First Draft - Politics and War

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October 21, 2020
Nick Weldon, associate editor

In the first presidential election after the Civil War, violence and voter suppression prevented Black voters from exercising their right. 




October 14, 2020
Margit Longbrake, senior editor

Amid the American Civil War, a new civil rights movement was forming in New Orleans—in French.




September 18, 2020
By Dhani Adomaitis, Madeline Drace, Michelle Harrison, and Cecilia Hock

For years, cinephiles have lamented a lack of originality coming out of Hollywood studios. However, there’s no shortage of stories waiting to be told onscreen, and that’s where we can be of use to studio bosses.




August 14, 2020
By Libby Neidenbach, visitor services trainer

Often, the story of women’s suffrage ends at the ratification of the 19th Amendment. Yet, for many women in the South, the fight did not end there.




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.




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