November 9 has three celebrations. National Louisiana Day highlights the 18th state. Purchased as a territory in 1803 during the Jefferson Presidency and admitted to the Union on April 30, 1812, its largest city is New Orleans and its capital is Baton Rouge. Those native to the state are referred to as ‘Louisianians‘ but, having had a great neighbor in Texas that was from this state, he, frequently, referred to himself as a certain Cajun ethnicity. The official nickname is the Pelican State but, other nicknames are Bayou State, Creole State, Sportsman’s Paradise and The Boot.
With a blending of cultures, this multilingual state has Native American (seven distinct tribes), French (Acadians), Spanish, African, German, Irish and Haitian influences. This unique mixture has brought forth grand cuisine, excellent music, Creole culture and Mardi Gras.
Louisiana is home to the National World War II Museum, the Historic Voodoo Museum, the Mardi Gras Museum, the New Orléans Jazz Museum, the Delta Music Museum, the Old State Capitol and the Tabasco Museum. It is also home to the earliest North American mound complex: Watson Brake, the U. S. National Monument & UNESCO World Heritage Site: Poverty Point and, the Troyville Earthworks.
Ferdinand Joseph LaMothe [Jelly Roll Morton] – Musician (October 20, 1890 – July 10, 1941)
Louis Daniel “Louie” Armstrong [Satchmo] – Musician (August 4, 1901 – July 6, 1971)
Truman Garcia Capote – Author (September 30, 1924 – August 25, 1984)
Antoine “Fats” Domino, Jr. – Musician/Singer/Songwriter (February 26, 1928 – October 24, 2017)
Howard Allen Frances O’Brien [Anne Rice] – Author (October 4, 1941)
Cheers and enjoy!
Forty-five years ago, today, James Joseph ‘Jim’ Croce, American folk rock singer-songwriter was killed when the Beechcraft E18S, that he and five others were aboard, crashed into a tree during take-off from the Natchitoches Regional Airport in Natchitoches, Louisiana. The accident also claimed the lives of musician Maurice T. ‘Maury’ Muehleisen, comedian George Stevens, manager & booking agent Kenneth Cortese, road manager Dennis Rast and pilot Robert N. Elliott. Croce’s final concert was at Prather Coliseum.
He is buried at Haym Salomon Memorial Park in Frazer, Pennsylvania. His singer-songwriter wife, Ingrid Jacobson Croce maintains an historical site of their work. Their son, Adrian James ‘A. J.’ Croce is a singer-songwriter in his own right.
His two number one singles…
Behind The Music
While we are on the subject of hurricanes, ten years ago, today, Hurricane Ike struck Galveston, Texas, at 2:10am CDT. It was recorded as a Category 4 on September 4 as it moved near the Leeward Islands. Though it had lessened in strength from its prior Cat4 status to Cat2, this was a bad storm in costs, damage and death. Ike’s storm surge went right over the Galveston Seawall, a ten-mile wall built for protection after the devastating Galveston Hurricane of 1900.
Ike claimed 195 lives…74 in Haiti, six in Cuba and 113 in the US. As of August 2011, 16 are still missing. This was a huge storm that also damaged the Bahamas, the Turks & Caicos, the Florida Panhandle, Mississippi and Louisiana. It is the most expensive storm to ever hit Cuba and, at $38 billion, was the second-costliest storm in US history until 2012.
I was living in Texas when Ike hit. I was too far inland to be affected by more than some rain storms. The terrain in Texas is quite different from North Carolina and even though the Austin Area is roughly the same distance from the Texas coast as the Piedmont/Triangle is from the NC coast, my native Texan friends told me that Austin had never been hit by a hurricane.
I was employed by the very agency that responded to the disaster…The Texas General Land Office, though I was not working in the Coastal Management Unit. I was working for the Veterans Land Board but, I remember the teams going down to help with the clean up and the pictures of the damage that were posted to our intranet. The stunning images of the debris that littered I-45 and the heartbreaking photos of the flooding to downtown Galveston. NASA’s Johnson Space Center (Houston, we’ve had a problem…) suffered roof damage to Mission Control and my beloved Lone Star Flight Museum wound up with $18 million in damaged planes and had to be moved inland to Ellington Field. ~Victoria