Louis Armstrong Dies
July 6, 1971
Jane Alley Birthplace of Louis Armstrong, 1964
From the Louisiana State Museum
Daniel Louis "Satchmo"
Armstrong was born in a New Orleans ghetto on Jane Alley (now the location of the New Orleans police headquarters near Tulane
and Broad), the son of Willie Armstrong and Mary Ann "Mayann" (Miles?) of Boutté, Louisiana.
He claimed to have been born on the 4th of July, 1900 but his Baptismal certificate places his birth at August 4, 1901. In
early childhood he was raised by grandmother, Josephine Armstrong.
As a young teenager he was arrested for firing a pistol on New Year's Eve, 1913 and placed in
the Colored Waifs' Home. He began playing music there and joined the Colored Waifs' Home Band,
under the direction of Peter Davis. He started out on the tambourine, then drums and alto horn and finally the cornet.
Louis left the Home in 1914 or 1915, worked at various jobs
and was taken under the wing of jazzman Joe "King" Oliver. Armstrong switched from cornet to trumpet between 1925
and 1928 and the rest is musical history. Louis Armstrong was one of the most influential jazz musicians of the 20th
While playing the London Palladium he acquired the nickname
"Satchelmouth" later shortened to "Satchmo." After earning fame, he seldom played in New Orleans because
of segregation laws but did return home in 1949 when he was chosen King Zulu and again in 1965
for a benefit.
For many years he was sponsored by the U. S. State Department as
America's "Goodwill Ambassador". Daniel Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong died in his sleep at his home
in Corona, Queens, New York on July 6, 1971. Somewhat ironically, Storyville established on July
Armstrong was interred
in Flushing, New York cemetery. The Singer Bowl, in Flushing Meadows Park, Queens
was renamed Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong Park and Stadium and dedi-cated in October 1972. Armstrong
Park (formerly Congo Square and Beauregard Square) on Rampart Street in New Orleans was dedicated in April
1980. The former Moisant/New Orleans International Airport was renamed for him on July 5, 2001.