tons of steel.
Its main pier sits upon a man-made island consisting of 131,500 cubic yards of sand within a caisson of steel. Railroad tracks
run 4.4 miles to and from the bridge.
Southern Pacific Railroad had proposed a bridge as far back as 1892 and in 1924 the Public Belt Railroad
had commissioned Modjeski to design a bridge which was rejected by the Department of Defense. In 1926 Modjeski drew
new plans which were approved. On December 30, 1932 the Public Belt, the city, the state, and the Reconstruction Finance
Company (RFC) signed the contract for construction of the new bridge.
On opening day, 1200 people rode
the Southern Pacific train across the bridge and back. Thousands watched as Long's daughter, Rose, cut the ribbon to
allow cars to take their first ride across the $13,000,000 project. Many, without automobiles, walked over the river
and back. Bands played and a pageant was presented by school students.
A banquet was held
in the evening at the Roosevelt Hotel. A.D. Danziger credited Long with making the new bridge a reality. Thomas
F. Cunningham, president pro tem of the Public Belt Commission also spoke -- he had been awarded the Times-Picayune Loving
Cup in 1932 for his 31 years of efforts to see that a bridge be built to what some people deemed "nowhere".
Another Huey P. Long bridge, at US 190 (Airline Higheay) was built in Baton Rouge in 1940.
from the Library of Congress.
Captain Salvatore Pizzati Dies
The Pizzati Gate erected in 1910 is one of the the oldest structures in the Park. It
is located at was the main entrance at Alexander Street and City Park Avenue. Donated by Steamboat Captain Salvatore Pizzati
the gate as rededicated on October 25, 2001 in memory of Edgar A. Luminais, an original member of the Board of Commissioners.
The gas-lit ornate cast-iron Belknap Fountain (left of center) was built in 1870 by Jackson Ogden Belknap who used it primarily
as an advertising stand on the neutral ground of Canal Street until it was donated to the park. The bridge was named
in honor of Victor Anseman, the "Father of City Park".
In 1903, the benefactor of this beautiful gate presented a plan for the construction of Saint Joseph's Parochial School at
417 South Roman Street (right), along with the $70,000 cost to build it -- the largest donation to Catholic education yet
in the South. Speaking of his wife and himself, Pizzati said, "We have no children. God has blessed us abundantly.
Let us do for the children of others. Together we make this gift". The school opened in 1904, able to accommodate
800 students. His name “Captain Salvatore Pizzati" was inscribed in stone above the main entrance.
1904 Mother Cabrini, having heard of his generosity, called upon him to build an asylum and school for orphans to be run by
her the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart. The order bought property on Esplanade Avenue near Bayou St. John on
the site of the Srickler Seed Company for $18,000 and the Pizzati donated $75,000 for the construction of the school, convent,
and apartments for the ophans. Mother Cabrini said, "I learned that Captain Pizzati and his wife always work in
concert. It was Mr. Pizzati who inspired the gift of St. Joseph's new school...Now it is Captain Pizatti himself who
conceives the thought of this orpanage and industrial school".
Born on September 12, 1839 in Palermo,
Sicily, he came to the United States in 1808 as a skilled boat master. He began working in association with Captain Grande
on schooners trevelling between Spanish Honuras and New Orleans -- he was the first steamship captain to bring bananas into
the United States. He was an admiral in the Honduran navy and commodore of the Oteri-Pizzati Steamship Company which,
when sold to United Fruit Company in 1899, included ten ships, plantations, and plants. He was a director of Whitney Central
Bank and Interstate Bank and owner of Columbian Brewery and Southern Insurance Company. He owned three plantations in
Buras, one named for him where he cultivated 14,000 orange trees.
Pizzati was honored by many, Pope
Pius X who bestowed upon him The Great Cross (Chevalier de Papa) in recognition of his charitable works.
He was a commandotore of the King of Italy, an admiral in the Honduran navy, a colonel of the staff of Governor J. Y. Sanders,
and a special officer of the New Orleans Pollice force (his obituray stated that he knew and was known by all of the
The City Park gate was his last public donation before his death on Thursday, December
30, 1915. He was survived by his wife Frances Vallenzano and adopted son Marco Antonio Pizzati at 2502 Canal Street.
The Pizzati gate was rededicated in 2001 in honor Edgar Alphonse Luminais, one of the original Lower City
Park commissioners (Audubon Park was then called "Upper City Park" and City Park wass the "Lower City Park").
Luminais was on the board in 1891 when the bylaws were drafted for the City Park Improvement Association which officially
changed the name and acquired control of the park from the City of New Orleans. He served alongside Victor Anseman, the "Father
of City Park" (who was given a $40 salary as the park's keeper). During his time as a commissioner when the park
was largely undeveloped, Luminais oversaw the construction of a fence in the front of the park, the addition of over 50 iron
benches, an octagon-shaped dance pavilion, a ladies rest area near the gate, a mens rest area near Bayou Metaire, a foot bridge
across the bayou, the addition of 50,000 orange, lemon, and fruit trees as a source of revenue, entertainment for the same
purpose, the addition of cattle pasturing in the rear for a fee, a prohibition against shooting and trapping in the park,
and a long-range plan for improvement.
During the 1920s visitors entering the Pizzati Gate would be greeted by these one-hundred year-old
bare-breasted ladies (left) on Anseman Avenue. They had originally hovered high above the main entrance to the New Orleans
Cotton Exchange building (above) which was built in 1823 but being readied for demolition in 1920. They were acquired by
the park along with the granite caryatids which flanked the exchange's door and the standing figure between the two ladies
in the photograph. Their tenure in the park was brief – some citizens were outraged. The ladies went on to reside
at Metairie Cemetery and the caryatids can still be seen near the cemeteries on City Park Avenue. The fate of the top
center figure is unknown.