Today in New Orleans History

September 22

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New Orleans Historian Buddy Stall Dies 
September 22, 2011
Photo from Lake Lawn Metairie

Gaspar J. "Buddy" Stall, a familiar face and voice of New Orleans history and lore, died Thursday, September 22, 2011 at his home. He was 81.
Mr. Stall, a colorful personality, chronicled New Orleans life in 11 books, including "Buddy Stall's New Orleans" and "Buddy Stall's French Quarter Montage." For years, he hosted a series of short local history broadcasts on WLAE-TV, always wearing his signature crimson jacket and a bow tie.

Local publisher Arthur Hardy met Mr. Stall in the late 1960s while employed at WSMB-AM radio. While Hardy worked as a switchboard operator, Mr. Stall would contribute local history pieces for a morning show.

"He had so many tales to tell about New Orleans history," Hardy said. "He ... might have taught more people about New Orleans history than any of the universities."

While Mr. Stall had an encyclopedic knowledge of his native city, he was particularly fascinated with its cemeteries. Occasionally he would guide tours through Metairie Cemetery. He hosted the documentary "Cities of the Dead: Metairie Cemetery," which took an in-depth look at the historic grounds and its unique monuments.

"He was a remarkable historian," said his daughter, Peggy Hastings of Hammond. "He was the best. He was a loving and caring man."

Mr. Stall also performed in more than 600 television commercials and was doing radio spots for Louis Armstrong International Airport at the time of his death. He had frequent speaking engagements before civic, business and fraternal groups.

Mr. Stall retired in 2000 as vice president of public relations for Radiofone. Outside of work, he was a staunch volunteer for various community organizations.

During the holidays, Mr. Stall would play the role of Santa Claus at homes for the elderly in eastern New Orleans. While leading the New Orleans East Kiwanis Club, he spearheaded efforts to install bird houses at hospitals and retirement homes and to put benches at bus stops to serve the elderly and handicapped.

Mr. Stall was active with the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation and was part of a group that set up a summer camp in Louisiana for diabetic children. Profits from two of his books went to diabetes research efforts. The Tulane University Medical School and University of Massachusetts Medical Center have research grants in Mr. Stall's name.

"He was just a generous and fun guy," Hardy said. "He was just a gentleman, a throwback to the old days."

Mr. Stall was survived by his wife of 54 years, Margaret Stall; two sons, Gary and Kirt Stall; two daughters, Laurie Rasmus and Peggy Hastings; and 10 grandchildren. 

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New Orleans' Own Dorothy Lamour Dies
September 22, 1996

Born in the charity ward of Touro Infirmary ("We were not well off", she said) on December 10, 1914 (?), Mary Leta Dorothy Slaton grew up to be a movie star.  She attended Beauregard elementary school, where from she remembered playin hooky to go to Canal Street to pay 15 cents to spend the day watching the same movie over and over again.  She was hooked.
The daughter of John Watson Slaton and Carmen Louis LaPorte, she was also raised by her cousin Jeanne Deshotels and her mother Jeanne Schwerz.  After divorcing Slaton, Carmen married Clarence Lambour and Dorothy took his last name.  Deshotel remembered taking the young "Dottie" to St. Louis Cathedral whereupon the child sang the 1918 jazz hit "Ja-Da (Ja Da, Ja Da, Jing, Jing, Jing!) when the organ began playing. "I was so embarrassed", she said, "I couldn't shut her up".
As a teenager, she began entering beauty contests. In 1929 Dottie took first-place in a Biloxi pageant and earned the title Miss American Legion of New Orleans.  On July 26, 1930 she was a contestant, along with her friend Dorothy Dell Goff, in the Miss New Orleans beauty contest at Pontchartrain Beach's original location at Bayou St. John and the lakefront.  Goff was crowned queen, and Dottie took fourth place, in front of a crowd reportedly of 10,000 people.  
A few weeks later, on Friday, August 1, 1930, Dottie and Dorothy boarded a 9 p.m. train at Union Station along with their mothers to head to Galveston for the International Pageant of Pulchritude (the Miss America and Miss Universe contests).  Dottie's ranking in the New Orleans pageant qualified her as an alternate for Goff, who was crowned Miss United States (Miss America) on August 5, 1930 and then Miss Universe on August 10, 1930 in the Texas pageants.  Goff, as Dorothy Dell became a film actress whose young life was cut short in an automobile accident on June 8, 1934 near Pasadena, California.
Dottie Lambour won the 1931 Miss New Orleans contest wearing a blue bathing suit and a blue linen dress she had bought on Canal Street for $2.98.
Miss Lambour is seen here in an advertisement for Club Forest (407 Jefferson Highway) on June 7, 1931.  She did, in fact, go on to the 1931 Galveston pageant but failed to take a crown.  She attended Spencer Business College and took a job in the real real estate business but still dreamed of fame.  According a 1974 interview with local writer David Cuthbert, Dottie bought two tickets to Chicago, left one along with a note to her mother, and left New Orleans for a bigger city.  Her mother arrived the following day.  They took jobs in a restaurant, with Carmen in the kitchen and Dottie waiting tables.  She said the trays were too heavy for her to carry so "I walked into Marshall Field Department Store.  I had a terrible inferiority complex but when you do you put up more of a front."  "I want to see the supervisor" she said, to which the response was "Which one?"  "Well that stopped me. At D.H. Holmes and Maison Blanche all they had was one.  In those days at Marshall Field they had nine. All I could get out was 'I want to ride an elevator'. She got the job.While performing at a night clubs she was "discovered" by orchestra leader Herbie Kay who hired her to sing for his band. 
On November 14, 1932 she was back in New Orleans and back at Club Forest performing with Kay's "nation-wide famous band" featuring Dorothy Lambour (Miss New Orleans 1931)".  She later said that a Dallas sign painter left the "B" out in her name on a hotel display announcing the band's performances and that Herbie Kay adivised her to let it be, and so she became "Dorothy Lamour".  She also became Mrs. Herbie Kay/Mrs. Herbert F. Kaumeyer on Monday, May 13, 1935. "Without Herbie, I don't think I'd be in show business", she said.
TodayInNewOrleansHistory/1937JunglePrincessLamour.gifA November 23, 1936 article mentioned that Dorothy Lamour "once of New Orleans, is seen in a short feature on the Saenger bill" which was likely a short film adopted from her New York radio show "Dreamer of Songs". Local entertainment writer Charles P. Jones, in a January 17, 1937 article, briefly reviewed "Jungle Princess" (starring Lamour and Ray Milland) which was playing at the Tudor Theater.  "Miss Lamour is given a chance to sing as well as act, and the picture is certain to make its heroine and impressive movie figure", he wrote.  And so it was.  Not to mention that Dottie's "impressive figure" was wrapped in a sarong which made her as famous as she made it.
Costume designer Edith Head admitted that her sarong was "born" for "Jungle Princess".  "It wasn't even authentic", she said.  A real sarong wrapped the body only below the waist but that "wouldn't clear any censor".  Head also described the process of selecting the sarong wearer for "Jungle Princess"; a nation-wide search by the studio brought in state winners for screen tests; each young woman wore the same sarong, same bracelet, and same blossom behind their ears; the wolf-whistle originated during Lamour's screen test as stage-hands watched and the wolf-whistle became a "system" at the studio whereby a certain number of whistles predicted a young actress' probable popularity with the general public.
The sarong and Lamour teamed with Hope and Crosby and went "on the road" to Singapore (1940), Zanzibar (1941), Morocco (1942), Utopia (1946), Rio (1947), to Bali (1952), and Hong Kong (1962).  Dottie came home to celebrate her 50th birthday on December 10, 1967 while on a tour starring in "Hello, Dolly!" which ran at the Municipal Auditorium on Saturday, December 16.   Back home again to perform in "Fallen Angels" at the Beverly Dinner Playhouse on February 22, 1974 she said to David Cuthbert of the Times-Picayune "Honey, those studios biographers didn't care what they said about you.  They had me born in Chicago, New York, got may age wrong -- I don't care what the World Almanac or the film books say, I am 56, NOT 59!"
Dottie made a total of 50 flims, seven of them in the "Road to..." series.  During World War II she performed for GIs, hosted at USO facilities, was one of the most popular pin-up girls, and was not only the first star to volunteer to sell war bonds but is also  credited with selling some $300 million worth of them.  In later years she toured with theatrical shows and became more active in volunteer service.  Referring to the 1987 film ''Creepshow 2,'' where she played sloppily housewife who is murdered, she said ''Well, at my age you can't lean against a palm tree and sing 'Moon of Monakoora.'' Dottie died on September 22, 1996 in North Hollywood at the age of 81. 

Advertisements from the September 22, 1964 Times-Picayune
Commander's Palace, 1403 Washington Avenue
Durhan Motors, 3101 Tulane Avenue

 "The Cocoa Kid" is World Champ at Heinemann Park
September 22, 1936

The World Colored Welterweight Championship title was awarded to Black fighters before professional boxing was racially integrated.  On 26 July 1936, Herbert Lewis Hardwick ("The Cocoa Kid") met Young Peter Jackson at Heinemann Park in New Orleans in a 10-round title bout refereed by Harry Wills, the former three-time World Colored Heavyweight Champ. The Cocoa Kid won via a technical knock-out in the second round.

He made four defenses of the title. On September 22, 1936 at the same venue, he defeated Jackie Elverillo on points in 10 rounds.  On 11 June 1937, at the Coliseum Arena in New Orleans, The Kid fought his old nemesis Holman Williams, prevailing in a close fight, winning a decision in the 12-rounder. Ring Magazine had donated a championship belt for the bout.

New Harry Connick CD
September 22, 2009

Harry Connick's album Your Songs was released on CD, September 22, 2009.

Poydras Steet Bank Building in the Works
September 22, 1909
Plans for the Metropolitan Bank Building at 600 Poydras Street were submitted by Diboll, Owen, Goldstein on September 22, 1909.

Luis Mauricio Bouligny is Born
September 22, 1781

Born in  New Orleans on September 22, 1781, Luis Mauricio Bouligny was a soldier and commander in the Louisiana Infantry from 1793 to 1804, Bouligny was appointed lieutenant in the territorial militia on January 22, 1806 and  served in the Battle of New Orleans as member of Third Regiment, First Division, Louisiana Militia. 

In 1808 he was elected New Orleans alderman and from 1811 to 1829, with his brother Ursin Bouligny, he operated a plantation in Plaquemines Parish. In 1829 he bought  a plantation  from Gen. Wade Hampton in Jefferson Parish  (the location is now a part of Orleans Parish).  In 1831 he  sold half the plantation to Samuel Kohn and Laurent Millaudon and with them subdivided the land in 1833 as the Faubourg Bouligny (now the area of New Orleans between General Taylor and Upperline streets, bisected by Napoleon Avenue).  He sold remaining half of his  interest in 1834. 

As a Jefferson Parish state representative in 1833 he introduced and obtained passage of the bill incorporating the city of Lafayette (formerly in Jefferson Parish, which became the Fourth Municipal District of New Orleans in 1852, now the Garden District) and supported the bill chartering the New Orleans and Carrollton Railroad.  Each of these measures hastened the development of that part of Jefferson Parish which eventually became uptown New Orleans. 

As early as 1832 he was a member of the Jefferson Parish School Board; and as a state representative in 1842 introduced the bill providing for state support for the first Jefferson Parish school building. In addition to service in the state legislature, Bouligny was a justice of the peace and, from 1840 to 1849, was recorder of mortgages for Jefferson Parish.  Having become a resident of New Orleans when Lafayette, where he lived, became part of that city, he was several times elected to the Board of City Assessors. He died, New Orleans on January 10, 1862 and is interred St. Louis Cemetery No. 1.  Source:

1722 Hurricane
September 22-24th, 1722
The first well documented hurricane to hit Louisiana this storm brought hurricane force winds which lasted 15 hours beginning on the night of the 22nd. Storm surges were reported to be 3 ft. at Bayou St. John and 8 ft. in the Mississippi River. Thirty six huts were destroyed during the storm, which included the area hospital. These buildings were hastily constructed in 1717-18 when New Orleans was initially selected to be the capital of the Louisiana Company. The St. Louis church was destroyed.  Ships were reported to have been sunk in the harbor of New Orleans and areas lakes as well. This storm was responsible for moving the old site of Mobile from 27 miles north of the mouth of the Mobile River to its present day site.

Zephyr's AAA Affiliate
September 22, 2008

On September 22, 2008, the Zephyrs became the AAA affiliate of the Florida Marlins (now the Miami Marlins).

Five Dead in New Orleans
September 22, 1909

The September 1909 hurricane damaged approximately 700 miles along the coast of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama reaching 40 miles inland.  Five people were reported as dead in New Oreans and two lives were lost in Jackson, Mississippi before the storm diminished as it passed through Tennessee and Kentucky.

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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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