Sunday, December 1, 2019

Mandeville's Part in the Bicentennial

The year 1976 was a good year for historians. With the coming of the American Bicentennial Celebration, people wanted to learn more about history, not only on a national basis, but also what was happening in their local area in 1776. Local communities were digging into their histories, committees were appointed, research was being done by professional and amateur historians as well as high school history classes.
In the January 7, 1976, issue of the St. Tammany News-Banner, plans were announced for the City of Mandeville's participation in the American Bicentennial Celebration. Here is the article from the St. Tammany News-Banner about the coming event. Interesting historical tidbits were shared in preparation.

Hebert, Fitzmorris to attend ceremony
MANDEVILLE U S. Congressman F. Edward Hebert will be on hand for the program to officially proclaim Mandevlle a Bicentennial community and Lt. Governor Jimmy Fitzmorris Jr. will be bringing a new state flag from Baton Rouge for the event.

The ceremony is scheduled at 1 p m Saturday, Jan. 10, at the new Town. Hall on East Causeway Approach. 

Michael Hackett, director of the Louisiana State Bicentennial Commission, will make the formal presentation of the Bicentennial Flag and certificate. The Mandeville Bicentennial Flag and Certificate Dedication Committee under the chairmanship of Mrs Michael Cosby has been working hard during and before the holiday season to present as historically accurate and patriotically significant programs as possible for the residents of the community.

Numerous organizations In the community will be cooperating to make the program an outstanding beginning for Mandeville's Bicentennial calendar of events, Mrs. Cosby said.

Members of the St. Tammany Art Association,. the St. Tammany Historical Society, the 4-H Club of Mandeville Middle School, a representative group of boys and girls from each Mandeville Elementary School grade, Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts, Sandy Shores Garden Club, Tri-Theta Fraternity, the Mandeville Saddle Club, the VFW, the police and fire departments as well as numerous individuals are cooperating and will participate in the programs, she said.

The Mixed Choir of Mandeville High School under the direction of Mrs. Judy Baker will sing a trilogy of American music; the play production class of Mandeville High School will present a re-enactment of the capitulation and treaty signing as accurately as the manuscripts will permit. Directors of the Drama Department are Miss Marilee Dukes and Mrs. Sue Elkins.

Of special importance will be a display of the eight flags which flew over Louisiana between 1491 and 1862. From 1492 - 1717, the Spanish Banner of Castile and Leon was flown; then the French Fleur de Lis of the Bourbons from 1717-1763 ; the English Crosses of St. Andrew and St George (1763 - 1779), the Spanish Bars of Aragon (1779-1810), and, briefly, the Republic of West Florida's Lone Star Flag (Sept 10 - Dec 7, 1810) , the United States Fifteen Stars including Maine-Vermont (1810 - 1861); the Battle Flag of the Confederate States of America from 11361- 1862. and in 1862, the United States Flag representing 35 states.

The flags which will be hanging are borrowed from the St. Tammany Historical Society and are true copies of the original flags They were handmade by the efforts of Mrs. F S Ellis, Mrs Florence Chesnut and Mrs. Amos Neff.

The printed program for the festivities
To further enhance the significance of this program, also on display will be a collection of excerpts from journals, letters and copies of maps telling of the early history of Mandeville and vicinity. In and around the waterways and highways of St Tammany Parish, such names as Chinchuba. Lewisburg, Mandeville, Marigny, Tchefuncte and Bogalusa were not just dreamed up by modern day land developer They are a part of the early history. 

An 1898 copy of a map of Mandeville. courtesy of Dennis Bechac, or the March, 1834, copy of a map of Lewisburg,  courtesy of Elmo Smith; Or the copy of Miss-Ann Maylie's Section Map of Mandeville. also 1834, very possibly shows the square on which the reader's home now is constructed.

The other early maps of the Mandeville area, courtesy of Dr. and Mrs. S. Harvey Colvin Jr., take the reader further back into the history and help to make it very personal and alive.

Copies and translations of letters of Naval officers reporting on attempting to stem the activities of the British Navy on Lake Pontchartrain in 1778, the battle between America's Capt. William Pickles and the West Florida; Capt. Paine in 1779; a list of wounded in another lake battle include names not uncommon to Mandeville.

Quotations from a letter concerning attempts by the British to influence inhabitants and Indians of Natchez to take up arms in their behalf, and, of course, a copy of the capitulation of the inhabitants of the settlements on the North Shore of Lake Pontchartrain and those men signing in 1779, are among the historic documentation of early Mandeville. 

The copies of these original records displayed on the posters were obtained and translated by Judge Frederick S. Ellis from the Archives of the Indies in Seville, Spain.

Mandeville Bicentennial Chairman Dr. John Healy feels the Flag and Certificate Dedications Committee has developed a program and display which have great merit and which the community should take personally as a step in preserving their history and protecting their birthrights. He hopes much of the material will become part of a permanent display with the long-range possibility of a Mandeville Museum with more donated relics of early local history.

The Dedication Committee assisting Mrs Cosby are Mr Tommy Aldridge, Mrs. Robert Bsh, Dr. and Mrs. S. Harvey Colvin Jr., Mrs, Ruby Diaz. Miss Laura Gregory and Dr Gerald Keller.  They will be glad to try to answer any questions, in addition to Commission Chairman Dr John Healy., concerning Mandeville Bicentennial activities.



MANDEVILLE BICENTENNIAL - A few members of the Mandeville Bicentennial Committee and Mayor Paul D. Cordes of Mandeville look over a copy of the telegram recognizing the town as an official Bicentennial community. From left are chairman John Healy, Cores, Ella Paine, and Mae Ruby Diaz. (News-Banner November 9, 1975)


See also:

National Bicentennial Celebration 1976

St. Tammany's Part In The Revolutionary War