Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Robert Southerland and the Texas City Tragedy, 1947

 In Texas City, Texas, a busy industrial port between Galveston and Houston, an explosion occurred on the morning of Wednesday, April 16, 1947 that changed history locally and even globally. The shock of the explosion could be felt as far away as Louisiana, and the waves of anxiety and grief scarred many families in the Shreveport and Bossier area, including the Southerland family, as they awaited news of their brother, son, and son-in-law Robert D. Southerland.

Texas City, Texas had been a much sleepier town prior to World War II, but during the war, refineries and chemical plants and shipping brought an influx of people and jobs. In 1947, post-war, the plants had simply pivoted and pent-up demand was still being filled. One of these plants belonged to Monsanto Chemical, which, post-war, was making styrene, a component of synthetic rubber and plastics.

The Monsanto Texas City plant’s safety director, also referred to as their safety engineer, was Robert Southerland, a 1929 graduate of Bossier High School, who had played on the Bearkat football team with his older brother, Dell Jr. After graduation, Robert had worked in various positions related to the petroleum industry in Bossier City, including as a truck driver, clerk and bookkeeper and participated in the family business, Southerland Service Station on Traffic Street. In 1943, with his wife, Elsie Watson of Shreveport, and young son, Robert Jr., born in 1939, he moved to Texas City for the Monsanto job, reportedly after attending Centenary College to study chemical or petroleum engineering.

The Monsanto building and plant, in a former sugar refinery, was located just 300 feet from Slip 1 of the Texas City port. Docked in Slip 1 on the morning of April 16, 1947, was the container ship the SS Grand Camp of France, which was being loaded by local longshoremen with ammonium nitrate to fulfill a demand for fertilizer, as Europe worked to end its continuing wartime food shortage. There were some other items on board too: large balls of sisal twine, peanuts, drilling equipment, tobacco, cotton, and a few cases of small ammunition.

The explosive properties of ammonium nitrate were not yet commonly known at that time, and no special safety precautions were observed in its transport. Just after 8:00 a.m., several longshoremen went into the hold to wait for the pallets holding the 100-pound packages of the ammonium nitrate to be hoisted from the dock. Not long after, one of them smelled, and soon observed, smoke. However, the captain did not want to use any water to suppress a beginning fire because that would damage the cargo. The other methods the ship’s crew used were ineffective, and soon, flames were leaping into the sky in such unusually bright hues of orange and yellow that the ship’s fire attracted many spectators to the docks, including children. Texas City’s postwar schools were so overwhelmed with pupils that students attended school in shifts, thus the afternoon students were free to flock to the docks to witness the unusual flames of the Grandcamp fire.

Texas City’s small and underequipped volunteer fire crew showed up to fight the Grandcamp’s fire bravely, but in vain. The fire was too hot, and the heat evaporated the water they sprayed at it before it could even touch the flames. At 9:15 a.m., the SS Grandcamp, and its cargo of 2,300 tons of ammonium nitrate fertilizer, exploded. The ship disintegrated, while sending the pieces as flaming projectiles to land hundreds of feet away. Also leveled were the dock and the neighboring Monsanto plant, and the flaming pieces of the ship set off a succession of oil storage tank fires, among other fires in the vicinity of the dock. These fires ultimately spread to the freighter wedged in a nearby slip, the High Flyer, also loaded with ammonium nitrate, which exploded into a nuclear-like mushroom cloud at about 1:15 a.m.

Thursday, igniting additional fires. It became the worst industrial accident in U.S. history, and resulted in an estimated 600 people killed and thousands more injured, and many other lives were changed forever.

Later that Thursday, the Bossier City Planter’s Press reported that Elsie Southerland had phoned relatives in the area the night before and said, “We are all O.K.” Sadly, whether Elsie’s original informant was incorrect or in the confusion, messages were crossed, a later, accurate article announced that Robert “Bob” Southerland was missing. Elsie later said she initially was informed her husband was recuperating in a hospital. It is possible that Robert’s name had been mixed up with that of his cousin, James Southerland, also of Bossier, and also a Monsanto employee in Texas City, who was injured during the disaster. Elsie, along with the FBI, and Monsanto officials, was busy visiting all hospitals, some of which were makeshift treatment centers that popped up to treat the massive numbers of injured, to try and locate her husband. Then, a couple of excruciating weeks later, in a makeshift morgue, the 34-year-old Robert Southerland’s body was identified. His death certificate was filed May 6, 1967.

The Monsanto company fire chief Walter W. Stephen, based at company headquarters in Anniston, Alabama, who travelled to Texas City at the first news of the Grandcamp explosion, arriving before the second explosion from the High Flyer, recalled in a speech to fellow firefighters or officials years later, during a rare moment when he decided to talk about the horrific disaster, what he knew of what would be Bob Southerland’s last moments. As safety engineer for the Monsanto Texas City plant, Bob Southerland was also chief of the plant’s fire department. With his department members, he was laying hose lines to Monsanto’s dock area several hundred feet from the ship. They connected their five-hundred-gallon pumper to a hydrant in a yard with two large brick and steel buildings, about two city- blocks distant from the Grandcamp. But Chief Stephen recalled,

“When the explosion occurred, these two buildings were no longer there and this pumper was picked up and thrown two hundred feet through the air. The entire Monsanto fire brigade, composed of men that I had trained and knew, their fine young chief, Bob Sutherland…and smiling Fred Atwood, their Assistant Chief, instantly went out of existence, along with the other heroes of the entire personnel of the Texas City and Republic Company [fire] departments.”

In fact, the fire in the area of the flattened Monsanto plant was not extinguished for several days, after an all-new, re-organized Texas City fire department, along visiting fire organizations and ultimately, a new Monsanto fire brigade, could put it out.

Having resided in Texas City, TX for four years, Bob Southerland had already become an integral member of the Texas City community, joining the local masonic lodge and junior chamber of commerce. His funeral was held May 3rd, 1947, at First Presbyterian Church in Texas City, where he was a member. Following the funeral, his body was shipped to Shreveport for a graveside Masonic ritual in Forest Park Cemetery.

On May 30th, 1947, Plain Dealing Progress newspaper in Bossier recalled Robert Southerland as a “peacetime hero,” along with the also recently-deceased Lt. Edward Teague, an Army Air Force pilot whose plane went down while stationed at a joint air base in Newfoundland, Canada. (See the History Center’s local history column of May 15, 2024, for this story). The article reported that Southerland had heroically worked to get the spectators of the Grandcamp fire away from the docks prior to the explosion that killed him, according to witnesses, and died trying to protect them, many of them children, as well as trying to aid the Grandcamp’s crew.

Stay tuned for an additional article on Bossier Parish ties to the horrific events in Texas City, Texas that started April 16, 1947. If you would like to add to or explore our collection of Bossier lives, including everyday heroes like Mr. Southerland, or his family who endured the unthinkable, please which is now within the new Bossier Parish Libraries Central Complex at 850 City Hall Drive, Bossier City, LA (across Beckett Street from the original History Center and “old” Central Library). We are open M-Th 9-8, Fri 9-6, and Sat 9-5. Our phone number is (318) 746-7717 and our email is

For other fast facts, photos, and videos, be sure to follow us @BPLHistoryCenter on FB, @bplhistorycenter on TikTok,


  • Robert Southerland, Bossier High School football team photo, 1927.
  • 1947 Texas City disaster: Heavy debris flew from the explosions at the docks, often igniting more fires. Photo source: US Army Corps of Engineers
Article by: Pam Carlisle

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

A Bossier Biography – Lambert W. Baker

Here is a story of a resilient Bossier Parish man that takes place during the Reconstruction era, 1865-1877. His story shows that Reconstruction was a time of strident national political division. It was a time when to vote Republican in the South, which had been the party of Abraham Lincoln, was to risk ostracism or even serious physical harm or death.

Lambert William Baker was born in North Carolina in 1818. In 1844, he married Martha “Mattie” Allen in Walker County, Alabama. Their first daughter, Theodocia, and only son, Percy, were both born in Jasper, AL. By 1849, the family had moved to Minden, LA, where they had four more daughters: Josephine, Alza Dora, Elizena, and Martha Cassandra. Their last child, Maniza Louisa, was born in Bossier Parish in 1860. Lambert, a republican, was elected as Bossier Parish judge in 1868 with 945 votes. He was re-elected in both 1870 and 1872. Richard Welcome Turner defeated Baker in the district judge election of 1876.

As a republican in Reconstruction-era Louisiana, Baker was known as a “scalawag” by the democratic majority of Bossier Parish. The term was mainly used in a derogatory fashion to refer to white republican Southerners who sided with Reconstructionist policies after the Civil War. Baker writes to Governor Warmoth in July of 1868, “I have not been molested, but hear threats of assassination in every direction and it seems to aggravate them that I treat such talk as a joke. My son [Percy] was assaulted on the 26th instant by a squad of cut-throats, with whom he was unacquainted, in the presence of Mr. Hill, sheriff of the parish, but he did not intercede to protect the life of a republican (of course not).”

At the time of these threats, Baker’s seven children still lived with him at home. Maniza, the youngest, would have been about 8 years old. Sheriff Hill, who would go on to become US Marshal of Louisiana, wrote a letter to The Bossier Banner editor, William Scanland, proclaiming the account a falsehood. The Congressional review into the Presidential Election Investigation of 1878-79 mentions that Hill was one of the leaders during the Bossier Riots of 1868.

Baker’s political career came at a tumultuous and dangerous time in Bossier Parish. In 1868, an event known by several names (Shady Grove Riot, Bossier Riot, Bossier Massacre, and Gibson’s War) occurred in the parish. While the exact number of victims is not known, it is thought that around 300 black citizens of Bossier Parish were murdered and possibly another 100 wounded. Baker’s accounts of this time are recorded in the Session of the 44th Congress, known as “Use of the Army in Certain Southern States”.

“Bossier, This parish...has had enacted within its borders during the last six years some of the most atrocious murders ever put upon record by the historian's pen. As no language of mine can add to the extracts taken from official records and personal experiences hereinafter set forth, I shall simply give the statistics as I have been able to collect them, with the remark that, in my opinion, the "Bossier negro-hunt" or massacre, during the month of September, 1868, was, without exception, the most thoroughly wanton, unjustifiable, and in every respect uncalled-for slaughter of innocent and unoffending people, solely on account of their color and political sentiments, that ever occurred among civilized people.

"I have often conversed with men who took an active part in what is known as the Bossier Riot of 1868, and who participated at different places, and they place the number killed at from two to three hundred. Some say more than three hundred. Of that number two were white men and the balance were negroes. No prosecutions were had for that riot.”

Baker and his son Percy both went to the polls with their shot-guns in their hands, as they cast the only two votes for the Louisiana Constitution of 1868 in Bossier Parish. The Bossier Banner newspaper published an article noting that “only two white men in Bossier parish voted for the mongrel Constitution!...Who are the men of nerve among you?...Who are the two greatest skunks in Bossier!” At the time, Percy was a state representative from the parish, but this position offered him no protection. Both father and son report that election fraud was rampant in the 1872 election, and “wholesale intimidation was practiced throughout the parish. Terrible threats were made to revive the fearful election massacre of four years ago [a reference to the event known as the Bossier Riots or Massacre], at which several hundred colored men were killed…A body of Ku-Klux, commissioned as constables, did the work.” Lambert writes to republican politician Stephen B. Packard that armed guards in Bossier Parish are well-known as members of the KKK, and claim not to be White-Leaguers, preferring to call themselves ‘Governor McEnery’s militia’.

In September of 1874, Baker wrote to Packard again and described a threat leveled against him by a White League committee. Baker was told to cease to act as parish judge and United States commissioner and ordered not to make any report of this threat under any circumstances. He was told that disobedience would result in his inability to leave the state and that he “could not live here twenty-four hours.” Baker told Packard that armed White Leaguers held the courthouse and had all elected officials under surveillance. The scope of the situation is not readily available as “outrages are daily committed but not reported by the papers. Anarchy prevails.” The newspaper that fails to report these outrages must be The Bossier Banner.

There is evidence that Baker’s political ideals made even small matters difficult within the parish. In 1875, he applied with the Police Jury to change the Bellevue and Fillmore road in front of his residence. The jurors rejected his application on the grounds that it would lengthen the road. Sheriff W.H. Hill, the same man who failed to intervene during the attack on Percy, submitted the report and reason for rejection.

Baker and his family continued to live in Bossier Parish. Lambert Baker died in 1902 and is buried in the Bellevue Cemetery.

To learn more about life in early Bossier Parish, come visit us in the History Center, which is now within the new Bossier Parish Libraries Central Complex at 850 City Hall Drive, Bossier City, LA (across Beckett Street from the original History Center and “old” Central Library). We are open M-Th 9-8, Fri 9-6, and Sat 9-5. Our phone number is (318) 746-7717 and our email is

For other fast facts, photos, and videos, be sure to follow us @BPLHistoryCenter on FB, @bplhistorycenter on TikTok,


  • Lambert William Baker, c. 1860. Photo from the Pete Long collection, Bossier Parish Libraries History Center
  • Lithographed broadside, “Extract from the Reconstructed Constitution of the State of Louisiana with Portraits of the Distinguished Members of the Convention and Assembly A.D. 1868."   Contains illustrations of prominent African Americans in office.  An equal number of Black and white Republicans met in convention to write the Louisiana Constitution of 1868. Broadside from the collection of the Bossier Parish Libraries History Center, courtesy of John F. Geary
  • Headstone of Judge Lambert William Baker, 1818-1902 and his son, Percy Baker 1846 – 1898, in Bellevue Cemetery, Haughton, Louisiana. Photo from the Pete Long collection, Bossier Parish Libraries History Center
Article by: Marisa Richardson

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Dear Mr. President, 1942

Two weeks ago, we featured kids, the fifth graders of Mrs. Bonvillion’s class at Bossier Grammar School, who were making a difference during World War II. They collected the waste fats and tin cans that were needed to make munitions for the armed services. The children posed for a photo in 1944, a copy of which is in our History Center collections, showing them holding a banner that said, “We Brought the GREASE to Write the PEACE.” Here’s another story from our collections of a Bossier City youngster doing her part, and making her voice known, for the war effort.

Ten years ago, we received a donation of some newspaper clippings from Billie Jackson Lynn of Bedford, Texas. Ms. Lynn lived in Bossier City as a girl, graduating from Bossier High School in 1950. Her mother saved two clippings about a letter Billie wrote to President Franklin Roosevelt in 1942. Billie had four uncles and a cousin serving their country during World War II, all but one in the Army Air Forces. Two were prisoners of war, captured after the Philippine fighting. Worried about them, Billy decided to appeal to President Roosevelt to do his best to get them back safe and sound to their homes in Shreveport. He referred her letter to the War Department, which, in turn, referred it to General Ulio, adjutant general.

Here is his reply: "Dear Billy, Your letter of September 12, 1942, addressed to the President, concerning your loved ones who are now serving their country, has been transmitted to the War Department for reply. Your comments have been noted with interest and you may be assured that the War Department is always glad to receive the opinions of our young women and future citizens. Very truly yours, J.A. Ulio, Major General, The Adjutant General."

The newspaper noted the status of the soldiers in Billie’s family: “Billy's [sic] uncles are: Staff Sergeant H.F. Leeman, now a prisoner of war in Japan, formerly with the Army Air Forces; Private Charles H. Haynes, in the Air Forces in England; Private Homer W. Haynes, last heard from in Fort Lewis, Wash., with the Air Forces; and Corporal Clyde A. Jackson, in San Diego, with an anti-aircraft unit of the coast artillery. Her cousin: Private First Class James H. Markham, of the Air Forces, a prisoner of war [in Japan].

All are from Shreveport, and Billy hopes they all get back safely, after the job is finished. If she, the President, and General Ulio can affect it, they will. Meanwhile, she is an earnest collector of scrap metals, which will free her uncles and cousin.”

Both SSgt. Leeman and PFC Markham had been stationed at Barksdale Field and were reassigned to Savannah Army Air Base in Georgia in early 1941. They then went on to the Philippines where they were captured by the Japanese and taken prisoner. The men survived the Bataan Death March and were held in separate prison camps in Japan. They were finally released after the war and returned to the US.


Her newspaper photo shows Billie holding the letter she received along with a bomb, which her uncle had been fashioning into an ashtray before he was called into service. Billie donated the bomb to a scrap metal campaign. Ms. Lynn remembers that “in those days, we were all patriotic.”

Newspaper clippings are commonly saved and passed down as family mementos, but newspaper is acidic by nature. This acid causes the paper to turn yellow and break – things you don’t want to happen to your family keepsakes! Since the information in the clipping is the real treasure and not the newspaper itself, be sure to make copies of fragile clippings. Use an acid-free, lignin-free paper for the copies. Much of the standard copy paper today is acid-free and can be purchased at any office supply store. By making copies, you ensure all of the important information is preserved for future generations. We made photocopies and scans of Billie’s articles so that we can easily preserve and share the story of her presidential correspondence.

To learn more about life during World War II, join us for World War Tuesdays on the second Tuesday of the month from 10:30 – noon. The next meeting is August 13, 2024 – in our new location! The History Center is now within the new Bossier Parish Libraries Central Complex Library at 850 City Hall Drive, Bossier City, LA (across Beckett Street from the original History Center and the “old” Central Library). We are open M-Th 9-8, Fri 9-6, and Sat 9-5. Our phone number is (318) 746-7717 and our email is

For other fun facts, photos, and videos, be sure to follow us @BPLHistoryCenter on FB, @bplhistorycenter on TikTok, and check out our blog


  • Billie Jackson (Lynn) in 1942, holding a letter she received from General Ulio, US Adjutant General, and a bomb that had been fashioned into an ash tray, which she was donating to a scrap metal campaign.
  • Brigadier General J.A. Ulio, 1940. Photo by Harris & Ewing, courtesy of the Library of Congress
Article by: Marisa Richardson

Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Frenchmen Turn to Barksdale for Help Fighting Hitler

 Eighty-four years ago this month, France officially surrendered to the Germans following the Nazi invasion of the country in1940. But while flags emblazoned with the Nazi swastika flew over Paris, there were those who vowed that Hitler’s forces would not long remain on French soil. And Barksdale Air Force Base helped keep that promise.

Beginning in May 1944, young Frenchmen began arriving at Barksdale, called Barksdale Field at the time, to train as pilots, gunners, navigators, and bombardiers. They carried with them the hopes of a nation desperate to oust the invaders. In the coming weeks and months, others arrived. They were part of a larger contingent of French cadets, eventually totaling approximately 4,000, that came from areas outside occupied France for training at airfields across the United States. The goal: to equip them with the skills necessary to help reclaim their homeland. They would be known as the Free French air force and, according to a September 2019 article in the magazine France-Amerique, the men were quite surprised by life in the U.S. “They couldn’t believe their eyes,” the article states. “After the hardships of war, they discovered an affluent America filled with Coca-Cola, hamburgers, drive-in theaters, and boogie-woogie music.”

The Frenchmen who came to Barksdale received a warm welcome. The Shreveport Times of May 7, 1944, contains a story of the first arrivals being feted with a party at the home of Centenary College language professor, Dr. E.L. Ford. Although, according to the story, some of the men spoke no English, that didn’t prove a hinderance. “Once at the Ford home, … where a number of persons who spoke French were present and also a group of girls from the French club at Centenary, the men … in bits of French and English strongly expressed their delight at being here,” the story states. “They like ‘cokes’… and are in awe of our food.” I wasn’t able to find specific information about how the language barrier was overcome during their training at the airfield.

As the parties and welcoming faded into memory and the men’s training began, a seriousness took hold, reminding them that they had a job to do and a country to save. An article in Smithsonian Magazine from March 2004, describes the scolding that one cadet training in Alabama received after a poor flight performance. “The exasperated instructor marched him over to another officer on the flightline and told him to give the student hell—in French.”

Unfortunately, some of the cadets at Barksdale paid the ultimate price during flight training. From September 1944 through February 1945, thirteen Frenchmen were killed in plane crashes here. Newspaper accounts of the time detailed the tragedies. A witness to one of the crashes was a city editor with The Shreveport Journal. “There was a dull thud as it struck the ground, an explosion, a burst of flame … and then great billows of smoke rose skyward,” he said. And the hazards of training were not limited to the air. Another young cadet died after accidently stepping into a spinning propeller.

The B-26 Marauder, a twin-engined bomber, was the aircraft in which the men were given instruction. According to the National Air and Space Museum, it included some new features, but could be difficult to learn due to higher speeds needed during take-offs and landings. The museum states that one of the plane’s early nicknames was the “Widow Maker.” Despite these challenges, the B-26 proved to be invaluable. The museum says of it, “Like the M1 Garand combat rifle, the Sherman tank, and the LST, the Marauder was an important weapon in the war against the Axis powers.”

As reports came over the radio of the liberation of Paris in August 1944, the Frenchmen were, of course, thrilled. Barksdale’s Bark, the official newspaper of the airfield, stated in an article from August 26 that year that the men “ … marked the stirring events in their native France by marching together on the parade grounds.” A photo shows them carrying both the American flag and the French tri-color flag, a fitting tribute to Barksdale’s role in providing the skills necessary to help France rise again.

Thanks to my History Center coworker Jonah Daigle for supplying the idea for this article. His contribution is very much appreciated.

If you have any photos or other information relating to the history of Bossier Parish, the History Center may be interested in adding the materials to its research collection by donation or by scanning them and returning the originals. Call or visit us to learn more. We are open M-Th 9-8, Fri 9-6, and Sat 9-5. Our phone number is (318) 746-7717 and our email is We can also be found online at


  • French fliers attend party welcoming them to Barksdale Field/courtesy The Shreveport Times, May 7, 1944
  • French fliers march on parade grounds at Barksdale to mark the liberation of Paris/courtesy Barksdale's Bark, August 26, 1944

Article by: Kevin Flowers

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Winning World War II from the Kitchen

In the archives of the Bossier Parish Libraries History Center is a 1944 photograph of Mrs. Bonvillion’s fifth grade class at Bossier Grammar School (now Bossier Elementary School). The students proudly hold a banner that proclaims, “We brought the GREASE to write the PEACE.” They brought waste fats and tin cans that were needed to make munitions for the armed services during World War II.

Schools were not the only places in which kitchen fats were collected. Lettie VanLandingham was Bossier Parish’s Home Demonstration Agent through the Depression, WWII and into the 1950’s. Home Demonstration agents were provided by Louisiana State University’s Cooperative Extension Service. They taught women homemaking techniques, particularly related to food production and preparation, through organized clubs and general outreach in even the smallest of their parish’s communities.

In “The Bossier Banner” throughout WWII, Ms. VanLandingham advised homemakers on how to contribute to the war effort in their kitchens by saving cooking fats, which she referred to as a “miracle material”

“If the necessary supply of fats and oils is to be maintained, Louisiana housewives will have to save more frying-pan drippings that are unfit for further use.”

“By salvaging grease otherwise ready for the garbage, home-makers can assure themselves of more fats and oils, and at the same time supply the armed forces with the raw materials to make TNT, incendiaries, vaccines and thousands of battle-field necessities.”

“To make a hundred essentials for the battlefield, as well as the home front, they are vitally needed. One pound of fat saved in a kitchen will help supply the medicines to maintain a hospital bed for 12 days. One pound of fat will also help to make 19 pounds of synthetic rubber for ambulance tires. Save all fats. They are vital to help make these and other essentials like parachutes, bullets and soaps for the battlefield and home front. By saving one teaspoonful of fat each day for a month, the housewife will find that she has salvaged one pound of fat.”

Ms. Van Landingham’s dispatches on saving fats made it clear that recycling during WWII was not only good for the life of the planet, it helped to save lives of soldiers. Another important reason for saving fats, though perhaps not as noble, was that it was good for the wartime homemaker’s wallet, which would have included ration stamps or coupons in addition to money. Food was rationed during World War II for a variety of reasons, including supply and demand issues, military needs, and the economy, including keeping inflation in check. Food was mostly rationed using a point system that adjusted frequently for shifts in supply and demand. Products with high demand and low availability needed more points than items that were easier to obtain. Point value on a blue ration stamp were for foods that were processed and canned, frozen, dried or otherwise pre-packaged. Red stamps were for meat, cheese and fats. Therefore, Ms. Landingham pointed out,

“The more used kitchen fats home-makers turn in, the less likely are point values to rise on such items as shortening, lard and cooking oils,” she said. “Each pound of used kitchen fats means two extra red ration points and 4 cents to the home-maker. In other words, the home-maker who saves kitchen fats and sells them, trades a commodity she can’t use for one she can. In return for her salvaging job, she finds more fats and oils on open shelves, and she has more red points with which to buy them.

Bring or send any kitchen fats you have to the home demonstration club meetings and it will be delivered to some of the dealers who are taking care of it,” concludes the agent.

To learn more about life during World War II, join us for World War Tuesdays on the second Tuesday of the month from 10:30 – noon. The next meeting is July 9th and will feature food issues on the home front with the development of Victory Gardens and home food preservation. This meeting will be in the new Central Library building 850 City Hall Drive, Bossier City, LA (across Beckett Street from the original History Center and the “old” Central Library). We are open M-Th 9-8, Fri 9-6, and Sat 9-5. Our phone number is (318) 746-7717 and our email is

For other fun facts, photos, and videos, be sure to follow us @BPLHistoryCenter on FB, @bplhistorycenter on TikTok, and check out our blog