September 16, 1972
Today in 1995, some Sherwood Forest residents had had just about enough of their fellow Baton Rougeans.
Crime statistics that were going up and real estate values that were going down prompted residents of the area
to ask the Metro Council to look into closing some of the twenty-nine streets that lef into the neighborhood.
Gary Patereau, president of the Sherwood Forest Civic Association, said that while Sherwood Forest was still
one of the safest places to live in the city, pro-active steps were needed to be taken to keep it that way. Some
members of the council claimed to be sympathetic to Mr. Patereau’s concerns, but no streets were closed.
September 17, 1925
This month in 1925, Baton Rougeans were invited to come out to the Baton Rouge Circus Grounds to see real
European clowns and majestic animals at the spectacular Bob Morton Circus. The circus, which would be
running for six nights, was one of several traveling circuses which visited Baton Rouge in the early twentieth
century. The Circus Grounds was located at the corner of North Street and Decatur Street, across the street
from St. Joseph's Cemetery. Decatur Street would become North 17th Street in 1929, and the circus grounds
would die out in the mid-1950's as traveling circuses took their show to the parking lot of Memorial Stadium.
September 18, 1919
This month in 1919, Norman "Cap" Saurage started selling Community Coffee to Baton Rouge grocers. In the
early 1900’s, he had opened the Full Weight Grocery Store near the Standard Oil Refinery in North Baton
Rouge. He started grinding coffee for his customers, and made his coffee available to other grocery stores in
1919. Demand for the coffee increased to the extent that in 1924, Saurage left his grocery business to focus
on coffee. In 1946, the “Community Coffee Mill” opened a new plant equipped with the latest coffee roasters.
Community was named the Official State Coffee of Louisiana in 1998.
September 19, 1927
Today in 1927, McKinley High School opened on Texas Street, which is now Thomas H. Delpit Drive. McKinley
is the oldest high school established for African Americans in East Baton Rouge Parish and McKinley’s first
four graduates became the first African American high school graduates in Louisiana. McKinley moved to a
new facility at the corner of Louise Street and McCalop Street in 1950, and the old facility became McKinley
Junior High School. In 1962, the third and present-day McKinley Senior High School was built on East McKinley
Street, the Junior High School was moved to the Louise Street site, and the Delpit Drive site became McKinley
September 20, 2001
Today in 2001, Baton Rouge mourned the passing of Abe Mickal. "Miaracle Mickal" played halfback, punter
and placekicker for LSU in 1933-35 and was a charter member of the LSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1937. In
1967, he became the the first Tiger inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. At LSU, Mickal had been
elected president of the university's student body, prompting U.S. Senator Huey Long to offer him a seat in the
Louisiana State Senate that had been vacated. Mickal demurred and declined the offer. Mickal earned his
medical degree in 1940, and after serving in World War II he began a lifelong career in medicine.
September 21, 1779
Today in 1779, the Spanish Governor in New Orleans, Bernardo de Galvez, sensed that the British fort at
Baton Rouge, was ripe for taking. The British, who had held Fort New Richmond since 1763, were defending
the fort with only about four hundred men and a few old cannon. Galvez led fifteen hundred troops up the river
and arrived in Baton Rouge on September 19th. Galvez set up his artillery on a Native American burial mound
on North Boulevard that has since been leveled and starting shelling the fort on September 21st. After an
extended bombardment, the British, under the command of Colonel Alexander Dickson, struck their colors and
September 22, 1966
Today in 1966, Baton Rouge native David Barclay Dowling pitched a complete game for the Chicago Cubs, a
7–2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds at Wrigley Field. The victory was his second major league start and his
first, last and only victory. Dowling was a leftie who signed with the Cardinals in 1963 after attending the
University of California at Berkeley. He was called to the show in 1964 when he pitched the ninth inning of a
lopsided 15–5 loss to the last-place Mets. Dowling spent two years in the Chicago farm system before another
end-of-season recall in 1966. The last-place Cubs started him against Cincinnati.
September 23, 1810
Today in 1810, captured Fort San Carlos at Baton Rouge, ending Spanish domination of the area. Americans
had been gaining in numbers and influence throughout the era of Spanish governance, and by 1810, they
were ready to make their move to declare independence. American “rebels” under the command of Philemon
Thomas weren’t willing to accept the losses associated with an attack on the old fort, but one of his lieutenants,
Larry Morgan, had a better idea. An unguarded cattle shoot on the river side of the fort allowed the Americans
to slip into the fort early on a Sunday morning and take it with no losses to the rebels.
September 24, 1968
Presidential candidate George Wallace's chickens came home to roost in Baton Rouge this week in 1968, as
District Judge Luther Cole ruled that the Louisiana Democratic Party could list the state's ten Presidential
electors pledged to Vice President Hubert Humphrey under the traditional emblem of the Democratic Party,
which was, at the time, not a donkey but a rooster. Supporters of the Alabama governor had filed a suit to
enjoin Secretary of State Wade O. Martin from printing paper ballots listing Humphrey's electors under the
rooster symbol. After five hours of testimony-some of it hilarious-Cole issued a twelve-page ruling that the was
September 25, 2006
All the King's Men, the third screen version of Robert Penn Warren's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, released this
week in 2006. The film about a populist politician named Willie Stark, a character based on Louisiana's own
Huey P. Long was filmed on locations in Baton Rouge, including the State Capitol, and in Thibodaux and on a
plantation near Jeanerette. The film starred Sean Penn as Stark, along with Jude Law, Kate Winslet, James
Gandolfini, Patricia Clarkson and Anthony Hopkins. Critics questioned the casting of Penn in the central role
and pondered why the three prominent British actors in the cast hadn’t bothered to leave their accents at home.
September 26, 1787
Today in 1787, Don Jose Pedro of the Baton Rouge District of the Spanish Province of West Florida required
all Baton Rouge residents to take oath of loyalty to Spanish king. The move outraged some American settlers
who were beginning to move into the Baton Rouge area from the original colonies in the aftermath of the
Revolution. Pedro’s predecessor, Don Carlos deGranPre, had developed an easy relationship with the
Americans, but had been recalled to Havana to face questions about the province’s finances. Pedro was to
oversee the deterioration of that relationship that led to the Americans seizing West Florida in 1810.
September 27, 1941
Today in 1941, the new Harding Army Air Field opened in the last days before World War II. It was used by the
United States Army Air Forces Technical Service Command as a maintenance and supply base, and during the
war, hundreds of flyers received flight training in the city. Harding Field Lieutenant Colonel Cornelius O'Connor
was credited with the first official landing at Harding Field. In reality, the first plane had landed there the day
before when foggy conditions at the Downtown Airport on Goodwood Blvd. forced Lt. J. B. Thomas to divert to
Harding Field. The Harding Army Air Field would be renamed Ryan Airport in 1954.
September 28, 1932
Today in 1932, the great interstate milk war was churning away in Baton Rouge. The Louisiana Legislature had
enacted legislation to require Louisiana dairies to produce milk of a quality consistent with the standards of the
United States Public Health Service. In 1932, a bill was passed to require milk from out of state to be of the
same quality as milk produced in the state. Disgruntled Mississippi dairy produces banded together to discuss
their legal alternatives, but they really didn't have a milking stool to stand on. The Mississippi legislature
passed a bill the next year to require public health standards be observed in that state as well.
September 29, 1895
Today in 1895, a hurricane raged through Baton Rouge, causing the ferry boat “Istrouma" to break loose from
the Main Street landing and run aground near where the I-10 bridge now stands. Over the next years, the
Istrouma would be replaced by the "Brookhill" and the "Port Allen", both of which sank in service. In 1916, the
Baton Rouge Transportation Company owned by the Cohn family bought the ferry service and brought the
ferry boat "City of Baton Rouge" to town. The City of Baton Rouge would serve travelers until 1968, when the I-
10 bridge opened and downtown ferry service was discontinued.
September 30, 1965
This weekend in 1965, the "Wildest Show in the South" the Angola Prison Rodeo was first held at the Louisiana
State Penitentiary. It was America's first prison rodeo, and according to one observer, the event got its start
when "they'd just back pick-ups into a field and go out and play around on horses." The rodeo opened to the
public in 1967, and over the years has expanded into a 10,000-seat arena surrounded by a fairground-like
craft market. Money raised by the rodeo has financed Baptist seminary classes at the prison, funerals for
inmates, educational programs and maintenance of the prison's six chapels.