Images of the Month Gallery
February 2003

The Louisiana Purchase Sesquicentennial in New Orleans

Last month we visited the Louisiana Purchase Exposition of 1904. That event, held in St. Louis, was designed to celebrate the centennial of the Louisiana Purchase. It was a really big event, a World's Fair no less. Sesquicentennials are not usually observed with quite as much fanfare as are full centenary commemorations, and the 150th anniversary of the Louisiana Purchase was no exception. Although the City of New Orleans put on a big show, with a very special guest, it was a local event, not a world-class affair.

The New Orleans celebration took place from October 4-17 under the auspices of the Louisiana Purchase Sesquicentennial Commission and the Louisiana Purchase 150th Anniversary Association. Events included the Sesquirama, a "symphonic cavalcade of 150 years of national greatness with a cast of 1,000," at Pelican Stadium, square dancing on Canal Street, special exhibits at the Isaac Delgado Museum, the Louisiana State Museum, and Newcomb College, fireworks at Pontchartrain Beach, and a climactic event at Jackson Square on the final day of the celebration.

We present here fourteen photographs taken during the Louisiana Purchase Sesquicentennial celebration in New Orleans during the year 1953. Most of them document the events of the culminating events of October 17. They are from the Mayor deLesseps S. Morrison Photograph Collection. Morrison, of course, was the Crescent City’s mayor in 1953. To find out who the special guest was, check out the images below.

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