Today in New Orleans History

September 9

Shushan Airport Milneburg Joys

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Saints/Falcon Rivalry Begins
September 9, 1967
On September 9. 1967, the New Orleans Saints played their first game in New Orleans and had their first ever preseason win at Tulane Stadium, defeating the Atlanta Falcons, 27-14. This win earned the Saints a 5-1 preseason record -- the best ever for a new expansion team. It also began the rivalry between the two teams. Press accounts from that game, including the Rome (Ga.) News-Tribune and Los Angeles Times, referred to it as the "Dixie Championship." In recent years, the game has sometimes been referred to as the "Southern Showdown."  
New Orleans vs. Atlanta games which are highlights of Saints' history include:
Jan. 2, 1983 - Saints defeat Atlanta, 35-6 in the Superdome in a rescheduled game that concluded the 9-game season with a 4-5 record
Nov. 1, 1987 - On the franchise's 22nd birthday, Saints posted the largest margin of victory in team history, shuting out Atlanta 38-0 ... the win was the 1st in team-record 9 consecutive triumphs to close out the season 
With the Saints vying for their first ever playoff victory on December 29, 1991, the Falcons came from behind to defeat New Orleans, 27-20 in the Dome
Dec. 3, 1992 - A close 22-14 win over the Atlanta Falcons finished a 3-game, 11-day stretch which put the Saints in the playoffs for the 3rd consecutive year
Sept. 12, 1993 - Saints establish a club record with 557 yards of total offense in a 34-31 road victory over the Atlanta Falcons
Jan. 2, 1983 - Saints defeat Atlanta, 35-6 in the Superdome in a rescheduled game that concluded the 9-game season with a 4-5 record 
Dec. 17, 2000 - Saints all but wrapped up NFC playoff berth after 23-7 victory over Atlanta in the Superdome
Nov. 16, 2003 - A 23-20 overtime win over the Atlanta Falcons gives the Saints their 100th victory in the Louisiana Superdome. McAllister sets a team record with 237 yards from scrimmage, including 173 rushing
Oct. 19, 2003 - Saints post the third-highest scoring total in franchise history with a 45-17 romp over Atlanta at the Georgia Dome
Dec. 26, 2004 - WR/KR Michael Lewis returned a kickoff 96 yards for a TD in the Saints' 26-13 victory vs. Atlanta in the Superdome and gets NFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors
Feb. 5, 2006 - The NFL announces that the Saints will return to the Louisiana Superdome for their first regular-season home game at the stadium since 2004. It was later announced that the Saints will host the Atlanta Falcons Sept. 25 on Monday Night Football
Sunday, September 7, 2014 -- Atlanta defeats the Saints in overtime, 34 - 37 in Atlanta's Georgia Dome

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Hurricane Betsy Strikes New Orleans
September 9, 1965

Hurricane Betsy

Hurricane Betsy was the first tropical cyclone in the Atlantic Basin to cause at least $1 billion (1965 USD) in damage.  It was the third tropical cyclone, second named storm, and second hurricane of the 1965 Atlantic hurricane season.  Betsy entered into the Gulf of Mexico and re-strengthened into a Category 4 hurricane on September 9. While approaching the Gulf Coast of the United States, Betsy peaked slightly below the threshold for Category 5 hurricane status. However, further intensification was halted after Betsy made landfall in Grand Isle, Louisiana later on September 9.

Betsy resumed intensification over the eastern Gulf of Mexico and became a Category 4 hurricane again by early on September 9. Shortly thereafter, the storm turned northwestward and began approaching the Gulf Coast of the United States. While located 45 miles south of the Mississippi River Delta at 0000 UTC on September 10, Betsy attained its peak intensity with maximum sustained winds of 155 mph and a minimum barometric pressure of 941 mbar. A few hours later, the storm made landfall near Grand Isle, Louisiana at the same intensity.

Betsy was one of the most intense, deadly, and costly storms to make landfall in the United States. The storm killed 76 people in Louisiana. Betsy caused $1.42 billion in damage, which when adjusted for inflation amounts to $10–12 billion (2005 USD). Betsy was the first hurricane to cause damage in excess of $1 billion (based on damage at the time of the storm—many storms before then have inflation-adjusted damage over $1 billion); the storm thus earned the nickname "Billion-Dollar Betsy". Eight offshore oil platforms were destroyed during Betsy, with others experiencing damage. A Shell oil platform off the Mouth of the Mississippi river was not seen again. The oil rig Maverick, owned by future president George H. W. Bush's Zapata corporation also disappeared during the cyclone.

Hurricane Betsy slammed into New Orleans on the evening of September 9, 1965. 110 mph winds and power failures were reported in New Orleans. The eye of the storm passed to the southwest of New Orleans on a northwesterly track. The northern and western eyewalls covered Southeast Louisiana and the New Orleans area from about 8 pm until 4 am the next morning. In Thibodaux winds of 130 mph (210 km/h) to 140 mph were reported. The Baton Rouge weather bureau operated under auxiliary power, without telephone communication.   Around 1 am, the worst of the wind and rain was over.

Betsy also drove a storm surge into Lake Pontchartrain, just north of New Orleans, and the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet, a deep-water shipping channel to the east and south. Levees for the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet along Florida Avenue in the Lower Ninth Ward and on both sides of the Industrial Canal failed. The flood water reached the eaves of houses in some places and over some one story roofs in the Lower Ninth Ward. Some residents drowned in their attics trying to escape the rising waters. These levee breaches flooded parts of Gentilly, the Upper Ninth Ward, and the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans as well as Arabi and Chalmette in neighboring St. Bernard Parish. President Lyndon Johnson visited the city, promising New Orleans Mayor Vic Schiro federal aid.

It was ten days or more before the water level in New Orleans went down enough for people to return to their homes. It took even longer than that to restore their flooded houses to a livable condition. Those who did not have family or friends with dry homes had to sleep in the shelters at night and forage for supplies during the day, while waiting for the federal government to provide emergency relief in the form of trailers. In all, 164,000 homes were flooded at the second landfall.  Evidence suggests that cheap construction and poor maintenance of the structures led to the failure of the levees.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Hurricane Protection Program came into existence as a result of Betsy. The Corps built new levees for New Orleans that were both taller and made of stronger material, designed specifically to resist a fast-moving Category 3 hurricane like Betsy. The resulting levee improvements failed when Hurricane Katrina, a large, slow-moving, intense hurricane made landfall near New Orleans on August 29, 2005.

Because of the significance of its damage in the Bahamas, southern Florida and the Gulf Coast, the name Betsy was retired from the recurring list of names; the name "Betsy" will never again be used for an Atlantic hurricane. It was replaced by the name Blanche for the 1969 season. From

Reverend Alfred Lawless was born in Thibodeaux, Louisiana on July 16, 1872. He attended Straight University in New Orleans from which he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1900 and Bachelor of Divinity degree in 1902. In 1904, he founded Beecher Memorial Congregational Church. In August 1913, he became principal of Fisk Colored School, the first public school in New Orleans to provide modern instructional equipment and adult education classes to African Americans. Lawless became the Superintendent of Negro Congregational Churches in the South in 1917. Reverend Lawless died in Atlanta on September 9, 1933 and is buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery. The Lawless Memorial Chapel on Dillard University's campus is named in his honor. (NOPL)

Earl Humphrey, born in New Orleans on September 9, 1902, was an American jazz trombonist. He was the brother of noted New Orleans jazz players Willie Humphrey and Percy Humphrey. Earl Humphrey learned to play trombone from his grandfather, and joined a traveling circus with his father in 1919. He traveled widely in the 1920s, and in 1927 recorded with Louis Dumaine. He played through the 1930s but retired to Virginia in the 1940s. In 1963 he returned to New Orleans, where he was urged to resume his musical career. He joined his brother Percy's band and played on a few albums, including Jazz City Studio. He recorded his first sessions as bandleader in the mid-1960's; Igor's Imperial Orchestra (1966) and Earl Humphrey & His Feetwarmers (1967) on the Center label. Earl died at his home in New Orleans on June 26, 1971 at the age of 68. (WIKI)

Hurricane Florence
September 9, 1988
The third of four named tropical cyclones to make landfall on the United States during the 1988 Atlantic hurricane season, Hurrican Florence was the seventh tropical storm and second hurricane of the season.  Florence developed on September 7 from an area of convection associated with a dissipating frontal trough in the southern Gulf of Mexico. After initially moving eastward, the storm turned northward and strengthened. Florence reached hurricane status and later peak winds of 80 mph  on September 9 shortly before striking southeastern Louisiana.
Later on September 9, the influence of a mid- to upper-level trough to its north caused Florence to accelerate northward. Steadily intensifying, Florence attained hurricane status about 100 miles south of the mouth of the Mississippi River. The hurricane intensified slightly further, and struck the western Mississippi River Delta with winds of 80 mph at 0200 UTC on September 10. Upon making landfall, dry air became entrained in the circulation, and Florence rapidly weakened over southeastern Louisiana. By the time it passed over New Orleans and Lake Ponchartrain most convection had dissipated, and about ten hours after making landfall Florence degenerated into a tropical depression. The system subsequently crossed over southwestern Mississippi as it turned northwestward, and later entered northern Louisiana before dissipating over northeastern Texas on September 11.
The threat of the hurricane caused Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis to cancel a rally and two fund-raising events in New Orleans. Governor Buddy Roemer issued for the Louisiana National Guard to be on standby for emergency duty.  Upon making landfall on Louisiana, Hurricane Florence produced higher than normal tides, including a peak observation of 7.5 feet above mean sea level on the Bayou Benvenue to the east of New Orleans. Rainfall was relatively light, ranging from about 1 inch to a maximum of 4.05 inches at Watson. Winds of tropical storm force occurred across southeastern Louisiana, with wind gusts peaking at 64 mph at an automatic Coast Guard Station on the Southwest Pass of the Mississippi River Delta. An unofficial tornado was reported in Tangipahoa Parish. Minor storm surge flooding occurred outside of the levee system of southern Louisiana in Plaquemines, Saint Bernard, and Saint Tammany Parishes. On Grand Isle, strong wave action resulted in significant beach erosion, with most areas on the island losing about 40 feet (12.2 m) of beach. The storm surge also flooded a portion of Louisiana Highway 300 near Delacroix. The passage of the hurricane broke a levee in Delacroix; it was quickly repaired with flooding from the levee being pumped to the gulf.  Light to moderate damage was reported across the southeastern portion of the state, primarily from falling trees. The winds also downed numerous power lines, leaving about 150,000 people without power for some period of time during the storm. The power outages were short-lived, with about 6,900 left without power by the day after the hurricane.  Damage in the state was fairly minor, totaling about $2.5 million (1988 USD, $4.4 million 2007 USD).  From

All Illustrations on this page were included in the
Friday, September 9, 1965 Edition of the Times-Picayune.

Street Name Changes
September 9, 1909

Several New Orleans street names were changed or created on this day in 1909.  The former Julia Street in Lakeview, from the Greenwood Cemetery line to West End Boulevard, was renamed West End. Kennedy Place wa created from a square bounded by Ursuline, Bell, Lopez and Rendon Streets.

Hurricane Katrina Aftermath
Friday, September 9, 2005

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Director Michael Brown was removed from directing Hurricane Katrina relief efforts in New Orleans by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. He has been replaced by Vice Admiral Thad W. Allen, Chief of Staff of the United States Coast Guard.  U.S. Army Lieutenant General Russel L. Honoré and New Orleans Director of Homeland Security Terry Ebbert announced a "zero access" policy with regards to the media, in order to prevent members of the media from reporting on the recovery of dead bodies in New Orleans. CNN filed a lawsuit, then obtained a temporary restraining order to prevent government agencies from interfering with news coverage of recovery efforts. 42,164 Army National Guard and 4,347 Air National Guard were deployed (46,511 total).

Marjorie Lee Browne, born on September 9, 1914, was a notable mathematics educator and the second African-American woman to receive a doctoral degree in the U.S., and one of the first black women to receive a doctorate in mathematics in the U.S.  She attended Howard University, majoring in mathematics and graduating cum laude in 1935. After receiving her Bachelor's degree, she taught high school and college for a short term, including at Gilbert Academy in New Orleans. She died on October 19, 1979.

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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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