Thursday, November 6, 2008

New Orleans in 1950

A view into the crystal ball, authorized by the Krewe of Rex in 1899:

"New Orleans is now the most healthful city in the entire Mississippi Valley. The mild winters exclude those maladies known only to the rigorous climates further north. Yellow fever and kindred plagues have long since ceased to exist. The perfect drainage, perfect water supply and perfect sewerage have relegated those dreadful maladies to the oblivion which so well becomes them.
Since the building of the Nicaragua canal in the early part of this century, the commerce of this port has arisen yearly in the most rapid manner. The first year after the canal was built the imports and exports of New Orleans increased over 20 per cent. The building of the canal, together with the perfect sanitary condition that the city had been placed in, made it the principal port in the country.
[. . .]
One of the most important cities of the United States, in point of the business it carries on, is Havana. Although Cuba has not been a part of the union quite fifty years, yet it is in every sense of the word an American city. Even the Spanish language, spoken there exclusively fifty years ago, has become almost a forgotten tongue. The great volume of commerce carried on between the states situated on the continent and Cuba, goes through New Orleans.
Porto Rico has also become thoroughly American. The great resources of that now powerful state lay dormant after the island had been acquired by the United States through the Spanish American war. The importance of the island may be shown best when it is known that Porto Rico is represented in the Congress at Washington by thirteen congressmen.
The states last admitted into the union, those along the northern portion of South America, have also grown and developed most marvelously within the last few years. Mexico, that is, the territory known during the last century by that name, but now comprising eleven states of the union, has also become one of the most enterprising sections of this great nation. All this development in the gulf region of the two continents has added to the greatness of the city of New Orleans." [pp. 60-63]

Want to read more?

Whyte, J.H. New Orleans in 1950, being a story of the carnival city, from the pen of a descendant of Herodotus, possessing the gift of prescience. New Orleans: A.W. Hyatt, Co., 407 Camp Street, 1899. Louisiana Collection, Special Collections Division, 976.31 W 629

Whyte also addresses modern homes, office buildings, and hotels.

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