Today in New Orleans History

November 6

Shushan Airport Milneburg Joys

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Joe Wendryhoski Dies
November 6, 2008 
Joseph Stanley "Joe" Wendryhoski (March 1, 1939 – November 6, 2008) was an inaugural member of the New Orleans Saints, playing for the team in both 1967 and 1968 and played every offensive snap as the starting center under head coach Tom Fears, appearing in 14 games each season with the Saints. He recovered a fumble for the Saints in 1968, the only fumble recovery of his career.  Wendryhoski, along with several of his Saints teammates, appeared in the film Number One, which starred Charlton Heston as a fading New Orleans quarterback.  After retiring from the Saints, Wendryhoski served as a Vice President for the Saints Hall of Fame Museum (now located in the Superdome) from its inception in 1988. Wendryhoski lived in Metairie, where he ran a real estate business, and also had a residence in Wisconsin. He died at age 69 on November 6, 2008 after a short illness in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, after having battled with cancer. (Wiki)

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Filming of Benjamin Button began on November 6, 2006 in New Orleans.

Clarence Williams (October 8, 1893 – November 6, 1965) was an American jazz pianist, composer, promoter, vocalist, theatrical producer, and publisher. By the early 1910s he was a well regarded local entertainer also playing piano, and was composing new tunes by 1913. Williams was a good businessman and worked arranging and managing entertainment at the local African-American vaudeville theater as well as at various saloons and dance halls around Rampart Street, and at clubs and houses in Storyville. Williams started a music publishing business with violinist/bandleader Armand J. Piron in 1915, which by the 1920s was the leading African-American owned music publisher in the country. Clarence Williams' name appears as composer or co-composer on numerous tunes, including a number which by Williams' own admission were written by others but which Williams bought all rights to outright, as was a common practice in the music publishing business at the time. Clarence Williams hits include "I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate" (as publisher - not composer), "Baby Won't You Please Come Home", "Royal Garden Blues", "Tain't Nobody's Business If I Do", "Shout, Sister, Shout", You Rascal You, and many others. Clarence Williams also is the author of Hank William's 1949 hit My Bucket's Got A Hole In It, a song that was later recorded by Louis Armstrong. In 1970, Williams was posthumously inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Photos of  NORD play rehersal taken on November 6, 1955.  See series number 154.  Those include: Lyons Center. 01-Rick Lacoste, Leon Touzet, Ann Marie Laumann, Hart Guenther, Don Arata; 02-Brenda Marshall, Charlie Decker, Peggy Ormond; 03-Wilma Cherry, Leon Touzet; 04,08-Barbara Muller, Barra Bircher; 05-Joel Barnes, Don Arata; 06-James Ellis, Joy Billich; 07-Hart Guenther, Cathy Gremillion.

Photo of  5300 St. Charles Avenue, formerly home to Gilbert Academy, now De La Salle high school taken on November 6, 1949.
Photo of the Milton H. Latter Memorial Library, 5120 St. Charles Avenue, taken on November 6, 1949.
Photo of 1805 Coliseum Street, former home of Mayor deLesepps S. Morrison, taken on November 6, 1949.

The WWII Liberty Ships George W. Cable  and Helena Modjeska were launched on November 6, 1944 at Delta Shipbuilding Company.

Photos of the location of a unit of the WPA household aide project, 3441 Chippewa Street, before the aides fixed the place and tidied the yard, taken on November 6, 1940.

In 1904, Martin Behrman he was elected Mayor of the City of New Orleans for the first time. He took office on November 6, of that year. His second term as mayor began on November 3, 1908 and his inauguration took place on December 7, 1908. Mayor Behrman was again elected for his third term on October 2, 1912. He took office on December 1, 1912 and his term expired December 4, 1916. He was elected for the fourth time without opposition on November 7, 1916, and remained in office until December 6, 1920 when Andrew J. McShane became Mayor of the city. Again in 1925, Martin Behrman ran for mayor being opposed by Paul H. Maloney and Andrew J. McShane. A second primary became necessary owing to the closeness of the count, but was not called due to Mr. Maloney withdrawing from the race. Martin Berhman was conceded the election on Monday, April 13, 1925, taking office May 4, 1925.

Amos White (November 6, 1889 – July 2, 1980) was an American jazz trumpeter.  White grew up an orphan in Charleston, South Carolina, where he played in the Jenkins Orphanage band in his teens in addition to traveling with minstrel shows and traveling circuses. After attending Benedict College, he returned to the orphanage to take a teaching position. During World War I White played in the 816th Pioneer Infantry Band in France, and settled in New Orleans after the war. Working as a typesetter, he played jazz in his spare time, working with Papa Celestin and Fate Marable among others.

Stanhope Bayne-Jones was a physician, an American bacteriologist, a United States Army medical officer, and a medical historian.  As a member of the United States Surgeon General's Advisory Committee on Smoking and Health, he had a significant role in the 1964 report linking smoking to cancer.  He was born in New Orleans, on November 6, 1888, and died on February 10, 1970, in Washington, DC.  Bayne-Jones was the subject of a biography in 1992.  Bayne-Jones Community Hospital at the US Army's Fort Polk is named in his honor, as is a professorship at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.  His papers were donated to the National Library of Medicine in the late 1960s.

Edward Henry Durell, the 23rd mayor of New Orleans took office on November 6, 1863 and served until February 2, 1864.

Jefferson Davis was elected to a full six-year term as President of the Confederate States of America  on November 6, 1861, and was inaugurated on February 22, 1862. Alexander Stephens was elected vice-president.

LeBreton d'Orgenois was the seventh mayor of New Orleans, serving for less than a month at the end of 1812.  He is descended from Nicolas Chauvin de la Freniere, Pierre-Charles Le Sueur and was related to the LeMoyne brothers: Iberville and Bienville.  He served as mayor from November 6, 1812 December 4, 1812.

At a November 6, 1795 meeting, the Governor called attention to the fact that at a previous session it was not mentioned that the Cabildo Building should extend to the Corner of the Plaza to include the 41 by 60 feet of ground belonging to the Crown assigned to the troops of His Majesty - the extreme end of the 41 feet to be used by the Officers and Soldiers of the Guards; - the upper floors for use of this Cabildo forever. The Commissioners approved of the above suggestion and proposed that two thousand Pesos be dedicated to the new building from the Royal Treasury, to which the Intendant agreed for the reason that it would have been necessary to construct a building, in any event, at the Royal expense, for His Majesty's Guards. The Commissioners agreed that the building be erected as stated, and stipulated that the lower floors of the mentioned 41 by 60 feet should always be for use of the Guards. Also at this meeting, Reference is made to Bayou St. John in connection with the erection of a draw bridge to permit schooners to reach the city through the Carondelet Canal.  Pedro Guiot, alias Lafeunesse, was employed to build this bridge under the supervision of Commissioner Forstall.   Don Andres Almonaster exhibited two Royal Edicts which he requested copied in the records and the originals returned to him. One Edict granted him possession of a special pew in the Cathedral, and the other returned to him the management of the Charity Hospital which had been so unjustly taken from him. By this Edict Almonaster is given the privilege of appointing all the physicians of the hospital and all the employees of the hospital and church, without question, as long as he may live.  

Lafreniere Park Opens
November 6, 1982

Evolves from the Louisiana Revolution of 1768

 Lafreniere Park
A 5000 acre land grant was given by Bienville as a reward to Nicolas Chauvin de la Freniere for service to the colonization of New Orleans.  The property, which ran from the lake to the river, changed hands and was subdivided through the years, part of it coming to be known as Elmwood Plantation.  Beginning in the 1920s, land development in Jefferson Parish began to increase. The big boom came after World War II when GIs returned home to start families in a limited New Orleans market.  The baby boom fueled a migration to the west where modern ranch homes sprang up in suburbs with names such as Westgate, Airline Park, and Bissonet Plaza. 

It was near this area that 427 acres were used for the  multi-million dollar pari-mutual Magnolia Park Inc.Harness Racing course  (photo below) which opened in 1954 on Frank J. Clancy Boulevard (now Downs Boulevard).   The company built a $100,000 road (David Drive?) from Airline Highway to the track where there was parking for 5000 vehicles, seating for 2500 in the grandstand  (the dining area seated 600) and accommodations for over 20,000 people on the grounds. Barns provided spaces for 600 horses on the 227 acre track. The remaining 200 acres was later used for housing development. The harness racing season ran from September to Thanksgiving Day (when the New Orleans Fairgrounds opened each year). In 1959 the track was renamed Jefferson Downs which offered nighttime horse racing. It closed, after a Halloween evening fire, in 1965.  The land sat idle for years until Jefferson Parish residents voted on Saturday, February 10, 1973 to use the land as a recreation area.  Lafreniere Park groundbreaking was celebrated in 1977.  The park was dedicated and opened  on November 6, 1982.


A brief history of the Lafreniere property:: Upon the death of the original owner, Nicolas Chauvin, the land passed to his son, Nicolas de la Freniere, fils [the son].  He was a leader of the Louisiana Rebellion of 1768,  Nicholas Chauvin de Lafreniere was born on his family's 5000 acre plantation (some of which is now Lafreniere Park) on September 30, 1728.  In 1749 he replaced his father on the Superior Council as acting councillor assesseur.  In 1758 Louis Billouart de Kerlérec recommended him for reappointment to the council and he was sent to France as Kerlérec's personal envoy to the minister of Marine in 1759. While there he studied law and was admitted to the French bar.  On January 1, 1763 he was appointed attorney general of Louisiana, serving in that position until August 1769.  He implemented ministerial directive to expel the Jesuit order from Louisiana in July 1763 and, with Denis-Nicolas Foucault, presided over public sale of huge Jesuit estate.  La Freniere also secured legislation banning importation of slave "criminals" from other French colonies.

After Spanish governor Antonio de Ulloa attempted to establish Spanish dominion as stipulated in the Treaty of Fontainebleau in 1768, Lafreniere, along with Joseph Milhet, Jean-Baptiste Noyan, Pierre Caresse and Pierre Marquis, led an insurrection which ousted Ulloa in October 1768. Ulloa's replacement Alejandro O'Reilly was able to crush the rebellion and arrested its leaders on August 18, 1769.  They were charged with treason, tried, found guilty, and sentenced to death. They were executed by a firing squad in New Orleans on October 25, 1769. The Louisiana revolution preceded the American revolution by several years.

According to the book A History of Louisiana (1909):

It was found that there was no hangman in the colony, so the condemned prisoners were ordered to be shot. When the day of execution came, hundreds of people left the city. Those who could not leave went into their houses, closed the doors and windows and waited in an agony of sickening dread to hear the fatal shots. Only the tramping of soldiers broke the deathlike stillness which brooded over the crushed and helpless city. At three o’clock on a perfect October afternoon in 1769, the condemned men were led to the Spanish barracks. Lafreniere, it is said, gave the order to fire. A volley of muskets broke out on the still air, and five patriots went to their death, — the first Louisianians to give their blood for the cause of freedom.

Photo by Megastealer

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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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