New Orleans

Commentator Gary Joiner profiles a Haitian-born New Orleanian, the so-called “corsair of the Gulf,” who masterminded successful smuggling operations in the Louisiana bayous in the early 1800s.

History Matters is made possible in part by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities and Louisiana Cultural Vistas Magazine

Airs Sunday, August 2, at 6 p.m. The recent controversy in South Carolina over displaying the Confederate battle flag has sparked a dialog across the nation on the appropriateness and appropriate places for this icons of the Civil War Era. Is the display of Civil War statues and flags in public justified or do they belong only in museums? After the racially motivated violence in Charleston, South Carolina, state governments around the South are reevaluating the display of the Confederate battle flag on public grounds.

Airs Friday, February 20, at 9 p.m. Still Singing the Blues features musicians in New Orleans and South Louisiana who continue to perform both traditional blues and rhythm-and-blues—often despite poverty, ill health, and the impacts of natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina. The hour-long, music-rich documentary burrows into the lives of three outstanding older performers: Carol Fran of Lafayette, Harvey Knox of Baton Rouge, and Little Freddie King of New Orleans.

The Columns Hotel Facebook

It is two days before New Year’s Eve, the weather in New Orleans finally cooling down to what passes for winter in the Big Easy, after a couple sultry days. We have taken a quick vacation here, thanks to a generous friend who loaned us her condo in the Warehouse District. On our last night before making the 400-mile trek back to East Texas, we settled down in chairs of a parlor in the historic The Columns Hotel on St. Charles Avenue in the upper Garden District. We await the arrival of two of the city’s best known Cajun musicians, who play for a modest crowd every Monday night.

Commentator Gary Joiner compiled a historical roundup of the month of April. He explains how those events hundreds of years ago literally shaped the State of Louisiana today.

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