Today in New Orleans History

March 3

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March 3, 1832

In 1832, the arduous task of digging the New Basin Canal from the city through alligator and snake-infested swamps to the lake at West End was begun, mostly by Irish immigrants whose lives were monetarily less valuable than slaves. A cholera epidemic that year hit the city. Six-thousand New Orleanians died in 12 days, many of them Irish.

The Milneburg Lighthouse (also known as the Port Pontchartrain Light) first shone from the shore of what became Pontchartrain Beach.  The lighthouse is still there but in need of salvation. 

The Pontchartrain Railroad (also known as the Smokey Mary) first took passengers from town at Elysian Fields Avenue near the river to the lighthouse and the lake at Milneburg. The shore of Milneburg would later be fronted by newly filled land, scooped up from the lake bottom, leaving the town as far as a half-mile away.

New Orleans was the seat of Louisiana government, whose offices were located in the old Charity Hospital building which was located at Common and Baronne Streets.  The the New Orleans Gas Light Company was a mere three years old.  Royal Street, from Esplanade Street to Canal Street, was paved by the city with round stones in 1832.

It is interesting, I think, to also take a look at the more mundane activities taking place during that year which effected the everyday lives of private citizens.  The following municipal ordinances were passed by the Conseil de Ville (City Council) on March 3, 1832:

That $60.00 is and remains granted to Widow Patterson for the care she gives two persons ill small pox, furthermore that $15.00 shall be granted for eight months to a wet nurse for a four months old infant whose mother's milk has dried up from a mental ailment.

That the Mayor is and remains authorized to have $45.00 per month paid to the persons supervising the carts employed to take away earth from the Batture according to an Ordinance.

That every dray driving in the City of New Orleans shall carry an iron chain attached to one of its shafts and each time it shall stop to take a load, or for any purpose, the driver shall hook said chain to one of the dray's wheels, so as to prevent accidents should the horse or horses attempt to run away, furthermore that any dray driver who shall neglect or refuse to conform to the preceding dispositions shall pay a fine of not more than $15.00 for each violation.

That when the new city's and faubourgs' "banquettes" shall need repair, the lots of ground owners opposite said "banquettes' shall have said repairs done by order from the Mayor, under penalty of a fine up to $20.00 to the judge's discretion to whom the Police Commissioner shall have complained. Said fine shall become recoverable from week to week, should violators not conform to the present resolution, furthermore that the Mayor shall have all gutters crossing banquettes in the City and incorporated Faubourgs edged with curbstones, covered with a flat stone as soon as possible. The owners shall pay the cost, furthermore that the Mayor is and remains authorized to have paved with bricks as soon as possible the "banquettes" bordering the intersections at Canal Street's upper extremity.

These were approved by Denis Prieur, the eighth mayor of New Orleans.

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J.R. St. Julien photo of MacArthur Boulevard: Holiday Drive to General DeGaulle, March 3, 1962.

Afer Hurricane Katrina, after over $3 million worth of improvements including several new rides, the Amusement Park at City Park resumed seasonal operations on Saturday, March 3, 2006 – 18 months after the storm. A post-Katrina marker is located just inside the entrance gates of the Carousel Garden indicating “Floodwaters from Hurricane Katrina on August 29, 2005 reached the bottom of this sign”. (DCM) #146cp

Carnival Day was celebrated on March 3 in 1981, 1987, and 1992.

On March 3, 1925, the New Orleans Rhythm Kings recorded She's cryin' for me in New Orleans.   During the 1920s New Orleans banjoist and guitarist Bill Eastwood played with New Orleans Rhythm Kings, Norman Brownlee and the Halfway House Orchestra, and many other.  He later became a business agent for the musicians union. He died in New Orleans in 1960.  Click Here to Listen to She's cryin' for me  recorded by Bill Eastwood on banjo with the New Orleans Rhythm Kings on March 3, 1925 along with composer Santo Pecora, Charlie Cordilla on clarinet, Paul Mares playing cornet, drummist Leo Adde, Glynn Lea ("Red") Long playing piano and trombone, and Chink Martin on the tuba.

The Washington Post printed on March 3, 1909, "The news comes from Louisiana that large areas of that State heretofore devoted to the growing of cotton will be planted to cane, because the boll weevil has wrought such havoc on the former crop. If this pest shall be the occasion of a diversity of farm crops at the South his presence in the cotton field will not prove an unmixed evil.

Ink and wash of the design for the proposed Marine Hospital,  (front elevation; and all three floor plans), March 3, 1837

The city of New Orleans, Louisiana has been an important commercial center since it was founded in 1718 along the banks of the Mississippi River, near the Gulf of Mexico. This fact was reinforced when the U.S. Federal Government established a branch mint there on March 3, 1835, along with two other Southern branch mints at Charlotte, North Carolina and Dahlonega, Georgia.

Governor Salcedo penned a letter on March 3, 1803 to the Cabildo (Spanish governing body) concerning the arrest of various American pirates and announcing the process expenses in this matter.

William Carroll, soldier, politician. Born on a farm near Pittsburgh, Pa., March 3, 1788; son of Thomas and Mary Montgomery Carroll. Education: meager. Married Cecelia Bradford, ca. 1813. Hardware merchant, captain and brigade inspector of Tennessee militia in February 1813; advanced to rank of colonel and inspector-general in September 1813; became major general in November 1814; raised a force of volunteers, transported them down the Cumberland, the Ohio, and the Mississippi, and arrived in time to give General Jackson (q.v.) invaluable aid in repulsing the British in the Battle of New Orleans. Governor of Tennessee, 1821-1827, 1829-1835. Died, March 22, 1844. The Carrollton section of New Orleans was named in his honor  Source:

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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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