JUNE 16-30
June 16, 1960
Desire in the Dust, starring Raymond Burr, Joan Bennett and Martha Hyer was being filmed in Baton Rouge
and Clinton this week in 1960. Even though the film would win a Golden Globe in 1961, one review summed it
up as "another of those claptrap novels of demented, devious and oversexed Southern families that Yankees
love to project upon the denizens who live below the Mason-Dixon line.” The movie featured a horse riding
vixen who cools off by taking a dip wearing nothing but a Merry Widow, a dotty matron who throws graveside
birthday parties for her deceased son, a lecherous patriarch, and sexual blackmail galore.

June 17, 1931
Municipal Airport was dedicated this week in 1931. Would later become Downtown Airport. It was located at
the end of Government Street. Thousands of spectators attended the two-day event featuring over a
hundred military and civilian planes. The airport was advertised to be among the best in the South with one of
the most elaborate lighting systems of any airport in the country. It was said that the flood lights could
illuminate all two hundred acres of the field to an intensity that a newspaper could be read on any portion of
the airport.” The airport would be closed and renamed Independence Park on July 4, 1976.

June 18, 1812
The War of 1812 started today, and Baton Rouge would play an important role in the war's penultimate battle
at Chalmette in 1815. As Louisiana had just become a state less than two months before the war started,
Governor Claiborne wrote to Andrew Jackson that the attachments of Louisianans to the United States was
neither general nor decided at that point. Jackson and his small army would arrive in Baton Rouge in
December of 1814, establish a collection point for the volunteers who were pouring in from the western
states, leave three hundred of his wounded and sick in the town, and take his remaining troops to New

June 19, 1953
Today in 1953, African American tailor Raymond Scott spoke on radio station WLCS and announced the
Baton Rouge Bus Boycott. A Free Ride System was put into effect the next day in the African American
community, and progressively larger rallies were held over the next three days at Mt. Zion Baptist Church,
McKinley High School and at Memorial Stadium on June 22nd, because of the enormous crowds. On June
24th, the city council enacted Ordinance 251 which provided that the first two seats on any bus were
reserved for white people, and the last two seats on the bus for black people. People of any color could sit in

June 20, 1970
The Baton Rouge Press Club moved from the White House Inn to new quarters at the Capitol House Hotel
today in 1970. The White House Inn was one of the many names of the hotel on Third Street that was
originally called the Lakeshore Inn when it was built in 1962, and the Inn on the Lake when it closed
permanently in the 1990's. A spokesman for the press club stated--seriously, apparently--that the club's
offices would initially be located on the first floor of the hotel, and that eventually, they planned to the pool
deck where they hoped to convert a cabana area into a lounge.
June 21, 1941
Today in 1941, the Hart Theatre was opened as a pure movie theatre with a showing of Meet John Doe. The
Hart was operated by Paramount Pictures Inc. through their subsidiary E.V. Richards, who also operated the
Paramount Theatre. The theater had a miniscule facade and entrance for such a large building. The main
area of seating in the Hart Theatre was backed by a large stadium-style rear portion. Patrons entered from
Convention Street down a long hallway to the concession stand, and then into the auditorium in between the
main and stadium sections. The theater closed in October, 1978.

June 22, 250 Million, BC
Now that it's officially summer, think cooling thoughts. For example, on this date in 250 million, BC, Baton
Rouge occupied a position on the super-continent of Pangaea that was squarely on the equator. Earth was
reeling from a mass extinction called the end-Permian event. The die-off had wiped out most life on Earth,
including most land plants. The planet was baking, and life at the Equator struggled to survive. Pangaea
started breaking up about 175 million years ago, and over the eons, Florida and the Yucatan Peninsula
drifted apart, forming the Gulf of Mexico. As recently as 40,000 years ago, the some Baton Rougeans might
still have enjoyed Gulf-front property.

June 23, 1956
Baton Rougean Randy Jackson was here today in 1956. In his long musical career, he’s recorded, produced,
or toured with many well-known artists and bands, including Mariah Carey, 'N Sync, Whitney Houston, Céline
Dion and Madonna. His credits as a musician include George Benson, Blue Öyster Cult, Jon Bon Jovi, Michael
Bolton, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, and Bruce Springsteen and playing at the Grand Ole Opry with The
Charlie Daniels Band. In March, 2008, Jackson released an album produced entirely by himself, titled Randy
Jackson's Music Club, Vol. 1. In 2009. But for all that, he’s best known as a judge on American Idol from 2002-

June 24, 1982
Today, this week and this month in Baton Rouge in June 1982, Jackie Gleason and Richard Pryor were filming
The Toy in Baton Rouge. The city was called "Bates" in the film, and several locations were used, including
One American Place, the State Capitol and the Exxon Refinery, which sported a sign reading "Bates
Refinery". The critics hated the movie, but it would go on to earn over $50 million in the United States. It would
win an award for newcomer Scott Schwartz, who is best known as "Flick", the kid who didn't believe his tongue
would stick to the flagpole in
A Christmas Story.

June 25, 1868
To say that Louisiana was readmitted to the Union after the Civil War today in 1868 can be misleading. During
the war, Congress had never acknowledged the rights of the Southern states to secede in the first place, so
what did it mean to be “readmitted?” Essentially, it meant that states agreed to Reconstruction and could
again send representatives to Congress. So when Louisiana, Alabama, Florida North and South Carolina
were readmitted today in 1868, Republicans John S. Harris, who owned the largest cotton plantation in state,
and William P. Kellogg, a port official in New Orleans, became Louisiana’s first U. S. Senators after the Civil

June 26, 1939
Governor Richard Leche resigned today in 1939 for “health reasons”. Earlier in the year, Leche and several
of his cronies were indicted in what were termed the Louisiana Scandals. When he resigned, he was
succeeded by his lieutenant governor, Earl K. Long. In 1940, Leche was convicted of using the mails to
defraud; the particulars involved a scheme to sell trucks to the state highway department. Other charges
included the use of stolen WPA resources and misuse of LSU funds. Leche was sentenced to ten years in an
Atlanta penitentiary, released on parole in 1945 and pardoned by Harry Truman in 1953.

June 27, 1991
This weekend in 1991, the last National grocery store in Baton Rouge at the corner of Acadian Thruway and
North Blvd., closed its doors forever. The closing was the ultimate result of a strike by members of the United
Food and Commercial Works Union, who had been on strike since April 15 against National and urging
shoppers to go elsewhere. "It's a great loss to the community," said Elizabeth "Boo" Thomas, director of the
Mid-City Redevelopment Alliance, a non-profit organization trying to revitalize the area around Baton Rouge
General Hospital. "We're very disappointed. I thought that was a very profitable store, well used by the
neighborhood and hospital personnel.”

June 28, 1879
Today in 1879, the Mississippi River Commission was created to plan for and ameliorate the effects of
flooding in the Mississippi River Basin and to establish deep-water navigation in the lower Mississippi Valley.
Today, the Lower Mississippi has become the largest port in the nation, based on tonnage. Collectively, the
lower Mississippi ports include 256 miles of deep-draft navigable channels where each year, 10,700 vessels
transport over 420 million tons of cargo. Individually, the ports on the lover river include the Port of South
Louisiana (No. 1), the Port of New Orleans (No. 7), the Port of Plaquemines (No. 11) and the Port of Baton
Rouge (No. 13).

June 29, 1995
Governor Edwin Edwards signed legislation today to create the Baton Rouge Community College. The college
was created to promote more racial interaction in the city and was a part of the settlement of a federal
desegregation suit. The college officially opened in August 1998 on a 60-acre campus on Foster Drive that
had previously served as headquarters of the Louisiana State Police. It originally consisted of six main
buildings: Governors Building, Louisiana Building, Cypress Building, Bienvenue Student Center, the Magnolia
Library and Performing Arts Pavilion, and the Bon Santé Health and Wellness Center. The college's current
enrollment is more than 7,000 students.

June 30, 1863
During the siege of Port Hudson, Union General Neal Dow was wounded in action and commandeered the
Heath Plantation, two miles from Port Hudson, as his base while he recovered. Mrs. Heath was not happy
about her uninvited guest and notified the Rebels. On the night of June 30th, three Confederate soldiers
slipped into the house--with the help of Mrs. Heath who had oiled the hinges on the door that day so that they
wouldn't squeak--and kidnapped Dow. The prisoner was later exchanged for Confederate general W. H. F.
"Rooney" Lee, the second son of Robert E. Lee who had earlier been taken prisoner by the Union army.