Today in New Orleans History

June 17

Shushan Airport Milneburg Joys

Milneburg Playground
June 17, 1911
The Milneburg Playground, located on Lake Pontchartrain on ground leased to the city by the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, opened on June 17, 1911. The 1912 Report of the Playgrounds Commission said that it was "one of the best spots for a playground that there is anywhere in this part of the country." "It is a very beautiful place," the report noted, "and is largely attended by city folks who gather at the resort in the summer months. The winter attendance is not very great, and we only maintain it ten months in the year, closing it in November and December."  (NOPL text and photo).
The town of Milneburg (named for Alexander Milne) sat along the shore of Lake Pontchartrain. The New Orleans Levee Board's land "reclamation during the 1920s and 30s left the town about a half-mile from the lakefront which was previoulsy bordered by what is now Robert E. Lee and Leon C. Simon boulevards.  Pontchartrain Beach amusement park was built on this new land between Milneburg and the lake.

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The Phillis Wheatley Elementary School was a school in New Orleans. The school was designed by the architect Charles Colbert in 1954 as a segregated school for African American students. The cantilevered steel truss structure allows for a covered play space underneath. The primary school building did not flood after Hurricane Katrina, but it remained close. On June 17, 2011, the school was demolished, despite an 11-hour protest to save the building.  (WIKI)

On June 17, 2010, JudgeMartin Feldman sentenced Edward Joseph "Eddie" Price III, former mayor of Mandeville, on charges of income tax evasion as well as corruption.

On Saturday, August 29, 2009—the fourth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina—a jury in Orleans Parish sentenced Michael Anderson to death on each of five counts of first degree murder for his execution style shooting of five teenagers on June 17, 2006. The quintuple slaying, which occurred as the nation watched New Orleans begin to rebuild in the aftermath of the storm, drew national attention to the violent crime problems plaguing the city and prompted then-Governor Kathleen Blanco to call in the Louisiana National Guard to help the New Orleans Police Department patrol the streets of the city. (WIKI)

Jazz banjoist and guitarist Johnny St. Cyr, was born in New Orleans on April 17, 1890.  Before moving to Chicago in 1923, he played for several leading New Orleans bands. He is most commonly remembered as a member of Louis Armstrong's Hot Five and Hot Seven bands. He also played with Jelly Roll Morton's Red Hot Peppers. He composed the popular standard Oriental Strut, noted for its adventurous chord sequence.  From 1961 until his death in 1966, St. Cyr was the bandleader of the Young Men From New Orleans, who performed at Disneyland. He died on June 17, 1966 in Los Angeles, California, and is buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Los Angeles.  (WIKI)

June 17, 1951


The Gentilly streetcar line, which ran from February 21, 1926 – July 17, 1948, was derived from the old Villere Line. It was unusual in being named for the neighborhood it served, rather than the street along which it ran. At one end, it traversed the French Quarter. Then it turned up Almonaster (now Franklin) to its terminal at Dreux. Replaced by diesel bus service, which was eventually renamed Franklin for the street.

Sing Miller, born on June 17, 1914 in New Orleans - was an American jazz pianist. He was a longtime performer on the New Orleans jazz scene. Early in his career, Miller sang with the Harmonizing Browns Quartet and played banjo, but in the late 1920s he switched to piano. He did freelance work solo and as an accompanist in New Orleans in the 1930s, playing with Percy Humphrey for a time. He served in the military during World War II, then played with Earl Foster's band from 1945 to 1961. In the 1960s he was a regular at Preservation Hall, working with Kid Thomas Valentine, Kid Sheik Colar, The Humphrey Brothers, Jim Robinson, and Polo Barnes. He did solo tours of Europe in 1979 and 1981, and recorded two full-length albums under his own name, a 1972 effort for Dixie Records and one in 1978 for Smoky Mary. He died on May 18, 1990.

Sylvestro or Silvestro Carolla or Carollo (June 17, 1896 – 1972) was a leader of the New Orleans crime family who was nicknamed "Sam 'Silver Dollar'". He transformed Charles Matranga's Black Hand gang into a Cosa Nostra crime family. Born Silvestro Davide Carollo in Terrasini, Sicily, Carollo immigrated to the United States in 1903 to join his parents in the French Quarter of New Orleans. By 1918, Carollo was a high-ranking member of the New Orleans Black Hand gang. In 1922, Matranga retired and Carollo became gang leader. Taking over Matranga's minor bootlegging operations, Carollo waged war against rival bootleggers. In December 1930, with the murder of rival William Bailey, Carollo gained full control of bootlegging in New Orleans Carollo was married to Caterina Carollo and had three children, Anthony, Michael, and Sarah. Carollo owned several businesses in the New Orleans area, including the St. Charles Tavern, and a cafe in Terrasini. After deportation to Italy, Carlos Marcello took the reins. (WIKI)

Charles W. Waterman was the 17th mayor of New Orleans (June 17, 1856 – June 8, 1858).

Photo: James H. Dakin ink and wash plan for bank property; New Orleans Gaslight and Banking Co. property (?) (front elevation, transverse section and two floor plans), June 17, 1844.

ATKINSON, Charles M., clergyman. Born, Newburyport, Mass., June 17, 1819; licensed in 1848 to preach by Con-gregational Association of New York and Brooklyn. In 1867 named moderator of the Synod of Mississippi which included most of Mississippi and all of Louisiana; in 1875 the Doctor of Divinity Degree was conferred on him by King College, Bristol, Tenn. Served 29 years as Evangelist of the Presbytery of New Orleans, from that city to Lafayette; lived in Morgan City during the yellow-fever epidemic of 1878 when he ministered and served the en-tire community. In 1880, removed to Thibodaux where he resided for 8 years, continuing as "Evangelist of the Teche." Twice married; seven children, two of whom were lost in the 1878 epidemic. Died, Centerville, La., No-vember 4, 1900. Atkinson Memorial Presbyterian Church in Morgan City named in his honor. L.K.L. Source: Author's research. From

Pierre Belly (August 17, 1738 – June 17, 1814) was a Louisiana planter, lawyer and judge. Originally a native of France, Belly arrived in Louisiana in 1774. Pierre had an extensive and successful military career serving as an officer with the Spanish colonial militia and participated in the Galvez expedition against the British in 1779. Pierre retired from the militia in 1792, but returned to duty in 1814 joining a company of men from Iberville in the defense of New Orleans during the War of 1812. The 8th Regiment under the command of Colonel Nathan Meriam was responsible for digging and improving the second line of defense of New Orleans.  (WIKI)

Elias Toutant Beauregard, commandant of Spanish forts. Born, June 17, 1759, New Orleans; son of Marie Magdeleine Cartier and Jacques (Santiago) Beauregard. Married Marie Félicité Durel, daughter of Cecile LeBrun and Jean Baptiste Durel, in New Orleans, 1782. Children: Marie Madeleine Félicité, Marie Rose, Barthélémy, and Manuel. Career: was sent to the Upper Missouri on a trading expedition for his father's mercantile business, 1779; first served Spain as a member of the New Orleans Company of Carbineers in the Mobile campaign of 1780; was a captain in the Louisiana Infantry Regiment, March 1, 1781; appointed by Gov. Esteban Miró (q.v.) as first commandant at Los Nogales (now Vicksburg, Miss.), April 1791; cooperated with Spanish agents in seeking peace between Choctaw and Creek Indians; reported on all vessels descending the river and served as a courier protector by sending messages up and down the river; was judge of civil and criminal cases; laid the groundwork for the Nogales Conference and signed the Treaty of Nogales, October 28, 1793; replaced as commandant from June 23, 1794; was commandant of the post at San Fernando (now Memphis, Tenn.), May-September 1795; was in New Orleans during yellow-fever epidemic of 1796; returned to Los Nogales as commandant from June 23, 1796 to March 23, 1797; listed in 1798 as a captain, Seventh Company, Second Battalion of the Louisiana Infantry Regiment; lived in New Orleans for a time; removed to Baton Rouge and laid out that part of the city known as Beauregard Town. Thrown from a horse during a military review. Died as a result of the accident, December 3, 1809. J.B.C. Source: Jack D. L. Holmes, "Three Early Memphis Commandants: Beauregard, Deville DeGoutin, and Folch," West Tennessee Historical Society Papers, XVIII (1964).  From

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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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