Today in New Orleans History

June 22

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Pistol Pete Maravich is Born
June 22, 1947


Peter Press "Pistol Pete" Maravich was born on June 22, 1947 in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania. His father, Petar "Press" Maravich, was a professional basketball player then coach at Clemson University, North Carolina State University, and LSU.

While in high school the younger Peter acquired the nickname "Pistol Pete" because he often shot the ball from his side in a motion which resembled shooting a hand-gun. For three years of his college career at LSU, his father was the varsity coach.  Pete was selcte by the  Atlanta Hawks as a third pick in the first round of the 1970 NBA Draft.  In the summer of 1974, he moved to the expansion franchise New Orleans Jazz. When the team moved to Salt Lake City in 1979 to become the Utah Jazz, Pete moved with them. In January 1980 he moved to the Boston Celtics. Ongoing knee problems led to his retirement at the end of that season.

He was the all-time leading NCAA Division I scorer with 3,667 points scored and an average of 44.2 points per game achieved before the three-point line was introduced to NCAA basketball and despite being unable to play varsity as a freshman under then-NCAA rules. One of the youngest players ever inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Maravich was cited by the Hall as "perhaps the greatest creative offensive talent in history". In an April 2010 interview, Hall of Fame player John Havlicek said "the best ball-handler of all time was (Pete) Maravich."

On January 5, 1988, Pete Maravich collapsed and died at age 40 of heart failure while playing in a pickup basketball game in the gym of a church in Pasadena, California, with a group that included evangelical leader James Dobson. Maravich had flown from his home in Louisiana to tape a segment for Dobson's radio show.

An autopsy revealed the cause of death to be a rare congenital defect; he had been born with a missing left coronary artery, a vessel which supplies blood to the muscle fibers of the heart. His right coronary artery was grossly enlarged and had been compensating for the defect. Maravich is buried at Resthaven Gardens of Memory and Mausoleum in Baton Rouge. (WIKI)

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Walter Stauffer McIlhenny (October 22, 1910 - June 22, 1985) served as president of McIlhenny Company, maker of Tabasco brand pepper sauce. Around 1940, when he began executive training at the company at Avery Island. McIlhenny's grandfather, Edmund McIlhenny, had invented the fiery condiment, and his father, John Avery McIlhenny, had presided over the company from 1890 to 1898. After sering with distinction in World War II, he returned to the organization in 1946, assumed its presidency in 1949, and retained that office until his own death in 1985. During his tenure as head of the company, McIlhenny expanded and modernized the production and marketing of Tabasco brand pepper sauce and helped to mold the brand into an international culinary icon.

The wide destruction wrought on the city by Hurricane Katrina and subsequent floods from the levee breaches in August 2005 knocked all threestreetcar lines out of operation and damaged many of the streetcars. Service on a portion of the Canal Street line was restored in December of that year, with the remainder of the line and the Riverfront line returning to service in early 2006. On December 23, 2007, the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) extended service from Napoleon Avenue to the end of historic St. Charles Avenue (the “Riverbend”). On June 22, 2008 service was restored to the end of the line at South Carrollton Avenue & South Claiborne Avenue. WIKI)

Photo -- Aloma Lykes, Associate Professor of Clinical Communications Disorders at LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans presented a lecture on the nature of Ebonics (i.e., ebony + phonics, literally "black sound") and the arguments for and against its use in education, June 22, 2002. (NOPL)

Born in New Orleans on June 22, 1962, Clyde Austin "The Glide" Drexler  was a professional basketball player who was a ten-time All-Star, was named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, won an Olympic gold medal in 1992 as part of the 1992 United States men's Olympic basketball team ("The Dream Team"), and an NBA Championship player in 1995 with the Houston Rockets. He is a two-time Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee (being inducted 2004 for his individual career, and in 2010 as a member of the "Dream Team"). (WIKI)

On June 22, 1959, ground was broken for a new wing at Flint-Goodridge Hospital.

On June 22. 1944, Delta Shipbuilding Company launched the Liberty ship Ferdinand R. Hassler.

New Orleans jazz brass band leader and trumpeter Ernest "Doc" Paulin was born on June 22, 1907.

On June 22, 1903, the Department of Police and Public Buildings appointed Frank E. Bishop Vice-President of a committee arranging ceremonies to mark the beginning of active construction of sewerage system for the city. (NOPL)

Paul Morphy was born on June 22, 1837 in what is now known as the Beauregard-Keyes House and museum at 1113 Chartes St. The house was built in 1826 and was later owned by General Pierre Beauregard in 1866 and by author Frances Parkinson Keyes from 1942 to 1970. Born into wealth and class Morphy was a child prodigy, beating Hungarian chess master Johann Löwenthal when the boy was 12 years old. At age 20, he won the First American Chess Congress and held the title "Chess Champion of the United States". Shortly afterward Morphy was declared "The World Chess Champion" and retired from the game. In later life, Morphy suffered with depression and mental illness. In 1841, the family moved to 417 Royal Street to the home where he died on July 18, 1884 of a probable stroke. This property later became Brennan's Restaurant.


To decrease the number of dogs in New Orleans and its incorporated Faubourg.

To impose a tax on all canine animals in said limits.


To farm said tax's proceeds.

The City Council ordains the following:


An annual tax is imposed on all canine animals by the present Ordinance in the City and its incorporated Faubourgs at the rate of $2.00 per head, payable by the owners to said hereafter mentioned farmer when he demands it.


Said tax shall be fixed each year by the first two weeks in July by the Mayoralty to the last and lowest bidder for twelve months, after notice shall have been duly given in the official newspaper. The purchaser shall give his note at six months to the Mayor within twenty-four hours. Said note shall be endorsed to the satisfaction of the Mayor guaranteeing said farm amount. Besides, said purchasers shall give a good and adequate security for $1000.00 to guarantee the faithful fulfillment of his contract.

The purchaser shall as soon as he has signed his contract and given the above mentioned note, take or have a census taken of all canines in the indicated limits giving the name of each said canine owner. Anyone refusing to acknowledge ownership of a dog; or making a false statement shall pay a $5.00 fine for each violation whose collection shall be made in any competent court one half to the benefit of the purchaser, the other 1/2 to the benefit of the City Funds.


Before next August 1st, all canine owners shall receive brass or metal collars on which the name and address of their owner shall be inscribed. Any canine found without said collar in the streets or public places after next August 1st, shall be taken and done away with as the purchaser or his agent shall see fit without prejudice to the rights of the purchaser, to have the tax on said animals paid to him should said tax not be paid.


It is strictly prohibited that slaves shall own a canine. In the event of violation of the present Ordinance, the tax on above mentioned animals shall be paid to the purchaser by said slave's master unless the latter shall prefer to have them lashed at the jail by not more than ten lashes. Notwithstanding that said animals shall be done away with as the purchaser or his agent shall see fit.


The purchaser shall give the Mayor the first two weeks of April of each year and exact copy of the census he shall have taken for said year of all said animals in the City and incorporated Faubourgs. He shall also state the number of said animals he shall have done away with by virtue of the present Ordinance.

Approved, June 22, 1832

D. Prieur, Mayor

At its session of June 22, 1822, the Conseil de Ville passed a resolution authorizing W.W. Montgomery and Francis B. Ogden to "pass contracts in the North" for the purchase of iron pipes needed for construction of a water works for New Orleans. This project appears to have been the completion of the water works begun earlier by Benjamin Henry Latrobe.(NOPL)

Joseph Wiltz, owner of a plantation, measuring about four arpents front on the Mississippi, which he had acquired by act before P. Pedesclaux, Notary, on October 18, 1800, had H. Laclotte, Surveyor, on June 22, 1807, make a plan of part of his At the time Mr. Wiltz sold these lots, he abandoned in perpetuity in favor of the various purchasers of said lots, the space between the front lots and the Public Road, the pasture and the cypress swamp in the rear which were to be enjoyed by them in common with the sole condition that the purchasers should send in the common pasture only three head of animals for each lot and should cut wood in the swamps for their private use and not for sale. On January 30, 1838, by act before Francois Joseph Enoul Dugue Livaudais, Judge and ex-officio Notary of Jefferson Parish, the proprietors of these lots made a partition of the front, batture and rear of the tract. The heirs of Joseph Wiltz sued the owners of the lots, and claimed the front, batture and rear. The supreme Court in the case of Arnauld vs. Delachaise (rendered in 1849) decided that the property belonged to the owners of the lots for the reason that Joseph Wiltz at the time that he had sold the same had abandoned in perpetuity to the purchasers of said lots, the front, the batture and the rear. Faubourg Plaisance was bounded below by the Plantation of Jacques Francois Enoul de Livaudais (which boundary is now Toledano Street) and above by the Plantation of Philippe Pierre August Delachaise (now Delachaise Street). (NOPL)

On June 22, 1792, The Attorney General called attention to the Cabildo of complaints of the public that the retailers are cheating in the weight of bread. Two Commissioners were appointed to make inspection. He also noted that complaints of the public of bakers are using spoiled flour. Two Commissioners were appointed to inspect the bakery shops and throw into the river all spoiled flour found.
From the "Red Tape Department":
At the same meeting, a document is presented by Don Francisco Bernoudy (or Bernaudy) in which he states that since the year of 1779, when he built his residence on the other side of the river, he has been continuously busy repairing the levee, which has deprived him of his earnings and he now finds himself forced to abandon his property; that this action would be detrimental to other inhabitants by increasing their responsibility in this burdensome work or would force them to follow his example. He requested as an alternative, that the Commissioners lend him the sum of ten thousand Pesos, either from the Royal funds or from the City Treasury, with which to build a solid levee. Same to be reimbursed within six years, he furnishing bond. The Commissioners forwarded this proposal to the Attorney General for his opinion. (The Attorney approved this proposal, but due to lack of funds in the City Treasury and the necessity of obtaining Royal approval, he recommended that the petitioner apply to the Intendant General who may order the loan of ten thousand Pesos from the Royal Treasury.)

From the "There's Nothing New Under the Sun Department":
On June 8, 1787,  Governor Miro informed the Cabildo that he has ordered the construction of a small house to lodge the Negroes afflicted with small pox. He also points out the necessity of another house across the river for all persons with small pox. Two Commissioners were appointed to locate such a house and arrange for purchase.  At a June 22 meeting, the purchase of the house was reported, act of sale passed and the price paid. After which it was brought out that the Count de Galvez (former Governor) had built a hospital and a house for the convalescent in the same location for the same purpose, and the Commissioners are faced with the responsibility of having uselessly invested the city’s funds. (NOPL)

Sisters of the Holy Family Open Orphanage
on Conti Street
June 22, 1879

A New Orleans lady, born in 1813 to a wealthy Frenchman and a quadroon free woman of color, who rejected the social norms of her times is now the first U.S. native-born African American religious leader whose cause for canonization was officially opened by the Catholic Church.  

TodayInNewOrleansHistory/HenrietteDelilleHolyCard.gifHenriette Delille's birth was the results of a placage, an extralegal "common law" system which became institutionalized in our city during the Colonial Era.  The arrangements included contracts or negotiations between white men and free women of color which stipulated the financial and/or housing arrangements for woman, the settlement of property, and, many times, paternal recognition of any children the union produced. The woman's mother usually negotiated the terms of the agreements, including the financial payment to the parent.  To our modern sensibilities, such arrangements seem arcahaic but they were acceptable in their day and provided mixed-race women with social prestige and financial security.

Dellille had been groomed for such an arrangement. Her mother taught her French literature, music, dancing, and nursing. Her mother kept an eye on Henriette when she attended many quadroon balls, which were the young women's introductions into the social world which would lead to their arranged "marriages".  An independent woman and a feminist (before the word had been coined), Delille became a social worker, educator, and a nun.  Ironically, the most popular location for hosting quadroon balls would later become the convent and school of the order of religious sisters founded by Henriette Delille.
During the 1820s, Delille and Juliette Gaudin, a young Cuban woman, began aiding slaves, orphan girls, the uneducated, the sick and the elderly people of color in New Orleans.  In 1835, at the age of 22, she sold all of her property with the intention of founding a community of  women to teach for free girls of color.  Numerous recordings in archival records at the Saint Louis Cathedral show that, at the age of 23, Henriette had begun her apostolic ministry as baptismal sponsor and witness for slaves.
On November 21, 1836, a small unrecognized congregation or order of nuns, the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, was organized. The original members consisted of Henriette, Juliette Gaudin, six other young Créole women, and a young French woman. After several failed attempts, Delille and Juliette Gaudin received permission from the diocese to begin a new religious order. Their board was composed of a director, president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer and vice-treasurer. The sisters and laypersons of this society were called upon to teach religious principles and the most important points of Christian morality.  In 1837, Father Etienne Rousselon secured formal recognition of the new congregation from the Holy See.  Sanctioned by the church, their main purpose was to care for slaves, the sick, and the poor. 

Six years later, at the urging of Jeanne Marie Aliquot (an early supporter of St. Augustine Church) and the counseling of Pere Etienne Rousselon (vica-general of the diocese), Delille and Gaudin knelt publicly at the altar of St. Augustine Church on November 21, 1842 and pledged to live in community to work for orphan girls, the uneducated, the poor, the sick and the elderly among the free people of color, thus founding the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Family -- the second-oldest African-American congregation of religious women. 

In 1843, catechism classes were conducted for adults and children on St. Augustine's property at Bayou Road (now Governor Nicholls).  Delille and Gaudin were later joined by Josephine Charles; the first three novices, Delille, Gaudin and Charles, are considered the founders of the congregation. Although the primary work of the sisters was in the area of education, during her tenure as head of the order, Delille made it possible for the order to build a home for the sick, aged, and poor Black residents of the city.

By 1847 the apostolate of the three sisters was supported by an association of men and women incorporated as the Association de la Sainte Famille. Their mission was for the relief of infirm and indigent persons. They eventually acquired a building that was known as Hospice de la Societe de la Sainte Famille. Through legal incorporation and fund-raising, they erected the building on two lots situated on St. Bernard between Plauche and Villere streets. The hospice was blessed on June 10, 1849.
When Henriette’s mother died in 1848, she inherited $1,200 which she used, along with borrowed money, to arrange for the purchase of property on Bayou Road and declared this transaction to be solely for the purpose of establishing an institution for the religious education according to Catholic doctrine for persons of color.  This became the orders first "House" (convent and school) of The Sisters of the Holy Family.  But it wasn't until October 15, 1852, when Henriette, Juliette, and Josephine pronounced first vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience to God in St. Augustine Church before Père Rousselon, that they first wore the black habit of a religious order.
Henriette Delille passed away on November 16, 1862 at the age of 50.  It is thought that her death was a result of tuberculosis.  Her funeral was held at St. Augustine church. She is buried in St. Louis Cemetery No. 2.
The order she founded continued her legacy by opening a convent school on Chartres street on December 3, 1867, five years after her death. In 1880 they moved the mother house at 717 Orleans Avenue, between Bourbon and Royal streets -- the site of the Orleans Theatre, the Quadroon balls, the First District Court, and finally the Bourbon Orleans Hotel (Photo of the school.convent)
In 1883, the order opened a convent in Opelousas.  In 1875 they opened a home for aged and infirm people of color on St. Bernard Avenue between Villere and Marais streets.  An orphanage was opened on June 22, 1879 on Conti Street.  In 1892, they opened school for boys and St. John Berchman's Orphan Asylum for girls.  
At the time of her death, her order included twelve nuns. 1909, it had grown to 150 members, and operated parochial schools in New Orleans that served 1,300 students. By 1950, membership in the order peaked at 400. Her Sisters have served  the poor by operating free schools for children, nursing homes, and retirement homes in Louisiana, Texas, California, Washington, D.C., Oklahoma, Alabama, Florida, Belize, Panama, and Nigeria.
In April 1988, Mother Rose de Lima Hazeur, Superior General of the Sisters of the Holy Family. requested Archbishop Philip M. Hannan to initiate the canonization of Henriette Delille.  In 1989 the order formally opened its cause with the Vatican.  On November 10, 2006, the decree of judicial validity was issued in the investigation into the life, virtues and reputation of sanctity of  Mother Henriette Delille. She was declared venerable in 2010.
A prayer room in the rear of St. Louis Cathedral (where slaves were thought to have been baptized) was commissioned by its rector Reverend Monsignor Crosby W. Kern in her honor. 
In 2011, the City of New Orleans renamed St. Claude Street in Treme in her honor.  Henriette Delille Street now runs at what was the 1000 through 1800 blocks of St. Claude, from St. Philip Street, at the edge of Louis Armstrong Park, to Pauger Street, where St. Claude Street and McShane Place come together to form St. Claude Avenue.

The photo above was taken by Sister Doris Goudeaux in 2008 of the three founding members' tomb in St. Louis Cemetery No. 2.    In summing up Henreitte Delille's life and mission, Sylvia Thibodeaux, a modern Sister of the Holy Family,  told the Los Angeles Times, "She was the servant of slaves. You can't get more committed than that. 

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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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