Today in New Orleans History

July 17

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  Newsman William Blanc "Bill" Monroe Jr.
Born in New Orleans on July 17, 1920


NBC News television journalist William Blanc "Bill" Monroe Jr. was born in New Orleans on July 17, 1920.  He graduated from Tulane in 1942 and during World War II, served in the Air Forces in Europe. Early in his career, Monroe served as the first news director for WDSU-TV, an NBC affiliate. In 1959, Monroe’s team at WDSU-TV won a George Foster Peabody Award. His news reporting on NBC's Today show, won a Peabody in 1973. He was also a prominent figure in arguing for greater press access to courtrooms and legislative chambers. For some years prior to his assuming the moderator's chair, Monroe served as one of four regular weekly panelists on Meet the Press. He also served as Washington bureau chief for NBC and frequently reported for The Today Show, for which he won a Peabody in 1973. Monroe retired from NBC in 1986, but subsequently held several other jobs including ombudsman for the official armed forces newspaper "Stars and Stripes". He died on February 17, 2011. (Wiki)

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On July 17, 2002, Booker T. Washington High School and Auditorium were placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

On July 17, 1976, ZZTop performed at Tulane Stadium.

On July 17, 1974 the U.S. Custom House at 423 Canal Street was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Victor Hugo "Vic" Schiro (May 6, 1904 - August 29, 1992), was an American New Orleans, Louisiana, politician who served on the City Council and as Mayor from July 17, 1961 - May 2, 1970.  Schiro was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Italian immigrants Andrew Edward and Mary (Pizzati) Schiro. After moving to New Orleans with his parents as a child, Schiro spent his young adulthood in Honduras and California, where he worked as a movie extra, and co-managed a Nevada gold mine before returning to New Orleans. He worked briefly as an assistant cameraman for Frank Capra. Having returned to New Orleans in 1928, Schiro became a radio announcer. In 1932, Schiro married Mary Margaret Gibbes, better known as Sunny Schiro. Schiro founded his own insurance company and became an active civic leader in the 1940s; he was president of the Young Men’s Business Club. In 1950, he was elected commissioner of public buildings and parks. Under the new mayor-council charter of 1954, Schiro was elected councilman-at-large. When DeLesseps S. "Chep" Morrison, resigned his position as mayor in 1961 to become U.S. Ambassador to the Organization of American States, the City Council elected Councilman Schiro, then Councilman-At-Large, as interim mayor. Schiro was subsequently elected to two full terms in 1962 and 1965. Schiro inherited Morrison’s Crescent City Democratic Association, formed as a rival to the Regular Democratic Organization, but the political machine was deeply divided by the 1962 election, and it declined thereafter. (NOPL)


CALONGNE, Adolphe Fauconne de, writer-journalist. Born, New Orleans, November 11, 1836; son of native of Jérémie, Haiti, who came to New Orleans in 1816. Worked as accountant and served as editorial secretary for Le Patriote. An active White Leaguer, participated in the riot of 1874. Published numerous poems and some essays in Le Courrier de la Louisiane, La Renaissance Louisianaise, L'Avenir de la Nouvelle Orléans, Le Dimanche, Le Patriote, L'Almanach de la Louisiane. Translated into English an opera Roland a Ronceveaux, libretto and music by A. Mermet (1869). Died, New Orleans, July 17, 1889. From

New Orleans Joys written and played by Jelly Roll Morton was recorded on July 17, 1923 on Gennett Records in Richmond, Indiana.

The Gentilly streetcar line operated from February 21, 1926 until July 17, 1948.

Alvin Alcorn was born in New Orleans on September 7, 1912.  He learned music from his brother, though not much is known about his youth. He played freelance in New Orleans in the late 1920s and early 1930s; he appears with Armand J. Piron's Sunny South Syncopators in 1930-31. He toured with Don Albert from 1932-37, but this ensemble only did one recording date and Alcorn does not solo on it. He returned to New Orleans in 1937, playing in the groups of Paul Barbarin, Sidney Desvigne, Oscar Celestin (1951), and Octave Crosby. He then moved to Los Angeles in 1954, where he played with Kid Ory's Creole Jazz Band between 1954-56. Returning once again to New Orleans, he played regularly in local ensembles, and occasionally accompanied bands such as Chris Barber's on tours of Europe. He was a member of Louis Cottrell, Jr.'s Heritage Hall Jazz Band.  Alcorn performed with the Olympia Brass Band on the soundtrack to the James Bond film Live and Let Die, and has a bit part as a killer in the film. He died on July 17, 2003.

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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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