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LIFE Yoga, 7AM
An intro course from Zen teacher Thich Thien Tri
Adler's New Orleans, 11AM
Hollywood legend signs copies of 'I Loved Her in the Movies'
Local Brass Band brings a mix of standards and new creations
Marriot Convention Center, 6:30PM
Day one of the inaugural Bourbon Fest
The Broad Theater, 7PM
Short film showcase
Blue Nile 7:30PM
Friday nights with Kermit on Frenchmen
House of Blues, 8PM
Hebrew hip hop
Cafe Istanbul, 8PM
Preview of Merman's new show "Bad Heroine!"
Joy Theater, 8:30PM
Celtic punk, feat. Skinny Lister
One Eyed Jacks, 9PM
Artist mixer before Saturday's Edwardian Ball
Maple Leaf Bar, 10PM
Chapter Soul hosts a Kanye West dance party
Bar Redux, 10PM
All-British dance party
Hi-Ho Lounge, 10PM
Party like it's 1999
Crescent Park, 10AM
Eat to benefit LA/SPCA
Fair Grounds, 12PM
Family day at the grounds
The Yum Yum, 6PM
NPR faves come home from tour
St. Mark's Church, 6PM
Caravan Cinema screens this Natasha Lyonne comedy
Smoothie King Center, 7PM
Feat. Fantasia and Johnny Gill
The Saenger Theatre, 7PM
Comedy superstar brings his "Total Blackout" tour to NOLA
House of Blues, 7PM
80s vs. 90s - decades collide
One Eyed Jack's, 8PM
FdT stages "Alice in Wonderland"
The Howlin' Wolf, 8PM
NOLA's underground art show, plus free pancakes
The Willow, 9PM
Masquerade ball with live music
The Circle Bar, 10PM
Sweat to the oldies with DJ Matty
Le Bon Temps Roule, 11PM
Free show to move and groove
Howlin' Wolf, 12PM
Over a dozen NOLA spots offer their best bloodies, plus food
Magnolia Yoga Studio, 1PM
Free female-led discussion and open house
Playmakers Theater, 2PM
Final staging of drama about painter Mark Rothko
Maple Leaf Bar, 3PM
5th annual boil commemorating the life of the beloved chef and musician
Woonderland Production Studios, 3PM
Live music, drinks, water slides, more
Audubon Park, 5PM
LPO Woodwind Quintet performs
Local trad jazz masters
Tubby & Coo's Mid-City Book Shop, 6PM
Bring games, or join one at the store
Howlin’ Wolf Den, 10PM
Mix of brass standards and funky covers
Spotted Cat, 10PM
Boundary pushing fusion jazz
Maple Leaf, 10PM
Krown on the B3 with Russell Batiste and Walter “Wolfman” Washington
All the Fray
The Story Behind LBJ's NOLA Civil Rights Speech
HBO premiered “All the Way,” a small screen adaptation of Robert Schenkkan’s TONY award winning play about the early years of LBJ’s presidency and the cicil rights movement. The critically acclaimed film featured proud New Orleans native Anthony Mackie as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but the NOLA connections go back some 50 plus years. At the center of the work is a speech delivered by the POTUS in an attempt to curb the Dixiecrat faction.
The address came at the end of a dual whistle-stops campaigns helmed by Johnson and his wife Lady Bird. The First Lady rode aboard the Lady Bird Special meeting with local leaders aboard her Pullman car at every stop. Both tours ended in NOLA on October 9, 1964, culminating with a ride down Canal in an open car. In an interview, legendary presidential correspondent Helen Thomas described the day as a “triumphal reunion; the whole thing was like a Hollywood ending.”
That evening, LBJ spoke at a fundraising dinner at the Jung Hotel. The Jung was located at 1500 Canal Street and is currently the topic of one of many redevelopment debates. However, the building began life far more illustriously in 1908 as the region’s largest convention hotel. Ultimately, it even earned a spot on the National Register of Historical Places in 1982. The destination fell into disrepair in later years. It switched ownership several times and was a Clarion, Radisson, and then the Park Plaza before damage from the Federal Flood ultimately shuttered the doors.
However, the night of the big fundraiser, the place was in its prime and packed with Democratic dignitaries. The crowd at the 100 dollar a head gala included Hale, Lindy, and Tommy Boggs who has also been stumping with the Johnsons during the preceding run. Governor Jack McKeithen, Senator Allen Ellender, Russel Long, Mayor Vic Schiro, and most of the state’s congressional delegation. In addition, the party paid to televise the remarks throughout Louisiana and part of Mississippi.
This was no ordinary stump speech though. In ’64, the Democratic party was in the midst of a civil war. Johnson parted with fellow Southerners to push through civil rights legislation enraging the segregationist southern Dem machine. Prominent Dixiecrats like Strom Thurmond split from the party entirely. The rift threatened to put the extremist Barry Goldwater in office. (Pick your own analogy to the current election; there are plenty for all camps).
LBJ addressed the split in his normal fashion—head on. Speaking metaphorically of the southern electorate, the President bluntly exclaimed, “they haven't heard a Democratic speech in 30 years. All they ever hear at election time is nigger, nigger, nigger!”
The chief executive proceeded to make it clear that despite threats to the contrary, the recently passed Civil Rights Act would be enforced. “So we have the law of the land, and we are going to appeal to all Americans that fight in uniform and work in factory and on the farm to try to conduct themselves as Americans,” Johnson declared. “Equal opportunity for all, special privileges for none, because there is only one real big problem that faces you. It is not even the economic problem and it is not the Negro problem.”
The speech then pivoted to the greater problem which the administration believed was national security and peace. The ensuing comments were a jab at Barry Goldwater. Throughout the campaign, the G.O.P. nominee was attacked for his hawkish views. In the famous “Daisy” ad, LBJ went so far as to equate his rival’s election with nuclear armageddon.
The piece also included several local references including much love for the Long family, “New Orleans candy… that we call pralines,” local pols, and promises of prosperity. Specifically, the prez promised “a day when New Orleans will stand as a Queen City on this crescent” as an international trade center, a national cultural center, a terminal for waterways, “a good and gracious city for your families to call their home,” and “a port for the spaceships that are returning from outer space.”
Accounts of the audience’s reactions varied. The Tuscaloosa News reported that in “politically doubtful Louisiana,” the “remarks drew loud applause.” However, Thomas described the crowd as “stunned.”
Regardless of the night’s reception, Johnson managed to win the 1964 election, but potentially he lost the South for a generation. In ’64, the only states that he lost were Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and Goldwater’s native Arizona.
However, during the next election cycle, Richard Nixon launched the “Southern Strategy.” The tactic deliberately targeted white southern Democrats angered by civil rights legislation often using terms like “law and order” and “states’ rights” as code for racist positions. In ’68, much of the South flipped to the Republican party. The “Deep South” states voted for segregationist George Wallace, but the region has been solidly red since then.
Evan Z.E. Hammond, Dead Huey, Andrew Smith
Michael Weber, B.A.
B. E. Mintz