New Orleans, LA – April 24, 2017 — As New Orleans plans to celebrate its 300th anniversary in 2018, PBS member station WYES-TV and Pelican Publishing Company along with the assistance of The Historic New Orleans Collection will release — this fall — the definitive book of the New Orleans Tricentennial, New Orleans: The First 300 Years.

Twenty-two authors have contributed to 23 topics that explore the city over the last 300 years. The Past As Prelude, a publication released in 1968 on the occasion of the city’s 250th anniversary and published by Pelican and Tulane University, inspired the book. Distinguished journalist Hodding Carter was the editor. “Like that book, this publication will cover a range of topics,” says project editor Errol Laborde. “But it will also be visual containing great writing and images.”

According to WYES President & General Manager Allan Pizzato, “WYES utilizes broadcast television and the internet to take on the role of New Orleans storyteller and provide quality education to our community.  This wonderful book is another way of fulfilling our mission in a lasting way.”

“We appreciate the opportunity to share images and artifacts from The Historic New Orleans Collection’s holdings in this new work from WYES and Pelican Publishing,” said Priscilla Lawrence, executive director of THNOC. New Orleans: The First 300 Years will be a welcome addition to the literature and documentation of our city’s fascinating past.”

WYES Senior Producer Peggy Scott Laborde is the book project manager. “We expect,” Errol Laborde added, “that the book will be remembered as an important contribution to the city’s tricentennial.”

“Pelican Publishing has a long history of preserving and celebrating the uniqueness of Louisiana through our books.” says Publisher Kathleen Calhoun Nettleton, “As we approach our first centennial it seems fitting that we partner with WYES and The Historic New Orleans Collection to celebrate New Orleans’ Tricentennial.”

The book is part of WYES’ New Orleans Tricentennial Project which also includes on-air features, documentaries and award-winning Electronic Field Trips geared to grades 5 through 8 with partners such as The National WWII Museum on the city’s upcoming 300th anniversary. WYES is pleased to have The Historic New Orleans Collection and The Meraux Foundation as Cornerstone Sponsors for the WYES New Orleans Tricentennial Project.


New Orleans: The First 300 Years

Dr. Lawrence PowellNew Orleans – Three Centuries
A Romp Through Time
John R. KempTHEMED CHAPTERS (ALPHABETICALLY):Architecture: Evolution From A Complex Heritage
Robert Cangelosi, JrArt: Transformations in the Changing Light
John R. KempBlack New Orleans: Reversing the Blackout
Raphael CassimereBusiness: The Times: Bad, Good and Amazing
Peter RicchiutiCelebrations: Evolution of a Festive Town
Errol LabordeCharacters: Times of Obsession
Angus LindDining: A Sense of Plates
Ian McNultyDisasters: When Misfortune Blows in the Wind
John MagillEducation: Taking The Lead
Dawn Wilson

Ethnicity: The Coming of Hispanics and Vietnamese
Suzanne Pfefferle Tafur 

Flora: Resetting the Clock
R. Stephanie Bruno

Geography and Environment: The Deltaic Metropolis
During New Orleans’ Third Century
Richard Campanella

Health: Local Medicine’s Biggest Battle
Brobson Lutz

Literary History—Books: This Storied City
Susan Larson

Music: Rhythm of a City
Connie Zeanah Atkinson 

News Media—Bylines and Busy Times
Dominic Massa

Politics: Shifting Power Center
Robert L. Dupont

Second Line Parades: The Right of the People
To Assemble (and Dance)
Lolis Eric Elie

Sports: Finishing Strong
Marty Mule’

Street Names—Gathering The Blocks
Sally Asher

Women: Creating A New Culture
Patricia Brady


Download/print the press release.

Photo Featured in “New Orleans—Three Centuries A Romp Through Time” by John R. Kemp
“Boundaries of the Great Conflagration of New Orleans on 21st March 1788” illustrates the vast damaged caused by the fire that swept the early city on the morning of Good Friday 1788. Almost 80 percent of the city was left in ashes.
Courtesy of The Historic New Orleans Collection.

Download high resolution version.

Photo Featured in “Sports: Finishing Strong” by Marty Mule’
“Bernard de Marigny (1785-1868)” Born Jean-Bernard Xavier Philippe de Marigny de Mandeville, Bernard was a prominent and colorful New Orleans French Creole, planter, playboy, politician, gambler and entrepreneur who developed the city’s Faubourg Marigny and the City of Mandeville in St. Tammany Parish. He introduced the city to a dice game that later would become known as “craps.” Marigny eventually squandered his fortune and died in poverty. Photograph by A. Constant, ca. 1866.
Courtesy of The Historic New Orleans Collection

Download high resolution version.

Photo featured in “Business: The Times: Bad,Good and Amazing” by Peter Ricchiuti
An aerial view of downtown New Orleans reminds us of the city’s rich mix of architecture though the centuries.
Photo by George Long

Download high resolution version.

Photo Featured in “Music: Rhythm of a City” by Connie Zeanah Atkinson
New Orleans jazz trumpeter and bandleader Kermit Ruffins is one of the city’ most beloved musicians.
Photo by Ian McNulty

Download high resolution version.