Who was Eleanor McMain?
Dear Mary Alice,
Eleanor Laura McMain was a social worker and educator born in Baton Rouge on March 2, 1866. She was educated at the University of Chicago and Columbia University in New York. McMain came to New Orleans to teach sociology at Newcomb College.
In 1901, she became director of Kingsley House, a settlement house sponsored by Trinity Episcopal Church. She held this position until her death in 1934.
McMain devoted her life to helping the poor. She founded the first playgrounds and summer school. She taught social work training classes and trained Red Cross workers, and she worked to prevent yellow fever and tuberculosis through community education. A genuine activist, McMain helped pass laws to regulate child labor, tenement housing, recreation, and vocational trade and evening schools. She also was a member of many organizations, including the Orleans Parish Anti-tuberculosis League, which she founded in 1906, the New Orleans Playground Committee, the Women's League and the Tenement House Association.
In 1920, she was awarded the Times-Picayune Loving Cup. When she received this honor, McMain graciously responded by saying, "I have done what I best love to do. I live and share my life with the dear people of the neighborhood."
Ten years later, the Orleans Parish School Board named a new high school for girls in her honor. This was a break from tradition, as the board did not normally name a school after a living person.
McMain died in New Orleans on May 12, 1934, and was interred in Baton Rouge.
My wife and I just recently bought a house on the 3400 block of Vincennes Place, 70125. We were both wondering what part of the city this is called: Broadmoor, Fontainebleau, Uptown or what?
Brad and Josette
Dear Brad and Josette,
Your new house is near the neighborhoods of Broadmoor and Uptown, but it is located in the Marlyville/Fontainebleau neighborhood. The area was not substantially developed until 1949. The neighborhood was part of the town of Carrollton, incorporated in 1845 and annexed to New Orleans in 1874. Most of Carrollton was developed by 1927, but various factors discouraged settlement in your neighborhood. One problem was that the railroad tracks of the Illinois Central and Louisiana and Arkansas lines were located nearby. The irregular street patterns in parts of the neighborhood are the result of the convergence of several major avenues in one small area.
When the neighborhood began to develop, it consisted of a mixture of single-family and two-family dwellings, some of them rather splendid homes. Today the same is true. Commercial activity is generally restricted to South Claiborne and South Carrollton avenues, and industrial activity is on Earhart Boulevard. You also may have noticed that the Catholic Church owns a great deal of land in this neighborhood as evidenced by the presence of the Notre Dame Seminary, St. Mary's Dominican High School and St. Rita's Church and School.
Since this neighborhood is almost entirely residential, it has been described as a "suburb within New Orleans."
When did the two-term limit for mayor of New Orleans originate?
In 1954, New Orleans voters passed a two-term limit in the city charter with Mayor Chep Morrison's support. In 1961, after he lost two tries at the governor's mansion, Morrison was nearing the end of his mayoral term. He asked the voters to change the charter again so that he could run for re-election. While Morrison was a popular mayor -- he had served four terms -- there were others who wanted to hold the position themselves. His former allies and backers led a campaign and the measure was defeated.
The next mayor to attempt to change the charter was Ernest "Dutch" Morial. First elected in 1978, he was New Orleans' first African-American mayor. He, too, was unsuccessful in changing the charter. Then came his son, Marc, who spent more than $1 million on his losing effort, while term-limit supporters spent only $100,000. In 2001, voters reaffirmed their belief in term limits and defeated the measure 61 percent to 39 percent.