Tag Archives: Louisiana

Down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico

I’ve spent the whole War of 1812 Bicentennial waiting to post this. *squeals with delight*

Fun fact: Jimmy Driftwood, the guy who wrote this ditty, was actually an Arkansas schoolteacher and principal named James Corbitt Morris, who used music to liven up his history classes.  In 1936 he set his own lyrics to a traditional song about the battle called “The Eighth of January.”

Driftwood got a recording contract about twenty years later, but “The Battle of New Orleans” didn’t become a sensation until Johnny Horton heard it on the radio while driving home from a show and decided to do his own version.  Horton got a hit, Driftwood got a second career as a musician, and we got a song so awesome it almost makes up for the White House getting torched.


Filed under Tennessee History

The Big Easy’s most requested “historic” attraction

My uncle just got back from New Orleans and reported an interesting conversation with a cab driver.  The cabbie asked him what brought him to town and said that he always likes to find out what visitors are hoping to see.  The most popular destination for his customers is the tomb of Marie Laveau, a nineteenth-century voodoo priestess.

It made me think of all those people who patronize ghost tours at Gettysburg.  I wonder how many of them don’t make any distinction between that and heritage tourism?

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Filed under History and Memory