This week, we remember a man who taught many New Orleanians about the history of their hometown: columnist, historian and author Charles L. "Pie" Dufour. Born in New Orleans in 1903, his newspaper career began in 1940 with the Item and continued for nearly 40 years at the States-Item and Times-Picayune. His nickname, which dated back to his childhood, gave his column the perfect name: "Pie's a la Mode." In more than 9,700 columns (always written on a manual typewriter), Dufour covered a range of historical topics. Carnival was one of his favorites. He wrote books on the history of the krewes of Proteus, Momus and Rex, as well as three books on Civil War history. For many years, Dufour, a Tulane University graduate, taught a New Orleans history course at Tulane with frequent collaborator, cartoonist John Chase. Dufour died on May 26, 1996 — 20 years ago this week. His 20th book, Louisiana Yesterday and Today, written with fellow newspapermen Walter Cowan and John Wilds, was published a few months later.