tv Tour of New Orleans CSPAN June 16, 2018 7:38pm-8:00pm EDT
posted on issues ranging from the vietnam to the presidential election to women's rights and race relations. you can tweak us comments and questions -- tweet us comments and questions during live events or look back at what happened on this day in history, on twitter on to spin history. >> c-span is visiting new orleans, where we toured its historic sites. the city was founded by the french, becoming united states napoleon in 1803 when sold the land in the louisiana purchase. learn about new orleans all weekend here on history tv. >> file in new orleans, we took a driving tour of the city author, historical geographer,
campanellaor richard . > you are a professor, you are an author, but not from here originally. professor campanella: born in brooklyn, new york. while growing up in brooklyn, one of my early childhood readers was a book about abraham lincoln. learned that i lincoln had come down this long to this exotic city at the other end. they were referring to the mississippi and new orleans. that piqued my little boy imagination. that pointed the seed for a lifelong fascination with new orleans and the mississippi river that eventually became my life dedication. >> so you are going to drive us all around the city. we are starting off in a place that you don't think of when you think of new orleans. this doesn't look like the stereotypical picture you see
in the city. professor campanella: the iconic image of new orleans is the narrow streets of the french quarter, the cast-iron balconies, the old buildings. this too i new orleans. this is city park. this is volume st. john. -- bayou st. john. this byaoayou -- you almost ca't overstate its importance in the geography and history of the city. ourirectly influenced why founder established new orleans i. nd,hought we would loop arou follow the bayou into the city, and how that led to the founding of new orleans. let's talk about basic geography here.
behind us to the north, if you look at cardinal directions, is a tidal lagoon known as lake country. if you go in this direction, you will get to that city river. those who lived in precolonial times, and the french colonials arriving in 1689, the problem was how to connect these bodies, the gulf on one side, and mississippi to the north american hinterland on the other. this byaou allowed french explorers to circumvent the muddy mouth of the mississippi river, and instead come true chartrain and take a two
to thertage route mississippi river. for that reason, new orleans was established as the french quarter. as you come over this overpass, you will see bayou st. john. if you draw a line from this body of water to the high-rises, that marks that two miles portage trail. butas going through swamps, this trail was just a couple feet above the swamp lands, and that made it dry terrestrial portage. we are going to follow bayou st. john more closely, making a right. after the founding of the city, the was an early plantation region.
dairy, ask farms and well as larger commodity plantations. we have examples of colonial era plantation houses here. in a moment we will see a 1788 plantation house that is known as the old spanish customs house , which also embodies that great hereof -- it's right over -- this is one of my favorite streets in the city. it has a fantastic name, grand route st. john. notice the double pitched roof, the galleries, the center chimney. this -- imagine different dispersedof that size throughout the french quarter.
that was what early french colonial new orleans would have looked like. we are on it right now that slightly elevated ridge that al lowed for foot passage between bayou st. john and the french quarter. you would have had swamps to your left, swamps to your right, narrow footld be a road that allowed you to go up the river without going up the river. new orleans would have a different name if it weren't for the almost imperceptible topographical ridge here. the water knows. water in pounds lower areas. i like to make this point that thetudying the topography, isvation of the city --that
exactly the point -- in a relatively flat environment, the little elevation you have becomes more valuable. just a few feet of elevation can spell the difference between a neighborhood being established in the napoleonic age versus the age.age versus the space this is chantiy see an old road that curves, that is following a topographical ridge of a small. -- ridge of a swamp. we are going into the rear b locks. a french term that literally aeans an inner suburb, subdivision, appendage to the original city. the french quarter was surrounded by a series of
suburbs developed in the third early 1800s -- developed in the early 1800s. 10, knownwas made in 18 for its population of free people of color, who had more rights here in louisiana and new orleans than anywhere else in antebellum north america. you notice the shackles dangling from the anchor. very central american spanish look to the church, even though it had the same architect as st. louis cathedral. the unquestionably is cultural heart of the trinity neighborhood. these are great neighborhoods of mid-antebellum creole cottages. >> what is this neighborhood
today? professor campanella: this neighborhood is changing, it is defined. there is still a deeply rooted older native population that is more likely to be african-american and describes itself as black creole. the proximity to the french quarter, the higher ground it is on makes it attractive to many other folks, for cultural and historical and civic reasons. we are going toross rampart street, so named because there was a fort here, and head into the quieter, more residential end of the french quarter. >> are starting to see that wrought iron. professor campanella: iconic, right. >> we are at bourbon street. professor campanella: we are the quiet end of bourbon street.
>> there is a quiet end. professor campanella: the commercial famous infamous bourbon street is really only about the first eight or so blocks. the rest is a quiet residential neighborhood almost indistinguishable from the lowest rates of the french quarter. >> what do people get wrong about new orleans? when they think of bourbon street top of mind, are they missing out? professor campanella: i'm the type who sees all impressions of new orleans as being interesting indicators of people's impressions. i see every person exploring or living in this city as having a head full of impressions and expectations. i see that as all legitimate and interesting. one of my books is on the history of bourbon street. it took me a while to make these
with what i just -- make peace with what i just said, but peace i did make. >> what changed? professor campanella: in studying the phenomenon of bourbon street today, i found the tourism personal has deep historic precedents, and in and of itself is a legitimate cultural expression. ago,u were here 200 years there was in economy catering to escapism and hedonism and drinking. bourbon street is the modern-day manifestation, the clever repackaging of those historical realities. , youyou think about that are less likely to criticize those things.
this will get us to the edge of one of the most well preserved urban plazas. the spanish were here for 35 years or so. ist you see as we approach 50o spectacular circa 18 apartments. then you will see the st. louis cathedral, and the city hall during spanish colonial times, and the main plaza. it is well preserved from about 1850 on. very symmetrical, filled with street life, artists, buskers, pedestrians. it is the absolute historic heart of the city. everyone knows it and everyone loves it.
we are about to cross into the neighborhood which has really been at the forefront of the orleans.ina new >> what was this neighborhood before katrina? professor campanella: it was more native, local folks, for families, more children in the streets, more renters. after katrina, many of those renter families got jostled out because of the whole disruption. >> were you living here during hurricane katrina? >> in fact we stayed in our house and witnessed the entire day and week. august 29 was incredibly intense. we were euphoric that evening that we had survived, and didn't augustrealize, because we were a
doghouse and -- in a dark house, that the levies had breached. only the next day biking around, surveying what happened, did i start to surmise. only then did it start to dawn on me, this is not just a disaster, this is a full-blown catastrophe. each day was literally 10 times worse than the previous one. by the time we got out friday, the conditions were apocalyptic. you are in the lower ninth ward here. this was the hardest hit of all the katrina affected areas in louisiana and mississippi. this was the hardest hit because it had the misfortune of being next to the two most severe flood wall breaches. it was a working-class
neighborhood. this had a surprisingly high level of home ownership, about 95% african-american. ofhad the lowest return rate any katrina affected neighborhoods because of the severity, the social vulnerability of the pre-existing population coupled with the extreme nature of the damage done. >> you started biking around seeing the damage. how did you feel? did you think there would be such a comeback? professor campanella: no. when we got out that day, september 2, 2005, i will never forget the moment -- we figured out the radio rumors that you could get out of the city by going over the bridge to the west bank and basically driving around the flood. i will never forget the view.
it looked like a beautiful day, except there were plumes of smoke rising everywhere. if you look closer, you would see a sheen of water the city was drowning in. at that moment, i never would have guessed new orleans whatever covered in the way that -- would have recovered in the way that it did. you have to look at this area and realize the recovery has barely occurred. overld caution against lisa sent encapsulation -- overl of newnt encapsulations orleans in the post-katrina era. people should tell those stories, but you also have an obligation to tell why the steps to nowhere are still there.
>> there is still a ton of new orleans we can see. if anyone could know something about the city, what would it be? professor campanella: you can't know the rest of the nation without knowing new orleans . in many ways it is the essence of the nation, oftentimes that as it is the exception to the nation. this is the soft southern underbelly of the north american continent. it is where the caribbean and the african and the mediterranean and the latin world connected with this vast hinterland of what proved to be the most profitable valley on earth, the mississippi. how could there not be a fascinating city, a notable pivoting those two
together? it was a mostly catholic city in a mostly protestant nation. a roman law society in a mostly common-law nation. it was a francophone city in a mostly anglophone nation. it was a west indian architecture city in a mostly neoclassical greek revival nation. you had all these differentiation, but that eventually assimilated and hybridized and affected the rest of the nation in the form of mu sic, food, and architecture. >that is why. >> thank you so much for showing us around today. >> our cities tour staff recently traveled to new orleans to learn more about its history. learn more about other stops on
c-span.org/citiestour. you are watching american history tv, all weekend, every weekend on c-span 3. this weekend on american exhibitss, we tour an working the centennial of u.s. participation in world war i. here is a preview. >> everyone is going to be swept up in this. if you go overseas as a soldier, if you are a woman staying home and cancer in the military -- and can't serve in the military, what do you do? african-americans, 350,000 go over as soldiers. a woman or older male could not service soldiers. should i serve in a military that is segregated, in a nation
that does not grant me. essential? -- grant me full citizenship? most importantly, immigrants -- we talk about a nation of 92 million people in 1910. 1/3, about 32 million of those people, are either born overseas, or the progeny of people born overseas. you are talking about 10 million to 12 million people of austrian-hungarian descent, 4 million irish-americans, hundreds of thousands of jews from eastern europe. if you are an irish-american, maybe you are not so happy about us allied with the british. if you are german or austrian, you are maybe not crazy about the fact that you are fighting people from your homeland. and if you are jewish, perhaps
you are worried we are replacing alliance because you remember the programs in russia that drove you away from the first place. there is a lot of worries about the government. conscription ties this together, as i will quickly show you. the idea of contributing to the more through labor. -- to the war through labor. also food conservation -- i know today we make everything out of corn, but back then we didn't, so this was relatively new. in world war i, hoover believed if you encouraged people to act correctly, they would properly ration food themselves. you can see more from the exhibit on the great war, sunday
at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. eastern. here on american history tv on c-span3. on lectures in history, duke university professor laura class oneaches a competing visions for westford expansion on the founders particularly and legs in her hamilton-- alexander and thomas jefferson. she discusses the role of law is serving native american lands. this is about an hour and 15 minutes. prof. edwards: public lands and the legal order. cut to link this class to what we did last time. federasm andartilarly the bounds of power between states. when people talk about federalism they usually th