First Draft - Politics and War

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August 14, 2020
By Libby Neidenbach, visitor services trainer

After a long struggle by women throughout the United States, the 19th Amendment, which removed gender as a barrier to voting, became law on August 18, 1920. Often, the story of women’s suffrage ends at this crowning achievement. Yet, for many women in the South, the fight did not end there, for while the amendment ostensibly granted all women the right to vote, laws in Louisiana and other southern states continued to disenfranchise African American men and women, rendering suffrage for women at the federal level a moot point.




July 17, 2020
By Emily Perkins, curatorial cataloger

A large photograph album bound in red leather documents a 1906 “quarantine tour” of Central America sponsored by the United Fruit Company during the final outbreak of yellow fever in New Orleans. The book is a fascinating example of the tremendous influence of the banana-import business in early 20th-century New Orleans and the efforts by one company to skirt quarantine regulations.




June 12, 2020
By Pamela D. Arceneaux, senior librarian/rare books curator

When the City of New Orleans passed an ordinance to remove black prostitutes from Storyville, Willie Piazza fought back. Her challenge to segregation was an early, though fleeting, victory against Jim Crow.




May 15, 2020
By Katherine Jolliff Dunn, cataloger

Myra Clark Gaines was at the center of a 57-year estate battle involving hidden paternity, a destroyed will, and a multimillion-dollar fortune. 




March 20, 2020
By Eric Seiferth, curator/historian

In the summer of 1920, after decades of fighting, the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution was officially ratified, removing sex as a basis of voting rights. The fight started long before that, and it included many Louisianans.




February 12, 2020
By Jenny Schwartzberg, curator of education

The Freedmen's Bureau was established, in part, to provide for the education of African American children. Records show that demand for that service was often too much for the system to handle.




February 6, 2020
By Aimee Everett, curator

During Reconstruction, Williams became actively involved in the fight for equity in education and the rights of African American women.




February 4, 2020
By Eric Seiferth, curator/historian

In 1950's and '60s New Orleans, the Congress of Racial Equality used nonviolent tactics to press for racial equality guaranteed under federal law.




November 22, 2019
By Nick Weldon, associate editor

Already a fixture in the South, Reverend Benjamin Palmer gained national fame—he went viral, in an 1860 sense—just as Southern states were deciding how to respond to Lincoln’s election. 




June 4, 2019
By Eli A. Haddow, marketing associate

It was a hot June day in 1969, when for the first time, black and white kids dove into the Audubon Park swimming pool together, marking a symbolic victory for the civil rights movement in New Orleans.




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