Today in New Orleans History

May 15

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Union General Benjamin Butler's "Women's Order"

May 15, 1862
From The Daily Picayune, New Orleans, May 16, 1862, page 2.

Butler's General Order No. 28 was a decree made by Major General Benjamin Butler during the Civil War.  Butler became military commander of New Orleans on May 1, 1862. Many of the city's inhabitants were strongly hostile to the Federal government, and many women in particular expressed this contempt by insulting Union troops. Accordingly, on May 15, Butler issued an order to the effect that any woman insulting or showing contempt for any officer or soldier of the United States should be treated as a woman of the town "plying her avocation" - meaning soliciting of prostitution.  Known as the "Woman's Order," it nonetheless was very controversial at home and abroad, as women throughout New Orleans. The general dislike over No. 28 even went so far as people printing his portrait on the bottom of chamber cups and was a cause of Butler's removal from command of New Orleans.

The order was highly publicized and heavily criticized both domestically and overseas. Butler became known as “The Beast”. The British House of Lords called it a “most heinous proclamation” and regarded it as “one of the grossest, most brutal, and must unmanly insults to every woman in New Orleans.” The Earl of Carnarvon (now of Downton Abbey fame) proclaimed the imprisonment of women “[a] more intolerable tyranny than any civilized country in our day [has] been subjected to". The London Review criticized Gen. Butler’s rule, accusing him of “gratifying his own revenge” and likening him to an uncivilized dictator.

Gen. Butler was removed from his command of New Orleans on December 16, 1862. The international attention garnered from the Order contributed greatly to his removal from New Orleans, as did his threats aimed at foreign consuls. (WIKI)

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Florist Max Scheinuk Dies
May 15, 1974

Married in Galviston, Texas in 1908, Max and Elise Scheinuk moved to New Orleans the same year and started the business in New Orleans in 1909. First located at 4433 Dryades Street they opened a shop at 2047 Broadway (corner of Panola) during the mid 1910s and advertised as "The Broadway Florst". 
Max had served as an active member of the city Parkway Commission and as a member of the board of directors of the Jewish Children's Home, the Southern Florest Association, and the New Orleans Horticultural Society Floral Association.  a native of Poland, he died in New Orleans on May 15, 1974 at the age of 88.
Elise, a native of Germany, came to the U.S. in 1906.  She passed away on October 11, 1967 at the age of 80.  Their business at 2600 St. Charles Avenue also served as their home. Their nursery was on Jefferson Higway near Kenner.  Pictured on the right, an October 29, 1954 Times-Picayune advertisement for Scheinuk Florist located at 2600 St. Charles Avenue.
TodayInNewOrleansHistory/1961November14FloristsClaiborneOaks.gifFrom the Times-Picayune:

The designated route of Interstate 10 through New Orleans called for it to run along North Claiborne Ave. On Nov. 14, 1961, city officials met on the avenue's neutral ground at Dumaine St. to mark its oak trees that were to be "saved." They are, from left, Herman Farley, president of Parks and Parkway Commission; Wilson S. Callender of New Orleans Floral Trail; Mayor Victor Schiro; Felix Seeger, commission superintendent, and Max Scheinuck, chairman of the ground committee.

Only 51 of the 253 trees from Canal St. to Elysian Fields Avenue were deemed salvageable in a move The Times-Picayune editorialized was "indispensable to general progress." Removal of the trees did not occur until February 1966. Many cite the destruction of this leafy boulevard and its vibrant community life as start of Treme's downward spiral. Removal of this stretch of the interstate has been suggested in several post-Hurricane Katrina plans.

Photo of girls competing in a track event at Lincoln Playground, possibly during a city-wide meet for elementary grade students on May 15, 1948. At the 1948 event, the girls from the F. P. Ricard School Playground crushed their competition. (NOPL)

On May 15, 1944, the Liberty ship Alexander W. Doniphan was launched by Delta Shipbuilding Company.

A formal portrait of Archbishop Joseph Francis Rummel, taken by local photographer C. Bennette Moore sometime between the Archbishop's installation (May 15, 1935) and Moore's death (December 8, 1939).

John L. Lewis was elected the thirteenth Mayor of New Orleans, March 27, 1854, took office on April 10, 1854 and served until 1856.  In 1845 he was elected Sheriff of the Parish of Orleans and served two terms. In 1852 he was elected to the State Senate and finally, in 1854, was chosen Mayor of the City.  Under his administration, two important enterprises for the beautification of the city deserve mentioning. They were: The completion of the Jackson Statue and the beginning of the movement which resulted in the erection of Henry Clay’s Statue, unveiled April 12, 1860. The site in the Place d’Armes (Jackson Square, was chosen for the statue of Jackson, because in 1840 Jackson had placed there the cornerstone of what was intended to be a monument to the memory of the Battle of New Orleans. The appropriation $35,000 for the monument was made in a spirit of gratitude by the people of Louisiana and to commemorate the achievements of this hero to whose military genius and patriotic devotion in the hour of their greatest peril, they owe the triumph which served their principal city from capture by an invading enemy and which is one of the brightest pages in the history of the State of Louisiana. Lewis died May 15, 1886 at the age of 86.The last rites were held from the family residence, 329 Chartres Street and he was buried in the St. Vincent de Paul Cemetery. (NOPL)

On May 15, 1847, in honor of victories in Mexico, the entire city was illuminated. 

At the May 9, 1832 Conseil de Ville session, the body "RESOLVED, that the Mayor is and remains authorized to use the stores necessary to complete the sidewalks "City Carre' Banquettes" already begun at the ???? intersections. The paving material left over and that which shall hereafter be had from this should be exclusively used to pave Royal Street".  This was approved on May 15, 1832 by Mayor Prieur.

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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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