Today in New Orleans History

June 6

Shushan Airport Milneburg Joys

Work Begins on the Industrial Canal
June 6, 1918


U.S. Corps of Engineers Photo, 1918

Building the entrance at Lakefront.


The Industrial Canal is a 5.5 mile (9 km) waterway in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States. The waterway's proper name, as used by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and on NOAA nautical charts, is Inner Harbor Navigation Canal (IHNC). The more common "Industrial Canal" name is used locally, both by commercial mariners and by landside residents.

The canal connects the Mississippi River to Lake Pontchartrain. It separates New Orleans East from the rest of the city of New Orleans, and the Lower 9th Ward from the Upper 9th Ward. Approximately half of the waterway's course, from Industrial Lock to a point north of the Florida Avenue Bridge, is confluent with both the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO).

The entirety of the canal passes through the 9th Ward of the city. Along the riverfront, the canal constitutes the boundary of the Upper 9th Ward's Bywater neighborhood on the upriver side of the canal and the Lower 9th Ward neighborhood on the downriver side. Near the lake, it is generally considered to be the eastern boundary of the Gentilly neighborhood and the western boundary of New Orleans East.

In July 1914 the Louisiana State Government authorized the Port of New Orleans to build a deep-water shipping canal between the river and lake. Considerable land was expropriated in the downriver portion of the city. Toward the lake this was mostly little-developed swamp. Along the riverfront, though, buildings demolished to make room for the canal included homes and the Ursuline Convent, whose Dauphine Street facility was nearly a century old at that time.

Dredging of the canal began on June 6, 1918. The length from the lake to the lock near the river was constructed with a 30 foot (9 m) depth, with a width of 300 feet (90 m) at the top of the canal and at least 150 feet (45 m) at the bottom. The original lock system had 5 gates, a width of 74 feet (23 m), and a depth of 50 feet (15 m), with a capability to function to up to 20 feet (6 m) in difference of levels between the river and lake. The opening dedication ceremony was presided over by Louisiana Governor John M. Parker on May 5, 1923. The cost was 19 million dollars.

The original length of the canal was 5.3 miles (8.5 km) with a 1,600 foot (500 m) right-of way. The longer current length of 5.5 miles (8.9 km) is due to the extension of the lakeshore by dredging in the late 1920s.

A breach in the canal's levees resulted in the flooding of the Lower 9th Ward during Hurricane Betsy in 1965. Subsequently, concrete floodwalls were constructed to replace the levees.

In 2005, with the approach of Hurricane Katrina, storm surge funneled by the confluence of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway's and MRGO's levees created multiple breaches in the canal's concrete floodwalls, including the spectacular failure of a quarter-mile length on the Lower 9th Ward side, resulting in catastrophic flooding. On the Upper 9th Ward side, the canal poured through a breach near Florida Avenue. On the opposite side, there were two breaches between Florida Avenue and Claiborne Avenue. A large barge, the ING 4727, floated through the breach closer to the river and was deposited in the Lower 9th Ward. The barge itself may have caused one or more of the breaches; this possibility is under investigation. The canal lock was functioning two days after Katrina hit, at first mostly for barges bringing in fill to repair the breaches. A month later Hurricane Rita reflooded recently drained areas along the canal by topping emergency fill at the breach sites. (WIKI)

You Can Support this Site by Clicking on & Shopping from this Amazon Link -- and it won't cost you a penny more:
Shushan Airport Milneburg Joys

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

Photo -- Angela Hill holding a Proclamation presented to her by the New Orleans City Council on June 6, 2013. Pictured Left to Right: Dr. Irwin Marcus, Councilmember Cynthia Hedge-Morrell, Councilmember Kristin Gisleson Palmer, Council President and Councilmember-at-Large Jackie Clarkson, Angela Hill, Councilmember James Austin Gray II, Councilmember Susan G. Guidry.

The National World War II Museum, formerly known as the National D-Day Museum opened on June 6, 2000, the 56th anniversary of D-Day.

Thomas Covington Dent, writer, civil rights activist and dramatist, was born on March 20, 1932 in New Orleans, La. He was the eldest son of Dr. Albert Dent, a President of Dillard University and Ernestine Jessie Covington Dent, a former concert pianist. Dent began his writing career as an undergraduate at Morehouse College where he wrote for and later edited the campus newspaper the Maroon Tiger. In 1952, he graduated from that college earning a B.A. in Political Science. He did graduate work at Syracuse University before serving a two-year stint in the U.S. Army. By 1961, he was back in New York working for a Black weekly newspaper called the New York Age and serving as press liaison for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, a position he was appointed to by NAACP attorney (and later Supreme Court Justice) Thurgood Marshall. While in New York, Dent's literary talents and cultural activism fused to give his work a strong cultural identity found in the briefly published issues of Umbra magazine which Dent helped found and edit. His New York experience exposed him to several other African-American writers whose works were also revealing the culture and struggles of African-Americans at that time. In 1965, Dent returned to New Orleans and helped found the Free Southern Theater (FST), a collective of artists, thinkers and activists fighting racism and segregation through drama productions. During his time at FST, he wrote "Ritual Murder", perhaps his best-known play, which examines black-on-black crime. The following year, in 1968, out of the need he saw to aid the development of younger writers and create a cultural base for them in the city, he began a writer's workshop as part of FST called BLKARTSOUTH. He was a mentor to several young writers and influenced many whose works he edited or reviewed. He was constantly involved in African-American literature, writing articles and reviews for magazines and co-founding literary journals such as Nkombo and Callaloo. He also produced collections of poetry and essays, first Magnolia Street in 1976 followed by Blue Lights and River Songs in 1982. He was a fervent oral historian and collected interviews about the Civil Rights Movement and jazz in New Orleans. In 1987, he worked as executive director of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation which produces the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. He resigned that position in 1990 to begin work on what would be his last book, Southern Journey, A Return to the Civil Rights Movement (1997). A year later, on June 6, 1998, he died of a heart attack. (NOPL)

BENTON, Blanche, nurse, assistant pastor.  A native of New Orleans.  Received a nursing degree from Coinson School of Practical Nursing.  Her religious credentials were from the R. R. Wright School of Religion, an extension of Campbell College of Jackson, Miss.  She served as assistant to the pastor of Payne Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church, New Orleans.  She was a chaplain at Orleans Parish Prison, a board member of the New Orleans chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and a member of the Payne Memorial Church Society.  Children:  Theodore, Walton, and the Rev. Valson Benton.  Died, New Orleans, June 6, 1982; interred Belgrove Cemetery, Kenner, La.  J.B.C.  Source:  New Orleans Times-Picayune, June 12, 1982. From

Photo -- Walker Street from Canal Boulevard to Milne Street before paving was completed on June 6, 1958. Curbs, gutterbottoms, and asphalt surfacing were completed November 13, 1958.  The photo was taken on October 13, 1957. [Photography by Leon Trice] (NOPL)

Photo -- Fire Station #1 (Elysian Fields and Pelopidas streets under construction by WPA workmen, June 6, 1939. The station will be of Spanish bungalow architecture and of stucco construction. Plans call for a large apparatus room, dormitories, shower ro oms, dining & kitchen rooms, and captain's quarters. (NOPL)

Prior to 1918, New Orleans had passed several hundred "spot" or "piecemeal" zoning ordinances governing construction of buildings or operation of businesses in certain blocks, streets or areas. By the 1920s, the result was a confusing, sometimes contradictory assortment of regulations, inconsistently enforced. In 1923, in response to this confusion and to a "plan movement" developing nationwide, the Commission Council established the City Planning and Zoning Commission (Ordinance 7353 CCS) to act in an advisory role to the Council on planning and zoning matters. In 1926, following the passage of the State Zoning Enabling Act (Act 240) and the City Planning Enabling Act (Act 305), the Behrman administration provided funding for the CPZC to hire the St. Louis firm of Harland Bartholomew and Associates to prepare a complete city planning survey, including plans for a comprehensive zone ordinance.  Between September 1928 and January 1929, the Commission Council held a series of 11 public hearings on the tentative ordinance and considered the ordinance in additional executive sessions. Finally, the comprehensive zoning ordinance, 11,302 CCS (cal. 11,105) was passed on June 1, adopted on June 6, 1929 and became effective at midnight on June 11, 1929.

BOWERS, Charles Houma Dixon, physician, civic leader.  Born, Houma, La., June 6, 1892; son of Rev. Frank B. Bowers and Margaret Jackson Bowers; one of nine children.  Education:  New Orleans University (now Dillard University), B.A., 1915; M. A., 1923; Meharry Medical School, M. D., 1919.  Married Cassie Collins, 1920.  Children:  Mrs. Dee Ione Bowers Willoughby of Boston, Mass., Dr. Charles H. D. Bowers, Jr., of New Orleans.  Positions:  staff of Flint-Goodridge Hospital, 1919; chief of medical staff at Flint-Goodridge Hospital, 1938-1969; director of state and city venereal disease program; university staff physician, Dillard University, 1935-1969; admitting officer and director of Out-Patient-Clinics, Flint-Goodridge Hospital; president, Original Illinois Club, 1956-1958; volunteer service to the Louisiana Interscholastic Athletics Association, 1939-1969.  Awards and memberships:  Rosenwald Fellow at the Third Medical Division of New York University Bellevue Hospital; Meharry Medical College President's Award for 50 years' service; Sunbeam Bakery Award; Louisiana Coca-Cola Company's Community Service Award for service to local young people; Distinguished Alumni Award, Dillard University, 1964; Blue Devil Sports Award, Dillard University; Churchman Award from First United Methodist Church; Omega Psi Phi Award, 1958, 1967; Orleans Parish Medical Society Award; Rosenwald Dubloon Award for Outstanding Historical Doctors; secretary, board of trustees of New Orleans University; first president, Dillard University Alumni Association, 1936; New Orleans University Alumni Association, 1935; New Orleans University Alumni Association, 1919-1930, secretary; New Orleans Medical Association; Louisiana State Medical Association; the Eagle Life Insurance Co., officer, 1930; Bunch Social Club, Alpha Alpha Boule Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity; Chi Delta Mu; Omega Psi fraternity; Original Illinois Club.  Religion:  Methodist.  Member of First Street United Methodist Church of New Orleans, 1919-1969.  Died, July 29, 1969.  C.T.  Sources:  New Orleans University, Seventy Years of Service, New Orleans University (1935); "Dr. Bowers Gets Alumni Award," Dillard Bulletin, XXX (December, 1964); Funeral Program Obituary, July 31, 1969; Dr. and Mrs. Charles H. D. Bowers, Jr., of New Orleans, La.  From

BULLITT, Alexander C., journalist, politician.  Born, Louisville, Ky., 1802.  Practiced law for several years; entered politics in support of Henry Clay.  Arrived in New Orleans, ca. 1840; partner, Bullitt, Magne & Co., proprietors of bilingual (French-English) L'Abeille (the Bee), 1840-1844; edited English portion, 1840-1844; state printer, 1840-1841, 1843-1844; partner in Picayune, 1844-1849.  Served as state legislator, 1846-1847, and member of city council, 1847-1848; supported Zachary Taylor (q.v.) in presidential election, 1848; followed Taylor to Washington to edit Washington Republican, 1849-1850.  Retired from active participation but remained associated with Picayune, 1850-ca. 1861; traveled in Europe, 1850-ca. 1854; resided on plantation in Washington County, Miss., and townhouse in Louisville, Ky.  Married twice, second time to Irene S. Williams, March 22, 1859; fathered at least one daughter (b. ca. 1865).  Died, Louisville, Ky., June 6, 1868; interred Louisville.  F.M.J.  Sources:  Thomas Ewing Dabney, One Hundred Great Years:  The Story of the Times-Picayune … (1944) Fayette Copeland, Kendall of the Picayune … (1943); New Orleans Daily Picayune, June 9, 1868; New Orleans Times-Picayune, January 25, 1937; New Orleans Genesis, No. 1 (1962); New Orleans city directories  From

Photo -- Harper's Weekly, June 6, 1863 illustration captioned "Registered enemies taking the oath of allegiance at the office of Gen. Bowen, at New Orleans" Depicts scene in New Orleans under Union occupation during the U.S. Civil War. Former Confederates taking oath of allegiance to the USA.

Harper's Weekly  reported on June 6, 1863, regarding City Park:  “Captain Walters, Commander of the gun-boat Kineo, had kindly sent there a large quantity of canvas to lay on the grass for dancing, with abundance of ropes for swings, and detailed two or three of his sailors to come and arrange matters for his young friends...It was really interesting to watch some little dark-haired Southern beauty innocently romping with her blue-eyed playmate—the daughter of some officer from Maine or Massachusetts—and then to be reminded that the father of the former was a "registered enemy."  The accompanying sketch is shown here.  During the 1860s the Daily Picayune noted numerous picnics – many including groups of “colored people”.  From an 1864 article: “No doubt more than two-thirds at the large concourse were formerly slaves and treated as if they were unfit for freedom...they have so used their freedom as to convince any candid minded that they are capable of appreciating their freedom”

Regarding the taking of a census, in the Municipal Council proceedings: a complaint on May 30, 1804 that the census had been delayed by Commissaries who failed to send in their census ("in particular that of Mr. Randall") and a resolution on June 6, 1804 that the Governor be furnished with "a general recapitulation of the number of individuals able to carry arms, including the census of the commissioners and census of the Syndics of the districts and other informations he may desire on the subject. . . ." (NOPL)

Juan de Castanedo, Governor Treasurer, wrote a letter dated June 6, 1799 to the Cabildo exposing the impossibility of having the exact flour consummation statement from the bakers of the city. (NOPL)

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.