Today in New Orleans History


1700 First Buildings
On Feb. 1, 1700, Iberville was given orders to head back to Louisiana and to establish the first colony in the present state of Louisiana. He selected a spot on the Mississippi River that seemed to remain high and dry. On Feb. 1, 1700, construction began on the small fort with four cannons 18 leagues from the sea, near the present settlement of Phoenix, 30 miles below New Orleans.

When completed that same year, Iberville placed his young brother, Bienville (who founded New Orleans in 1718), in command of what he named Fort de la Boulaye, or on some maps, Fort du Mississippi. Three hundred years ago this year, it became the first permanent French settlement in the present state of Louisiana.

Garrett Morris, actor and comedian on Saturday Night Live, was born on this day in 1937 in New Orleans.

NIXON, James Oscar, journalist. Born, Fairton, N. J., 1822. Removed to New Orleans ca. 1840. Married Martha Inskip. Children: two daughters and one son, J. Oscar, Jr. Entered the clothing business with an uncle. Bought the New Orleans Crescent in 1854 and edited it. Allied with the Know-Nothing party. Chairman of the New Orleans board of aldermen, 1860-1861, and again in 1865. Member of the Southern Yacht Club, 1859. Appointed lieutenant colonel, First Louisiana Cavalry Regiment, September 11, 1861; captured at Big Hill, Ky., July 31, 1863; released from prison, 1865. Edited the Crescent until it folded in 1869. A founder of the Pickwick Club. Removed to Mississippi in 1870 but returned to Louisiana in 1880. Died, New Orleans, February 7, 1891. A.W.B. Sources: Fayette Copeland, "The New Orleans Press and Reconstruction," Louisiana Historical Quarterly, XXX (1947); New Orleans Times-Democrat, February 8, 1891; Howell Carter, A Cavalryman's Reminiscences (1900).  From


- Christian Science Monitor -
Feb 1, 1909
NEW ORLEANS--Two well-known real estate men here have just paid $175000 for a tract of land on Gentilly road, about four miles from the business section of the city, with the purpose of transforming it into a fashionable residential quarter.
In 1909, development began in Gentilly Terrace, a neighborhood of impressive homes on the lake side of Gentilly Boulevard bounded by St. Roch and Franklin Avenues. The homes were all the more beautiful by being built up high upon the terraced lots. Edward Lafaye, Colonel R. E. Edgar De Montluzin and Michael Baccich were instrumental in its development. De Montluzin also purchased the Michoud lands in 1923, and these 32,000 acres were sold in 1959 to New Orleans East, Inc. Across Gentilly Boulevard to the south were the neighborhoods of Edgewood Park (with streets named for flowers and trees) and Forest Park (with streets with Indian names).
Interest in developing the Gentilly area of New Orleans begins. Gentilly is on fairly high ground and has natural drainage and ready access by way of the Pontchartrain Railroad. Gentilly Terrace is planned by the real state firm of M.A. Baccich and R. E. E. de Montluzin so that homes are built on small hills and businesses are restricted to commercial blocks. The area does not see substantial growth until 1935.

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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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