Why are the Canal Street streetcars painted red?
It was decided by the folks in power that the streetcars would be painted a color other than green to distinguish them from those on the St. Charles line. And since red is as opposite from green as you can get, it's as different a color as anyone would want. Of course, someone might have made a case for painting them purple, green and gold. Let your imagination run wild on that idea!
The new streetcars are different in other ways from the Perley Thomas 900 series cars that run throughout New Orleans. The spiffy new ones have quieter wheel and truck assemblies, electric lifts on each side, and air conditioning.
Can you tell me the make and model of the weapon Dr. Carl Weiss allegedly used to gun down Gov. Huey P. Long? I've heard it was a Belgian model. I'm a sculptor working on a series of infamous guns.
The gun is a 7.55mm Belgian Browning made by Fabrique Nationale at Herstal, serial number 319-446. It was delivered to a store in Paris in 1929, and Weiss bought it while traveling in Europe.
Huey P. Long was shot in the state Capitol on Sept. 8, 1935. Weiss, felled by return fire from Long's bodyguards, died that day. The governor died two days later.
State Police Chief Louis Guerre apparently kept the gun when he retired, and for years, his daughter kept it in a safe-deposit box in New Orleans. When it came to light in 1991, there was much disagreement over who owned it. Finally, after a legal dispute of two years, it was decided that the gun and the documents associated with it would be turned over permanently to the state.
The documents were received by the state in September 1993, and a few months later the State Police took custody of the weapon itself. The gun was handed over to the secretary of state and placed in the Old State Capitol Museum in Baton Rouge. It's there today among other Long artifacts.
After the gun and the records were found, the investigation into Long's assassination was reopened. The State Police concluded in 1992 that there was no reason to believe Weiss did not fire the bullet that killed Long.
I am from Algiers (Elmira and Lamarque streets). Is there any historical landmark in the general area? I like to amaze my friends with the history of our neighborhood.
You are in luck, so amaze away. Drive your friends to Aurora Gardens, and you can show them a plaque with the following information: "Battle of New Orleans, West Side. Here on Jourdan Plantation, American forces under General D. B. Morgan defended west side of the river against British forces on January 8, 1815. Original earthwork still in Aurora on campus of Junior University of New Orleans in Algiers."
If you want to amaze your friends even more, get a copy of a book titled Louisiana: Why Stop? A Guide to Louisiana's Roadside Historical Markers. You and your pals can tour the entire state and learn from the 400-plus official markers spread throughout every parish.
Everyone knows that New Orleans and Louisiana are known for food and the food industry. But what other well-known products are manufactured in New Orleans and Louisiana that are not food related?
Our state is a major source of U.S. petroleum and refined petroleum products, natural gas, petrochemicals, forest products, agricultural crops, salt and sulphur. With 19 refineries, Louisiana is the second largest refiner of petroleum in the United States, and the petrochemical industry manufactures one-quarter of America's petrochemicals, including base chemicals, plastics and fertilizers.
Just about every kind of ship you can imagine is built in Louisiana. The largest industrial employer in the state is Avondale Shipyards on the Mississippi River near New Orleans, where vessels are sometimes built upside down and ships are launched sideways into the river rather than stern first as is the custom elsewhere.
And, of course, there is Lockheed Martin, where external fuel tanks are made for NASA's space shuttle program.
While technically not "products," music, movies and a professional football team that tries hard are also what makes our city well known.