Today in New Orleans History

July 19

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WPA Army Hostesses
July 19, 1941 


The young ladies from the WPA recreation program in New Orleans who serve as hostesses at the U.S. Army Recreation Center are now wearing uniforms with corporal stripes. They work on weekends while the soldiers are in town, maintaining two recreation huts. Two hostesses shown here are Miss Marian Donnelly and Miss Rose Chuter. (Photos and text from the New Orleans Public Library)

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The Fourth Church of Christ, Scientist at 134 Polk Avenue was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on July 19, 2002.

On July 19, 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald was fired from the Reily Coffee Company  "...because his work was not satisfactory and because he spent too much time loitering in Adrian Alba's garage next door (at 618 Magazine Street), where he read rifle and hunting magazines."  (Source:

On July 19, 1950 in New Orleans, U.S. District Judge J. Skelly Wright issued an injunction prohibiting Washington Parish from any further rejection of African American citizens from registering to vote. On July 28, William Bailey, who brought the federal lawsuit after being denied since 1946, would become the first black registered voter in the 20th Century. About fifty other black persons registered later that day at the courthouse in Bogalusa.  (Wiki)

NOPL photo -- Boys at the start of the city-wide swimming meet at the Lafon Playground pool, July 19, 1947.  According to the library website "One hundred and two kids participated. Three additional pools opened up for African Americans in 1947: Shakspeare, Landry, and Hardin. At the opening ceremony of the Hardin pool, Mayor deLesseps S. Morrison said, “If one life is saved here through a child learning to swim, then the pool will have been paid for.”

WPA photos, July 19, 1941 -- Approximately forty enlisted men at the 21st Bombardment Wing, New Orleans, are studying for promotion by attending WPA adult education classes in various subjects. These photographs show the class in typing and shorthand. The teacher is from the adult education program.

The Christian Science Monitor reported on July 19, 1909, "JACK LONDON STOPS AT NEW ORLEANS ON WAY TO CALIFORNIA".

Poet, journalist and political activist Alice Ruth Moore Dunbar Nelson was born in New Orleans on July 19, 1875. Among the first generation of born free in the South after the Civil War, she was one of the prominent African Americans involved in the artistic flourishing of the Harlem Renaissance. Her first husband was the poet Paul Laurence Dunbar; she then married physician Henry A. Callis; and last married Robert J. Nelson, a poet and civil rights activist. She died on – September 18, 1935 in Philadelphia. (WIKI)

Antoine Blanc was elevated to the rank of archbishop of New Orleans on July 19, 1850, and received the pallium in ceremonies at St. Patrick's Church onFebruary 16, 1851.  From

After the War of 1812, the U.S. Congress realized coastal cities were not adequately defended, so they prescribed the Federal Fortifications Act. The Act, signed by Congress on July 19, 1832, provided over $180,000(USD) for the acquisition of lands, the building of barracks to house U.S. Troops, and the establishment of command and control centers. The original property for the new barracks in New Orleans (100 yards x 300 yards) which would become Jackson Barracks was purchased on December 16, 1833 from Pierre Cotteret to support the new Forts Pike, Macomb, Jackson, Livingston, and St. Philip. (Wiki)

During a July 19, 1802 meeting of the Cabildo is revealed that Don Pascalis de La Barre and three other commissioners were arrested and suspended from their duties due to an investigation of the administration of Miro. After the transfer of the Province back to France the King granted the employees of the government the privilege of remaining under French rule, or in his service in some other possession of Spain. Pascalis de La Barre and one other Commissioner chose to remain in Louisiana. The Attorney General explains that by virtue of sentence imposed by the local Judge (de Jaen - see "MIRO" under "GOVERNORS") not only were Don Nicholas Forstall, Don Pedro de la Roche, Don Francisco Pascalis de la Barre and Don Juan de Castanedo, arrested, but they were also suspended from their employment as Commissioners of this Cabildo. He states that the public welfare will be neglected due to this disorganization. The Commissioners resolve to petition the Governor, officially, to re-instate these officials. (NOPL)

Don Nicholas Maria Vidal, Lieutenant Governor, informed the Cabildo on July 19, 1799, that due to the death, yesterday afternoon, of Don Manuel Gayoso de Lemos, the position of Civil Governor General and Royal Vice Patron falls upon him, according to Royal Orders. (NOPL)

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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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