Louisiana Part 10: The National WWII Museum


As a World War II buff I am always willing to learn more about events of said war. So, when my dad and I were in New Orleans we couldn’t pass up a chance to go to The National WWII Museum. There we learned about the war in both the Pacific and the Atlantic. We were even more pleased to see that they had an exhibit dedicated to Bob Hope. You see, Bob Hope traveled throughout World War II with his crew going to bring about comedy and a bit of home to each soldier who may have never been as far from home before. Each different exhibit gave us new insight into the events of World War II. I was able to learn so much more about the horrors of war that came with this war. Stay safe and well!


Louisiana Part 8: St. Louis Cemetery No. 1


One of the greatest things I would recommend on a trip to New Orleans is a tour of the St. Louis Cemetery No. 1. Yes, I know a tour of a cemetery sounds morbid. But, inside I got to see the tomb of Marie Laveau, the VooDoo Queen, it was great to hear about how she was willing to let others not related to her be interred with her. Inside this cemetery they filmed a scene for the hit film Easy Rider. However, the scene was sexually explicit and the producers did not ask permission from the New Orleans Archdiocese. Since then they have had to. Also, there is a tomb there very out of place. Inside this is where Nicolas Cage plans on being interred one day.

In order to go into the cemetery you have to pay for the tour. Sadly, the explicit scene from Easy Rider is not the only issue the Archdiocese of New Orleans has had. There have been people who have painted Marie Laveaus grave and spray painted tombs. I hope you enjoy these photos! Stay safe and well!


Louisiana Part 7: The Horror of Slavery


When my dad and I approached each plantation we visited, which were: Myrtles, Laura, Oak Alley, and Houmas House, we were always in awe of the structure. Inside each house was a beautiful mansion with rooms filled with priceless artifacts. But, behind each house were little cabins set up. These cabins were where the slaves had to live while they were forced against their will to work the land.

IMG_9616When we were at each plantation we learned quite a bit about the treatment of the slaves. I don’t remember much about the horror the slaves endured at Houmas House. But, I do remember the rest. At Oak Alley they had a mannequin dressed up where she was given a name. I am very sorry to say I don’t recall the name they gave her. Our tour guide told us how she would have to wait on her master and guests over dinner while they made choices that would affect her and the other slaves lives.

IMG_9664At the Laura Plantation we learned about the horror of sexual abuse from one of the owners Flagy Duparc who raped two of his slaves, Melanie and Henriette. This resulted in the birth of two children. The reminder of slave masters taking advantage of their own slaves for their own personal gain was heart breaking. After hearing this story I couldn’t help but wonder how many other female slaves were sexually violated and victimized by Flagy Duparc.

IMG_9582A the Myrtles Plantation, they talked about the brutality of torture some of the slaves received. There was one story about a slave who was standing outside a door accused of eavesdropping only to have her ear cut off. There were other ones about them being burned with fire and getting fingers and toes cut off.

IMG_9611Despite learning about the torture and horror these men and women had to endure there is one story that has stuck with me for the past two years. The story comes out of the Laura Plantation about a slave named Edouard. You see Edouard bravely escaped to join the Union Army during the Civil War. When he learned about a fund set up for soldiers who served in the Union Army following the war he decided he wanted part of it. However, he had returned to Louisiana and was living on Laura plantation. The only way for him to prove he served bravely was to write it all down. So, he did write all about his time served in the army day by day. He eventually was rewarded money from the fund. To this day Edouards personal hand written account is in the Library of Congress, I believe, to this day. It was a blessing to hear the story of Edouard while sitting in his house, but sadly I didn’t get any pictures.

IMG_9612Even though the American Civil War had freed the slaves they weren’t entirely freed. Many of them stayed on the plantation they had been working on for their entire lives earning money from their, now, employers. But, the catch was the only place they could spend their money was at the plantation store. They were forced to take what little money they had to put away to ensure they could move off the plantation one day as some how they figured there was a debt or something like that to be owed. They could buy their way off the land, but families had to worry about buying clothes for children and feeding their family. At the Laura Plantation we learned that it wasn’t until the 1970’s in Louisiana when the cabins were finally emptied of the descendants of the slaves.

IMG_9661The whole point behind these actions was to suppress a population. If you went against the former slave owner/employer then you had to face the horrible group the Ku Klux Klan. I am sure many of you know that the KKK had members the police and other divisions of law enforcement to help cover up lynchings and beatings done to the African American community. Sadly, there are still hate groups who do what they can to hurt and suppress the African American community today.

IMG_9649But, we have come a long way from the suppression of slavery as we are reminded every January with Martin Luther King Jr. Day. While things today are better than they were many years ago, they are not perfect. In history class we learn about the horror the slaves had to endure on the plantations. It is a dark cloud in American history, but we must not forget what happened there. When you drive up to a plantation the first thing you see is a giant beautiful house filled with imported furniture and antiques worth a fortune. But, as soon as you step outside you see the cabins that were once filled with people who never had the chance to enjoy the luxury of their masters.

Stay safe and well!!

Some Like It Hot

Some Like It Hot poster.jpgOn Valentines Day in 1929 a horrific gangland massacre happened in Chicago. This infamous act on a cold morning would go down in history as The St. Valentines Day Massacre. The victims of the massacre were members of Bugs Moran’s Irish north side gang. The men who killed them were members of Al Capone’s Italian south side gang. All of this was presented in the 1959 comedy Some Like It Hot. When two traveling musicians accidentally find themselves witnessing the massacre they make a run for it in an all girls band. Starring Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis, and Marilyn Monroe this is one classic that is a must see.

In the beginning of the movie we are introduced to Joe (Curtis) and Jerry (Lemmon). The two of them have careers as traveling musicians throughout Chicago. One night when they stumble upon one of the most infamous massacres in gangland history they make a run for it. After hearing about an all girls band looking for two women who play the same instruments they do, they decide to join. Dressing up in drag they are able to fool the band’s leader Sweet Sue and the lead singer Sugar Kane (Monroe). Going with the names Josephine and Daphne, they find themselves in Florida where there is a millionaire who takes a liking to Daphne, who is really Jerry, by taking her out on a date. While Joe is with Sugar on his yacht. All of their plan starts to unravel when the gangsters who Joe and Jerry witnessed kill the members of the gang show up at the hotel. Doing their best to hide from them, their disguises are quickly recognized. Knowing that they have to flee they take advantage of the millionaire who has a thing for Daphne/Jerry. But, will Joe be able to leave Sugar behind?

Some Like It Hot is quite the comedy. Using cutaway gags and a story line that still makes us laugh, this classic is one to stay. Some Like It Hot is a 1959 classic that is sure to keep generations laughing for generations to come.

Four Chaplains Day

I didn’t know about this holiday until today. Four Chaplains Day honors the day of four brave men who gave their lives aboard the S.S. Dorchester in World War II when it was sunk by a German U-boat. On February 3, 1943: Reverend George L. Fox, Rabbi Alexander D. Goode, Catholic Priest John P. Washington, and Reverend Clark V. Poling all gave their lives for the men who they served alongside on the Dorchester. Each man gave their life jacket when the jackets ran out, each one said a prayer as they realized their fate was sealed on February 3, 1943. They stood in prayer and song as they died together.

The Day the Music Died


Many of us have hear the phrase “the day the music died” from the popular song “American Pie” by Don McLean. February 3, 1959 is the day that is known the music died because of a plane crash in Iowa. Ritchie Valens, Buddy Holly, and J.P “The Big Bopper” Richardson all had their lives cut short when the plane went down. Many people have heard their music through songs that have inspired many musical artists today. Their music is still heard by many people today who are unaware that the artist they are listening to lost their life in a horrific crash. February 3, 1959 is forever known as “The Day the Music Died.”

The Challenger Disaster

Front row from left are Michael J. Smith, Francis R. (Dick) Scobee, and Ronald E. McNair. Back row from left are Ellison Onizuka, school teacher Christa McAuliffe, Gregory Jarvis, and Judith Resnik

Thirty years ago today the space shuttle called the Challenger exploded. Many people had tuned into watch the ship take off due to Christa McAuliffe being the first teacher and civilian in space. Seventy three seconds after take off there was an explosion causing the space shuttle to be destroyed causing all seven crew members to be killed. All seven of the crew left behind family and friends who asked themselves what went wrong. Lives cut short hoping to lead the world into the future of science with what they hoped to discover.

Four Freedoms

Famous "Four Freedoms" poster by Norman Rockwell that was widely circulated during World War II: Franklin D. Roosevelt gave a memorable speech on this day. In 1941, he reminded everyone about the four freedoms everyone should be allowed to have. All of them are freedoms that are taken for granted on a daily basis. Several countries do not have these freedoms because of the laws of their countries. Freedom of worship, freedom from want, freedom from fear, and freedom of speech are the freedoms that he heavily expresses in his speech.

Franklin D. Roosevelt was the 32nd President and was in office March 4, 1933-April 12, 1945.: Everyone has a right to let their voice be heard. Everyone has the right to worship the way they want regardless of creed. No one deserves to live in fear or suffer from want. Franklin D. Roosevelt reminded us of those four freedoms that Americans are lucky to have today. Yet, even seventy-five years later several people around the world do not have the four freedoms due to their countries law.

The Christmas Truce of 1914

Soldiers from both sides exchange cheerful conversationWhoever said miracles don’t happen on Christmas needs to hear this story. During the cold winter in France during World War I there was a ceasefire between German and British forces. Soldiers from each side came out and spread the cheer of Christmas with food, drink, and even traded prisoners of war. This was quite remarkable to me. Imagine fighting a war and putting everything aside to celebrate with the enemy. The Christmas truce of 1914 is remembered for two sides celebrating the holiday season.