New Orleans is a city that has truly with stood the test of time. Rising from a small trading post built on the edge of the river in the middle of a swamp, New Orleáns would become the cultural capital of the United States shortly before the Civil War.
However at the close of the Civil War, both New Orleans & the United States experienced more growing pains as they both wrestled with the expectations of a large population of newly freed people.It was 157 years ago today that the reality of what this really meant hit home...
You see, New Orleáns had a large population of Free People of Color before the Civil War. These FPC were often well educated... owned their own businesses... spoke fluent French, Spanish, German and other dialects unknown to the Americans. Many of them were devout Catholics and so were the enslaved population who had been baptized Catholic since 1724.
On this day July 30, 1866 a wave of Domestic Terrorism would envelope the city as well as the hopes & dreams of those newly freed in addition to those who were already free before the war.
Better known as the "Mechanics Institute Massacre in New Orleans", this event would begin a wave of unprecedented violence throughout the South which would validate the rise of White supremacy throughout the South. The KKK would be established in 1865, and the Knights of the White Camelia in 1867. Both groups collectively contributed to officially ending the era of Reconstruction in 1877. By 1896 Jim Crow would become the official law of the United States.
May we never forget the Mechanics Institute Massacre which took place in New Orleans on July 30, 1866 where over 200 innocent men, women, and children were slaughtered by an angry mob who sought to "Make America Great Again".
Crescent City Sunshine