2021 Marks the 65th Anniversary of the Friends of the Cabildo and their commitment to the Louisiana State Museum and its mission to preserve Louisiana’s History & Culture.

Since 1956 the FOC has become a large statewide membership alliance for the Louisiana State Museum.

Our mission continues to be to provide financial and volunteer support for the Louisiana State Museums. In celebrating our 65th anniversary we’d like to highlight our accomplishments, museum exhibits sponsored by the FOC, and other FOC New Orleans historical tidbits.

We hope that during these 65 days, you share your memories with the Friends of the Cabildo and your visits of the Louisiana State Museum by clicking below.

October 27th Memory: The Friends of the Cabildo Oral History program has conducted almost 700 Oral History recording of New Orleanians that were interviewed from the 1970’s to present day. The Oral History program was led by Dorothy Schlesinger and includes thousands of hours of stories of residents. Although the stories of so many were recorded, they were done on the technology of the time, cassette tape. Luckily hearing about the possibility of losing these stories to natural decay, a local private donor and the Friends of the Cabildo board put up over $20,000 to send the cassettes to George Blood Productions in Philadelphia, PA for the digitization process. The production company conserved the tapes first and then digitized them for long-term preservation. This now completed conservation process will provide a legacy for the interviewees’ stories and allow researchers at the Louisiana State Museum’s Louisiana Historical Center to use these tapes for study. The stories of New Orleanians that were preserved in the phase I of the project include: Leah Chase, Ernest “Dutch” Morial, Rosa Keller Freeman (two interviews: 1977 & 1981), civil rights activist Lolis Elie, Supreme Court Justice Minor Wisdom, Congresswoman Lindy Boggs, architect/preservationist Samuel Wilson, artist George Dureau and restaurateur Ella Brennan.

Along with the names above there are significant stories the on Civil Rights Movement (Dr. & Mrs. Williams Adams, Dr. Frank Wilkerson), Black Creole life in New Orleans (Sister Mary Boniface Adams, Mary Helena Jones), Islenos Culture (Victor Alfonso, Lloyd Tootsie Songe), Jewish life in New Orleans (Charles Kahn, Charles Albert Levy), female businesses and voting rights (Mimi Weil Lucas, Elizbeth Rack) and disability issues (Mrs. A.J. Waechter).
These stories are valuable tools for learning what life was like from the late 1870s to present day and to hear the way these stories are told are invaluable for future generations. Although the well-known names in the paragraph above and the stories of the people just listed are just a snippet of the amazing stories that are told in this collection. Phase II of the project is online where the Rosa Keller Freeman Foundation provided funding for online access for the entire world to use these interviews in research. Visit the Oral Histories Here

October 20th Memory: The Friends of the Cabildo could not be possible without the co-founder of the Friends of the Cabildo Mary Louise Christovich. During her time at the Friends of the Cabildo she served as a longtime board member for the Friends of the Cabildo and left her legacy of preservation with the New Orleans Architecture Series Vol. I – VI. These historic volumes helped ignite a preservation movement to save many of the properties features in the six volumes. Because of Mary Louise Christovich the Friends of the Cabildo continue to author an award winning architecture series, support the Louisiana State Museum and provide cultural events which promote our unique history.

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