Today in New Orleans History

July 28

Shushan Airport Milneburg Joys

To receive an update for each day in New Orleans history,  join our facebook page - Today in New Orleans History.

Sloopy Dies
July 28, 1998 
Dorothy Sloop at the piano, performing with Yvonne "Dixie" Fasnacht owner of Dixie's Bar of Music (now the Cat's Meow and formerly the Bayou Pom Pom Grocery)
Photograph by Brett Ruland

Jazz musician Dorothy Sloop (also known as Dorothy Sloop Heflick) was born in Steubenville, Ohio on September 26, 1913.  During her performing years, she was best known as a pianist with a number of all (or mostly) female jazz bands in the New Orleans area, primarily from the 1930s through the 1950s. She recorded an album, Dixie and Sloopy, in 1957 with Yvonne "Dixie" Fasnacht, a jazz vocalist and clarinetist who operated Dixie's Bar of Music on Bourbon Street.  Sloop retired to Florida and became a teacher. She died in Pass Christian, Mississippi at age 84 on July 28, 1998. Her name is now commonly associated with the song "Hang on Sloopy", performed by The McCoys and other artists during the 1960s, as it is alleged that Dorothy was the inspiration for the song. This song is now the official rock song of the U.S. state of Ohio, and it is performed often by the marching band of The Ohio State University and at Progressive Field where the professional baseball team the Cleveland Indians play. (Wiki)

To receive an update for each day in New Orleans history,  join our facebook page - Today in New Orleans History

On July 28, 2010, New Orleans writer Rice publicly announced her disdain for the current state of Christianity on her Facebook page, stating, "Today I quit being a Christian.... I remain committed to Christ as always but not to being "Christian" or to being part of Christianity. It’s simply impossible for me to 'belong' to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group. For ten years, I’ve tried. I’ve failed. I’m an outsider. My conscience will allow nothing else." Shortly thereafter, she clarified her statement: "My faith in Christ is central to my life. My conversion from a pessimistic atheist lost in a world I didn't understand, to an optimistic believer in a universe created and sustained by a loving God is crucial to me. But following Christ does not mean following His followers. Christ is infinitely more important than Christianity and always will be, no matter what Christianity is, has been, or might become." (Wiki)

Jazz trombonist and record producer Delfeayo Marsalis was born in New Orleans on July 28, 1965.

Jazz trumpeter Leon Prima, the older brother of the musician Louis Prima, was born in New Orleans on July 28, 1907. Hplayed early in his life with Leon Roppolo, Ray Bauduc, Jack Teagarden, and Peck Kelley (1925–27). He co-led the Melody Masters with Sharkey Bonano in the late 1920s and early 1930s, but played less in the 1930s. He played in his brother's big band from 1940 to 1946 in New York City. After moving back to New Orleans, he led his own ensemble, and managed more than one nightclub, then retired in 1955 to take up a career in real estate. Prima led two sides in 1945 and four in 1954, the latter of which were released on Southland Records. (Wiki)

Louis J. Roussel Jr., born on July 28, 1906, was a streetcar conductor who made a fortune in petroleum and banking. He was known for his long-time financial support to the campaigns of Edwin Washington Edwards, lieutenant governor Bill Dodd, State Senator Ben Bagert, J. Bennett Johnston Jr.,and others. Roussel contributed a total of $500,000 to Dodd's campaigns and $600,000 alone to Edwards' failed 1987 race against Buddy Roemer. In 1997 Roussel published his autobiography, Friends, Enemies & Victims - The Personal Success of a Seventh-Grader: The Autobiography of Louis J. Roussel, Jr.. A resident of Metairie, he died on October 20, 2001 at the age of 95 and is buried in Metairie Cemetery. His name lives at Loyola University's Louis J. Roussel Performance Hall and the Louis J. Roussel, Jr. Laser Planetarium and MegaDome Cinema in Kenner

Louisiana's statewide police force is the Louisiana State Police. It began in 1922 from the creation of the Highway Commission. In 1927 a second branch, the Bureau of Criminal Investigations, was formed. In 1932 the State Highway Patrol was authorized to carry weapons. On July 28, 1936 the two branches were consolidated to form The Louisiana Department of State Police and its motto became "courtesy, loyalty, service". In 1942 this office was abolished and became a division of the Department of Public Safety called the Louisiana State Police.

The Canal Street Line traces its origins to the old New Orleans City RR Co., founded to provide horse-drawn streetcar service throughout the city. This system's first lines opened in June 1861, running on Esplanade, Magazine, Prytania, and Canal Streets. The original car barn for the Canal Line, which served it until the end in 1964, was established at White Street. The line ran on its namesake street from St. Charles Street to the car barn; it was extended in August all the way to the end of the street at the Cemeteries.
The City RR came under the control of the New Orleans Traction Co. in 1892 as the system was prepared for electrification. A large order for new electric streetcars was placed with the Brill Co. of Philadelphia. The Canal Line was the first New Orleans Traction line to be electrified, beginning electric service on July 28, 1894. It was followed very quickly by Esplanade and the rest of the company's horsecar lines. The line was extended slightly in the central business district to terminate at the foot of Canal Street.

In 1901, the streetcar company slightly extended the Canal and Esplanade Lines so that their outer ends met at City Park Ave., and connected them together in a Belt Line. Canal cars left the central business district on Canal Street, operated to City Park Ave., turned down that street to Esplanade Ave., and returned on Esplanade to Rampart and thus back to Canal Street. Cars marked Esplanade left the central business district via Rampart Street down to Esplanade, then operated out Esplanade to City Park Ave. to Canal, and returned on Canal Street. This Belt Line arrangement lasted until December 27, 1934, when Esplanade Ave. was converted to buses, and Canal resumed running only on Canal Street, end-to-end.

From 1934 to 1950, there were two lines running on Canal Street. Cars marked West End operated from the foot of Canal to the outer end of the street at the cemeteries, then turned left onto City Park Ave. (Metairie Road) to the New Basin Canal, and then out the east bank of that canal to the West End amusement area at Lake Pontchartrain. Cars marked Cemeteries followed the same route, but turned back at the cemeteries immediately after turning off of Metairie Road. West End made only limited stops along Canal Street from Claiborne Ave. to City Park Ave. The West End line was converted to buses in 1950, after which the surviving Cemeteries cars were once again signed Canal. In 1951, the outer terminus of the Canal Line was moved to the end of Canal Street, and tracks on City Park Ave. (Metairie Road) were removed.

In 1964, the streetcar company (known since 1922 as New Orleans Public Service Incorporated, or NOPSI) proposed to convert the Canal Line to buses. The line was to be combined with the West End and Canal Blvd. bus lines, so that patrons could have a one-seat ride all the way from the central business district to Lake Ponchartrain. There was tremendous controversy over the proposal, but it was carried, and the Canal Streetcar was discontinued, over the protests of preservationists. The last day was May 30, 1964, with the final run (NOPSI car 972, carrying banners which read "See Me On St. Charles") leaving Canal Line tracks at about 5:00 a.m. May 31. All the streetcars, except for 35 reserved for the St. Charles Line, were scrapped or donated to museums across the country, and all track and overhead wire was removed.

By the 1990s, interest in streetcars was rekindled, not only in New Orleans, but in many cities around the country. Plans for the restoration of the Canal Line were announced in 2000, and tracks were rebuilt from the foot of Canal Street out to the cemeteries. There was even a branch line created on N. Carrollton Ave., which had never before had streetcar service. Finally, the Canal streetcar line reopened April 18, 2004, almost 40 years after its close. (Wiki)

German American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church James Hubert Herbert Blenk, S.M. (July 28, 1856 – April 20, 1917) served as Bishop of Puerto Rico (1899–1906) and Archbishop of New Orleans (1906–1917).

To receive an update for each day in New Orleans history,  join our facebook page - Today in New Orleans History

If you have enjoyed these daily updates, you might also enjoy these books by Catherine Campanella:



You Can Support this Site by Clicking on & Shopping from the Amazon Ad/Link below -- and it won't cost you a penny more:

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).

Shushan Airport
To receive an update for each day in New Orleans history,  join our facebook page - Today in New Orleans History.