Thursday, December 31, 2009

Bossier Banner Name and Place Index

The History Center is happy to announce the return of its name and place index to the Bossier Banner newspaper. The index includes the years 1859-1985. You can now browse through the alphabetical listing of people, places, and organizations to find the corresponding citation for the Bossier Banner article you wish to view. To get a copy of the article, either call or email the history center, tell us the citation, and we will send you a copy or scan.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Letters to Santa

This 1967 photo shows the first-graders at Princeton School ready to write their letters to Santa Claus. Their teacher has written "Dear Santa Claus, I would like some toys and clothing for Christmas" on the chalkboard. This photo (2004.003.009) is from our Walter H. Martin collection. Mr. Martin was the principal at Princeton High School.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


“Extract from the Reconstructed Constitution of the State of Louisiana. With Portraits of the Distinguished Members of the Convention & Assembly. A.D. 1868” is a rare lithograph poster in our collection that once hung in thousands of homes of black Louisianans. Thumbnail portraits of the black delegates to the Louisiana Constitutional Convention of 1868 surround a portrait of Louisiana’s first black Lieutenant Governor, O.J. Dunn. (Not pictured is John Pierce, representative of Bossier Parish.)

Delegates to this convention rewrote Louisiana’s Constitution during the period following the Civil War called Reconstruction. Black Louisianans were given the right to vote for delegates to the Constitutional Convention of 1868. They enthusiastically voted for almost 60 percent black delegates. The resulting Constitution gave black males the right to vote. It took away the right to vote from those who had preached or published articles against the United States or who had voted for or signed an ordinance of secession. It integrated free schools and (on paper at least) any other public places.

In the election following ratification, many of the black delegates to the constitutional convention were elected to the legislature. It was the first time blacks held public office in Louisiana. These changes did not persist. Reconstruction was over by 1877. But black leaders of the Reconstruction period, who tended to be as educated as their white counterparts, had laid down a framework for black political, economic and educational gains. Reconstruction was Louisiana’s first civil rights campaign, and of course not its last.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Collections database feedback

We have some new features available on our PastPerfect online collections database (accessible here or through the link in the menu to the right). When you view an image in our database, you'll now be able to email the link to share your find with others and you'll also have the chance to provide us with feedback.

So if you recognize a person or location that we haven't identified yet - or maybe you notice that we mixed up your ancestors in a photo - please let us know!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Merry Messages and Memories

Visit the History Center during the month of December to see our holiday themed exhibit, "Merry Messages and Memories," located in two of our front display cases. You'll see photos of snowy Bossier Parish, handmade Christmas ornaments, and a selection of 1940s-era Christmas cards. We'll also be decorating our large tree, so be sure to drop by for the holidays!