New Orleans History

In 1890, A New Orleans Police Chief Was Gunned Down by the Mafia

By Kate Taylor | April 27, 2022

In 1890, New Orleans Chief of Police David Hennessy Jr. was assassinated while walking home on Basin Street. The son of a police officer, his story is marred by politics, crime and the mob.

The Return of Big Chief Darryl Montana on Mardi Gras 2022

By Matthew Hinton | March 31, 2022

In the bright light of Mardi Gras mornings, the dancing and colorful beads and feathers from Montana’s suits are so vivid and saturated they leave an afterimage on the retinas. Accompanied by the shaking and thumping tambourine, and the singing and yelling of the traditional chants, the boisterous scene leaves a memory etched on the mind long after. 

How a Failed Canal Project Created Nola’s Neutral Grounds

By Kate Taylor | March 31, 2022

Nearly 200 years later, New Orleans’ neutral grounds are no longer the battleground the original Canal Street was. Now they play host to the battle for Mardi Gras throws instead.

Who built New Orleans?: The untold story of Black blacksmiths

By Sidney Holmes | March 4, 2022

French settlers made plans to turn the piece of land on the banks of the Mississippi River into a sprawling community, but they didn’t have the manpower or skills to do it themselves. So they turned to African slaves.

How an English Actor Brought Light to New Orleans

By Kate Taylor | January 26, 2022

While the days of gas streetlights are mostly a thing of the past, the mark James H. Caldwell made on New Orleans by creating her first gas light company has never faded.

Gov. Esteban Miró: The Man who Remade New Orleans

By Kate Taylor | January 19, 2022

Esteban Miro, the longest serving governor of the Louisiana colony, implemented numerous policies during his tenure to make New Orleans a thriving port city.

Where to Find Relics from New Orleans’ 1984 World’s Fair

By Matt Haines | November 22, 2021

The 1984 World’s Fair provided cherished memories for a generation of New Orleanians, but it also helped transform our city.

My Granny was a Vampire-Smuggling Casket Girl: a (possibly) true story

By Michael DeMocker | October 26, 2021

Our story begins with the Casket Girls of Ursuline Convent – a towering building that still stands in the French Quarter where nuns, ghosts and vampires are said to coexist.

Nazis, Intimidation, and Espionage: How a St. Charles Mansion Became Part of a WWII Conspiracy

By Kate Taylor | August 5, 2021

It sounds like the plot of a Hollywood summer blockbuster — a vast campaign of espionage and propaganda taking place on U.S. soil that must be stopped before the fabric of America unravels. But this story isn’t fiction. Carried out from a stately St. Charles mansion, Baron Edgar von Spiegel, German Consul to New Orleans, undertook his campaign of intimidation, espionage, and misinformation.

How a Black Civil War Hero’s funeral paved the way for second lines

By Matthew Hinton | June 25, 2021

In an attempt to earn the full freedom and equality of the white caste, Captain André Cailloux fought in the Battle at Port Hudson, Louisiana, in 1863 becoming the first widely publicized Black Civil War hero. His funeral was the largest procession the city had seen at the time, and is considered by many to be the predecessor to modern-day jazz funerals and second lines.