During the Great Depression, in an attempt to put people to work and spur recovery, FDR and Congress formed the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Interestingly, the WPA did not just recruit laborers and skilled craftsmen, but assembled artists and writers and put them to work. (Students of politics will recall that FDR’s right-hand man, Harry Hopkins, served as the administrator of the WPA.)
Artists painted murals in post offices all over America, where they can still be seen and enjoyed. Writers collected the stories and histories of communities across the country, most being recorded for the first time. These remain invaluable treasures today. One of the best of these was written about our city.
“New Orleans City Guide: 1938” is a fun read for anyone who knows and loves the Crescent City. First published, obviously, in 1938, it was reprinted in 1952 and 1983. The present reprint (2009) comes from Garrett County Press (http://www.gcpress.com). This book has been called the “masterpiece of the whole (WPA) series.” I bought it at Sams Club for $12.32, a bargain.
I’ve been trying to assemble a representative collection of books on New Orleans for our associational office. It occurs to me that new staffers coming to work here will enjoy reading them and learning the history and culture of the community where God has sent them. They do not have to approve it or even like it, but they need to know it.
A few things from the book you might find interesting….
Bear in mind the year 1718 is the official founding date for New Orleans. “The earliest direct reference to a house of worship in the city is in the account of Father Charlevoix, who, when visiting New Orleans in 1721, found only