Wednesday, January 31, 2018

VFW Officers in 1977

Back in 1977, this group of men were sworn in as officers with District Nine of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Also, a trophy was presented to a member who had been with the group over three decades. Click on the image below to read names. 

Ralph McIntyre and Ken Fuglied were from Slidell; Louis Roome and Bert A. Bickham were from Abita Springs, 

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

B.B. "Sixty" Rayburn

This portrait shows State Senator B.B. "Sixty" Rayburn in the late 1970's. He was one of the most powerful people in the Louisiana State Senate for many years. 

The following information is re-printed from the Poole-Ritchie Funeral Home website:

"B.B. “Sixty” Rayburn, Senator, 12th District, was born on August 11, 1916. Sixty passed away on March 5, 2008 at St. Tammany Hospital in Covington, LA. Mr. Rayburn was a Baptist, a Mason and a Shriner, Louisiana Cattleman’s Association Member, and past President of the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association for many years. 

A farmer, cattleman, horseman, and avid hunter, Rayburn worked at Crown- Zellerbach corporation as a pipe fitter for thirty years. He was a graduate of Sumerall High School and Sullivan Memorial Trade School.

His political career began in 1944 when he was elected to the Washington Parish Police Jury, becoming the youngest Police Juror in Louisiana. He served as vice-presedent of that body until 1948 when he was elected to serve in the House of Representatives. He remained in the Louisiana House until 1951, when he was elected to serve an unexpired term in the Senate. Rayburn, who served under Earl K. Long, former Governor, was continuously returned to the Senate by his constituents for 44 years and was the acknowledged Dean of the Louisiana Legislature.

As a legislator, he served on the following committees: Conservation, Education, Transportation and Public Works, Industrial Relations, Labor and Capitol, Long-range Highway, Retirement, Interim Emergency Board, Bond Commission, and Chairman of both the Senate Finance Committee and the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget for many years.

He was elected delegate to the 1973 Constitutional Convention, where he served as Chairman of the Committee on Revenue, Finance and taxation.

In 1959, Senator Rayburn was awarded an honorary doctorate from Loyola University in recognition of his knowledge and understanding of state government. In 1973, he was made an honorary member of the Louisiana Veterinary Medical Association in recognition of his years of service to the cause of “the health of man and his domesticated animals” in Louisiana, and for his help in creating the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine. Senator Rayburn was the first lay person to receive this honor. In 1978, Senate Concurrent Resolution 135 was passed to name the school of veterinary medicine, the Rayburn School of Veterinary Science, in honor of the Rayburn family of Washington Parish due to the fact that Senator Rayburn was instrumental in the creation of the veterinary school on the campus of Louisiana State University and in honor of Senator Rayburn for his leadership, dedication and contribution to the State of Louisiana.

On March 17, 1993 the Louisiana State Uniersity School of Veterinary Medicine presented him with the University Medal which is the highest honor given at LSU. Senator Rayburn received this recognition in honor of his many contributions to the School of Veterinary Medicine and the State of Louisiana.

Senator Rayburn was instrumental in obtaining funds for construction of a new Sullivan Vocational-Technical Institute, which was put into use in September of 1971, at a cost of $985,730.

In 1948, Senator Rayburn was instrumental in obtaining $500,000 for the construction of Washington- St. Tammany Charity Hospital and formal dedication was held on January 6, 1951. Senator Rayburn secured funds in the 1979 and 1980 legislative sessions in the amount of $29.6 Million for the construction of Washington Parish Correctional Center. This created some 400 plus jobs for his area.

On August 31, 2006 the Washington Parish Correctional Center was renamed the B.B. “Sixty” Rayburn Correctional Center in his honor of hard work and dedication for securing this institution for Washington parish. " 

He has his own Wikipedia entry. CLICK HERE to read more about his career. 

His obituary may be found at THIS LINK.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Wetlands Preservation - 1987

In late 1987 the St. Tammany News-Banner newspaper published a special section on environmental concerns facing the parish. The project featured several different writers addressing a variety of subjects: air quality, water quality, wetlands, etc. The article below was one of those, and deals with the preservation of wetlands habitat. It was written by famed sportsman Don Dubuc.

Click on the images to make them larger and more readable. 

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Covington High Homecoming Court - 1978

In the late 1970's, the homecoming court at Covington High School posed on stage for this picture. Click on the image to make it larger. 

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Carrying the Torch

In 1996, the Olympic Torch journeyed across St. Tammany Parish on its way to the games in Atlanta, GA. Here are some of the folks who helped it along. Click on the image to make it bigger. 

Water Quality Concerns - 1987

This article about water quality concerns in St. Tammany Parish appeared in a 1987 special section on the St. Tammany Environment, published by the News-Banner newspaper. Click on the images to make them larger and more readable. 

Friday, January 26, 2018

100 years ago this week

 What was going on 100 years ago this week?

CLICK HERE for a link to the St. Tammany Farmer edition of January 26, 1918. The link is provided by the Library of Congress and its Chronicling America service.

Click on the images below to see larger versions.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

New Hampshire Street Scene

In 1907 this is how New Hampshire Street looked, from the middle of the 300 block, viewed southward towards Boston St. To the right is the location of the St. Tammany Farmer newspaper, and in the background is the first floor of the Southern Hotel. To the left, not clearly visible in the background, is the parish courthouse.

Click on the image to make it larger. 

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Air Quality Concerns - 1987

In late 1987 the St. Tammany News-Banner newspaper published a special section on environmental concerns facing the parish. The project featured several different writers addressing a variety of subjects: air quality, water quality, wetlands, etc. The article below was one of those, and it concerned the air quality of St. Tammany especially how it is related to spraying for mosquito control. 

Click on the images to make them appear larger and more readable. 

See also:

St. Tammany Parish Mosquito Abatement District

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Lacombe Senior Citizens Bus Trip 1979

On July 12, 1979, this group of Lacombe area senior citizens posed for a picture as they were getting ready to board a bus. Click on the image to make a larger version. 

Monday, January 22, 2018

Environmental Overview - 1987

In late 1987 the St. Tammany News-Banner newspaper published a special section on environmental concerns facing the parish. The project featured several different writers addressing a variety of subjects: air quality, water quality, wetlands, etc.

Here is the introduction and pictures of the writers who were involved. Click on the images below to enlarge the view to more readable text.

The writers who took part in submitting articles for the special section.

In the 1980's St. Tammany was home to a growing number of concerned environmentalists, and this was back in the day when protecting the environment was not on everyone's "to do" list.  

See also:

Student Environmentalists in 1987

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Old Mandeville Griffin Bakery

The Griffin Bakery was a landmark in early Mandeville, a central gathering place for the community. The building was constructed in stages, and then all linked together for the various purposes it filled throughout its 100-year-plus history.

In 1996 Mandeville resident John Fineran took on the task of renovating and restoring the building at the corner of  Lafitte and Jefferson streets in old Mandeville.  Here is the story of the original bakery and the efforts 22 years ago to restore the building. Click on the images to make them larger. 

A 1997 View of the Structure

Below is the 1997 article in the St. Tammany Farmer telling about the renovation of the building and its significance in Mandeville history. Click on the article below to make it larger and more readable.

Today the structure is occupied by 
Lama's St. Roch Family Restaurant and Market

The History of Griffin's Bakery

This account comes from a printed history in the window of the building:

The three separate buildings that were connected together to make Griffin's Bakery were built sometime beginning in 1900 and developed into its current layout around the middle of the 1930's. One of the first references to the structure took place when the building was indicated on the 1915 Sanborn map of businesses. 

The Griffin family bought the property from the E. H. Baudot family in 1920 and turned it into a bakery. The Sanborn map for 1926 showed an attached structure called "the bakehouse," located a few feet in back of the main group of buildings.

Although the exact construction date of the main building is not known, it looks to be around the turn of the century as indicated by the style of architecture. 

The two bay windows are "something of a mystery" since they are supported by highly-decorative brackets in the "Italianate tradition," with a scalloped band ornament at the top. These would seem to have been popular around 1900, according to architectural research, but they may have been added to the building later. 

The gallery front porch, wrapping around the corner front entrance, was a common feature of Louisiana commercial structures. 

A photo from 1932 provided by Ernest J. Griffin Jr.
Shown is his grandfather and the delivery truck


The Griffins sold the bakery to the Roquettes in the 1940's, and many older Mandeville residents remember going to the Roquette bakery on a regular basis.

It is one of the few buildings left that give an indication of the once vibrant commercial section of Olde Mandeville. That distinction allows it to be a unique representative of the historic downtown character of Mandeville. The Old Mandeville Griffin's Bakery was placed on the National Register of Historic Places database on December 1, 1997. 

 Photos from 1997

The brick oven

Photos from 2018
301 Lafitte Street, Mandeville
Lama's St. Roch Family Restaurant

The Scientist Entertainer - Dr. Daniel Posin

One of the most interesting professional scientists ever to live in the Covington area was Dr. Daniel Q. Posin. His professional science career spanned many decades and touched upon many aspects of science and physics, but he was best known for his efforts to explain space exploration and atomic energy to the public. 

Dr. Dan Posin talking to a Covington audience

Here is an article from the October 3, 1996, issue of the St. Tammany Farmer.

In September, 1996, his presentation on the fascinating fields of science and physics entertained and informed his Covington audience, but he had done that sort of thing before, nearly 3000 times before, winning awards, earning nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize, and hosting numerous children's television shows on science and its future promise. 

Born in Russia, he fled the Revolution there on a cattle boat, coming to America where he eventually became a nuclear physicist, one of the best known scientists in the country. He met, and gained the respect of, Dr. Albert Einstein who personally encouraged him to continue his mission in bringing knowledge about the peaceful uses of atomic energy to the public's attention. That mission included dozens of children's television shows where he explained the mysteries of science and particularly, space exploration.

Shown above is one of the more than 30 books he wrote for the popular market about science. They had titles such as Dr. Posin's Giants: Men of Science,Out of This World, Mendeleyev: The Story of a Great Scientist, Exploring and Understanding Our Solar System, What is a star, What is Chemistry, What is Electronic Communication, Science in the Age of Space, Chemistry for the Space Age, and Find Out! First Step to the Future.

The race to space began in the middle of the 1950's, and his expertise was sought out when he signed on as scientific consultant and adviser for the CBS radio and television networks. He produced three television shows and one radio program weekly. Among his programs were "Out of This World," "Dr. Posin's Universe" and "On the Shoulders of Giants." His face was well known as his programs were advertised and promoted far and wide. 

Posin presented science in an enjoyable and entertaining way,. His friends and acquaintances knew that on any given day, Posin "could be found dancing energetically around whichever studio he was working in." His presentation skills were aimed at school children, but the adults could also feel the excitement when he explained space travel with the roar of the rockets and the wonders of the solar system.

"He was this darling little guy with a mustache like Groucho Marx, dancing around and showing the planets," said his daughter, Kathryn Posin.

An account of his life stated that he was born in 1909 in Russian Turkestan in a village by the Caspian Sea. He was six years old when his family saw the Russian Revolution coming and began its three-year flight to the United States. He and his mother made their way to Mongolia and finally got passage on a ship to San Francisco. He traveled in steerage next to the cows.

Despite arriving with not a word of English, he soared through school, sold newspapers and worked in restaurants and camps, won scholarships and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California at Berkeley with a Ph.D. in physics. His father had died young of tuberculosis while working as a janitor in Russia.

In 1943, at the age of 34, Posin became president of the National Academy of Sciences and moved to Massachusetts Institute of Technology to conduct research on radar and radioactivity. It was there that he met and became friends with Albert Einstein. Both men were deeply shaken when the atomic bomb was used in World War II. Einstein, who recognized Posin’s gift for explaining physics to ordinary people, urged him to use his talents to teach the world.

As his education progressed and his fame grew, Posin gave more than 3,000 lectures in the United States and England on nuclear power and its dangers and benefits. His arguments against using it for war won him six nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize. His book "I Have Been to the Village," about world-altering decisions starting at the village level, had a forward by Einstein, who wrote: "Dr. Dan Q. Posin's book bears eloquent witness to the sincere and self-sacrificing way in which the ablest among the scientists try to fulfill their duty toward the community."

In 1967 he started teaching physics at San Francisco State. He taught until he was 87, after which he moved to the New Orleans area to be near his son, Daniel Jr. In 2003 he died at the age of 93 in New Orleans, LA. 

Dr. Posin, at right, was introduced to the Covington audience by Dr. Richard Harrison with the Delta Regional Primate Center. 

See also:

Before Carl Sagan and Neil deGrasse Tyson, There Was Dan Q. Posin

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Student Environmentalists 1987

Some 31 years ago, in 1987, more people were becoming aware of the environmental issues facing St. Tammany Parish, due primarily to its rapid growth and the desire to maintain the "quality of life." Below is an article about a high school student group that was beginning to investigate what the environmental movement was all about. 

Click on the images to make them larger and more readable.