November 16, 1991
Today in 1972, two twenty-year-old Southern University students, Leonard Douglas Brown and Denver Allen
Smith are shot and killed with shotgun pellets during a round of protests and class boycotts at the university.
Smith of New Roads, and Brown of Gilbert, Louisiana, were part of a civil-rights emonstration that day that
involved a group of students who presented a list of grievances and demands to the university’s
administration. The students wanted better housing conditions, improved classrooms, a share of financial
resources closer in line to LSU’s and a stronger voice in state policymaking decisions for Southern. No police
officers were charged or prosecuted for the shootings.
November 17, 1977
Disco reared its ugly head on Highland Road today in 1977 as The Bengal Bar and Lounge reopened after a
renovation as a place to dance. Disco fever was slow to infect Baton Rouge, but as 1977 progressed, places
like Dax, which modeled itself on New York discos, replaced Faps and Zachary as the place to be seen.
Beefeaters in the Rodeway Inn, 2001 with its VIP Room and “big ball” room, and the all chrome and beige
Square Peg at Corporate Mall were popular. Even The Kingfish Bar on Perkins Road got in on the act with
Thursday night disco contests.
November 18, 1968
Woman's Hospital opened its first hospital on Airline Highway this week in 1968. The hospital’s dedication was
marked with a day-long technical program featuring a symposium by officers of the American College of
Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The idea for Woman's originated in the mid-1950’s when Drs. Julius H.
Mullins, Sr., Jack Jones, Cary Dougherty and sixteen other physicians dreamed of a facility that would be
centered on the unique needs of women and newborn babies. Woman's would become one of the first women’
s specialty hospitals in the nation, and more than 300,000 babies have been there. In 2012, Woman’s
relocated to its present location on Airline Highway at Pecue Lane.
November 19, 2010
Legendary Baton Rouge area businessman Price LeBlanc passed away today in 2010. He started his career
in cattle farming, but when he was 32 years old, Price LeBlanc purchased two cars, parked them in his front
yard and stuck a “For Sale” sign on them. Their quick sale suggested that there might be an easier way to
make money than raising cattle. He purchased an American Motor’s franchise in the mid-1960's, in 1969, a
Toyota franchise. The business grew, and Price’s advertisements on local television would become
legendary, each ending with the iconic exclamation, “Dah’lin!” Price LeBlanc Toyota was officially recognized
as one of the nation’s largest dealerships in 1984.
November 20, 1971
One of the most anticipated games ever played in Tiger Stadium was contested tonight in 1971. In 1969, the
Cotton Bowl had snubbed LSU, opting to select Notre Dame for the National Championship. A game in South
Bend a year earlier had been a Note Dame win, so in 1971, the entire city was wired to watch the 14th-ranked
Tigers and seventh-ranked Notre Dame. It would be the game that launched Bert Jones to stardom, as he
scored on throws of 36 and 32 yards in a 20-8 Tiger victory. After the game, LSU coach Charles McClendon
said, "Gentlemen, there has never been a bigger victory in Tiger Stadium."
November 21, 1909
This week in 1909, Massachusetts Governor Ebenezer Draper with fifty-nine state officials and Union Army
veterans traveled to Baton Rouge to dedicate a 40-foot monument to honor the Massachusetts Civil War
troops--seventeen infantry regiments and seven artillery batteries—that served in the U. S. Army Department
of the Gulf during the Civil War. The granite monument was placed in the National Cemetery on Florida
Street at 22nd Street and was inscribed with the names of the Infantries and Light Batteries that served in the
Gulf theater of operations. Louisiana Governor Jared Sanders participated in the program, which included
music, speeches, a military salute and the playing of taps.
November 22, 1958
Today in 1958, Paul Dietzel's Fightin' Tigers mauled the Tulane Green Wave 62-0 at Tulane Stadium in New
Orleans. The win capped an 10-0 season for the Tigers. In the Tulane game, LSU was led by a backfield of
Louisiana locals Billy Cannon, Warren Rabb, and Johnny Robinson, all of whom received first-team All-SEC
honors after the season. On New Year’s Day 1959, the team would be back at the same Tulane Stadium to
take a 7-0 win over Clemson and claim a consensus national championship. The 1958 team is also
remembered for coach Paul Dietzel's unique three-platoon system that included the famous "Chinese
November 23, 1975
The 300-room Sheraton Baton Rouge Hotel opened its doors this week in 1975. But by the time it had been
half-built, it had already attained one distinction claimed by no other hotel in the city. The hotel had been built
with plans that its owner, the Greater Gulf Coast Management Company had secured from the owner of a
similar hotel in California. Halfway through construction, the contractor--the Charles Carter Construction
Company noticed that the costs of construction of the property were running significantly higher than
comparable properties in Louisiana. It was then that they looked at the plans and realized that they were
building Louisiana's first earthquake-proof hotel.
November 24, 1788
Zachary Taylor was today in 1784 in Orange County, Virginia. He fought bravely and well in the War of 1812,
the Second Seminole War and the Mexican-American War, where a string of victories made him a popular
hero. He was given a brevet promotion to major general and a formal commendation from Congress. The
national press compared him to George Washington and Andrew Jackson, both generals who had ascended
to the presidency, although Taylor denied any interest in running for office. "Such an idea never entered my
head," he remarked in a letter, "nor is it likely to enter the head of any sane person."
November 25, 1973
Today in 1973, restauranteur Charles Brandt opened Chalet Brandt on Old Hammond Highway near Jefferson
Highway. Chalet Brandt was a small yet refined place, and for the next 30 years the restaurant would serve as
one of Baton Rouge’s finest dining establishments. Known for its traditional French cuisine, it was beloved for
its top-flight service and elegance. During the grand opening, the restaurant featured a multi-course dinner
that included a choice of filet of sole, crisp Long Island duckling or Entrecote with sauce Bernaise--for the
princely sum of $10. In 1995, Brandt sold the restaurant to his son Eric, who continued to operate it until its
closing in 2002.
November 26, 2005
Today in 2005, the Bayou Classic is played outside of Louisiana for the first and only time. Hurricane Katrina
had pummeled the Louisiana Superdome and Southern and Grambling officials were scrambling for a site.
Consideration was given to playing the game in Baton Rouge or Shreveport, but neither city had hotel space
in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina an Rita. Other cities making pitches for the game had included
Jacksonville, Orlando, Birmingham, Jackson, Dallas, Los Angeles and Detroit. Eventually, the decision was
made to keep the game as close to home as possible so the decision was made to play at Reliant Stadium in
Houston, where Grambling prevailed, 50-35.
November 27, 1924
Thanksgiving was celebrated today in 1924. In New York, the first Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade was
making its way down Central Park West, and here in Baton Rouge, new and interesting things were in the air
as well. First was the sound of the LSU Memorial Tower chimes, which were sounded for the first time at noon.
Later that afternoon, LSU played its first game at Tiger Stadium. It was a 13-0 loss to Tulane, but brighter
days lay ahead. Ten days earlier, LSU had played its last game at State Field on the university’s old
downtown campus, defeating Louisiana Normal (now Northwestern State), 40-0.
November 28, 1985
Baton Rouge’s first Wal-Mart store opened near Cortana Mall on Black Friday this week in 1985. In keeping
with the company’s philosophy of concentrating its efforts in small communities, the first Wal-Mart in the Baton
Rouge area had opened in Plaquemine in 1982, followed by stores in Zachary and Gonzales. In Baton Rouge,
unfounded rumors had circulated the company might purchase the Woolco stores on Florida Boulevard and
Perkins Road. Today, there are eight Walmart and counting in Baton Rouge. The company is the largest
retail organization in the world by sales and the largest private employer in the world with 2.3 million
November 29, 1907
Today in 1907, three-term mayor of Baton Rouge Leon Jastremski died at the age of 64. He had been a
Confederate soldier, journalist, and served three terms as mayor of the city between 1876 and 1882. As
mayor, he led the fight to urge the legislature to return the capital to Baton Rouge after a twenty-year
absence. But he was also a founding member of the United Confederate Veterans, a member of the Ku Klux
Klan and a powerful voice in the repression of rights of African Americans in the years after the Civil War. As
a newspaper editor, he penned several editorials advocating racial separatism.
November 30, 1935
This week in 1934, “Camp Millerville”, a work camp for transient single men was established at the depth of
the Great Depression. It was located on Millerville Road at Old Hammond Highway on land that had previously
served as winter headquarters for an amusement company. The entire twelve-hundred-acre site was
employed for the camp, and it was said that agricultural work would begin in the spring. At ibe point, five to six
hundred single men would be housed there. Meanwhile, families were accommodated at a receiving station
which had been established earlier on Jay Bird Lane, the original name of Foster Drive, where the community
college now stands.