Collection Spotlight: Phil Johnson Editorials Collection

A television broadcasting legend in New Orleans, Phil Johnson worked for nearly 40 years at the city’s top-ranked CBS affiliate, WWL-TV. During his career, he served as promotion director, documentary producer, news directors, assistant general manager, and editorialist. Johnson retired from WWL-TV in 1999.

A graduate of New Orleans’ Jesuit High School (1946) and Loyola University (1950), Johnson began his journalism career at the now defunct Item newspaper. His print experience also included a brief stint in print journalism in Chicago, and a prestigious Neiman Fellowship at Harvard University in 1959. He would return home, at the dawn of the local television era, taking a position as promotion director at WWL-TV in 1960, just three years after the station signed on the air.

As a professional communicator Johnson received countless honors and awards. His writing and narration of television documentaries earned him an Emmy and three George Foster Peabody Awards: in 1970, for a documentary called “Israel: The New Frontier;” in 1972, for “China ’72: A Hole in the Bamboo Curtain,” which featured footage filmed by the first non-network American news team allowed into the Communist nation in almost 25 years; and in 1982, for “The Search for Alexander.” Johnson also served as a war correspondent, reporting for the station from Vietnam, Beirut and Israel.

New Orleans viewers may know him best for the 10,000 broadcast editorials he produced throughout his tenure as editorialist at WWL-TV, presenting the station’s editorial opinion on local, state and national topics from 1962 to 1999.

In 1997, Johnson was named to the New Orleans Broadcasting Hall of Fame and merited a Lifetime Achievement Award from his peers in the Press Club of New Orleans.

In 1999, Johnson’s alma mater, Loyola University New Orleans, awarded him its Integritas Vitae Award, the university’s highest honor for an individual “with a high moral character in a lifetime of unselfish service without exception of material award or public recognition.”

The editorials in this collection were authored by Phil Johnson during his long career at WWL-TV and aired on the station as a regular nightly presentation from March, 1962 through July, 1999. Following his retirement Johnson returned to deliver infrequent editorials at Christmas, and on the occasion of a colleague’s death.

WWL-TV was established by Loyola University New Orleans in 1957 and owned by the university until 1990.

The collection chronicles the 36-year political history of New Orleans and Louisiana from 1962-1999. All editorials were written and delivered by Johnson unless otherwise noted in the index. Please refer to the index key of designations.

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Special Collections and Archives, located on the third floor of Monroe Library, is open for research and quiet study Monday-Friday, 9:00-4:30.

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Found in the Archives is a recurring series of crazy cool stuff found in the Monroe Library’s Special Collections & Archives.

Collection Spotlight: Marguerite Piazza Papers

Marguerite Piazza program

A native of New Orleans, Marguerite Piazza graduated from Loyola University with a bachelor’s degree in music in June 1940. She then attended graduate school in music at Louisiana State University. Following university study, Piazza began her career as a professional singer. Much of her early work, roughly from the mid-1940s to the early 1950s, was as an opera soprano. Her performances included stints with the New York City Opera and with the Metropolitan Opera Company. Afterwards she performed in television, especially on NBC’s Show of Shows, in theater, night clubs, and in other forms of entertainment.

The Marguerite Piazza Papers roughly cover the years 1939 and 1974, with the majority of content from 1945-1960. They are arranged into two series based on types of material: Programs and Playbills and Photographs. Each series is then arranged chronologically. These programs and photographs document Marguerite Piazza’s singing career throughout the United States in operas, musicals, television, nightclubs, and other performance venues.

Click here to view the full finding aid for the Marguerite Piazza Papers.

Marguerite Piazza program, 1952

Marguerite Piazza program, 1952

Marguerite Piazza program

Marguerite Piazza in "Happy As Larry" on Broadway with Burgess Meredith (also director), 1950

Piazza aboard American Airlines flight to Memphis after receiving the "Golden Stocking Award" from the hosiery industry for having the most glamorous legs in American, 1956.

The Marguerite Piazza Papers are available for research in the Booth-Bricker Reading Room in Monroe Library’s Special Collections & Archives Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM till 4:30 PM.

Bonus: Piazza on Your Show of Shows, 1950:

And on the Dean Martin Variety Show in 1966:

Library Transformation

It’s National Library Week, and in Special Collections we’re taking a cue from our colleagues at the Othmer Library and using the theme of Transforming Libraries to show how our library buildings have transformed. For starters, the first library on campus was the Bobet Library in Marquette Hall.
BOBET LIBRARY, MARQUETTE HALL – 1913

  • Cost: $12,000
  • Size: 1,989 sq. ft.
  • Volume Capacity: 50,000
  • Architects: DeBuys, Churchill & Labouisse
  • Dedicated to: Mr. & Mrs. Edward J. Bobet

Bobet Library, 1913

Construction of Marquette Hall was completed in 1912, and the Bobet Library on the 2nd floor was dedicated the following year. At the time of the construction of the Bobet Library, Albert Biever, S.J. (founder of Loyola) was president, and James J. O’Brien, S.J. became head librarian. An article published in The Daily Picayune on 13 July, 1913 entitled, “Old Treasures of Loyola’s New Library” stated: “Loyola in her new development is young and formative, but behind its growth is strength and in its development there is purpose…A tour of the university is delightful, but one would better not start from the library. It is a room to induce bibliomania – and the world might go by.”

MAIN LIBRARY – 1950

  • Cost: $800,000
  • Size: 36,711 sq. ft.
  • Volume Capacity: 250,000
  • Architects: Wogan, Bernard & De La Vergne
  • Dedicated to: Students & Alumni killed in WWII

Main Library, 1960s

Construction of the new library building commenced in 1947, and was situated between Bobet and Marquette Halls. Archbishop Joseph Francis Rummel delivered the dedicatory blessing upon completion of the building on Palm Sunday, 1950. The proceedings were aired by WWL-Radio. Students helped to move the books from Bobet Library to the new Main Library. A quote by poet Paul L. Callens, S.J inscribed over the Main Library entrance reads, “The monuments which learned men have built for us throughout the ages you will find accumulated in these books.”

Main Library construction

Main Library book display

Main Library

J. EDGAR AND LOUISE S. MONROE LIBRARY – 1999

  • Cost: $20,000,000
  • Size: 148,480 sq. ft.
  • Volume Capacity: 500,000
  • Architects: The Mathes Group
  • Dedicated to: J. Edgar and Louise S. Monroe

Monroe Library, 2016

Groundbreaking ceremonies commenced in November 1996 for the new J. Edgar and Louise S. Monroe Library by co-chairs of the capital campaign, Adelaide Wisdom Benjamin and Michael J. Rapier. Other university and community dignitaries assisted in the ceremony. Construction began that month, and continued through completion of the building in October 1998. Library faculty and staff worked with Covan movers to transport the collection from the Main Library to the Monroe Library. The new J. Edgar and Louise S. Monroe Library opened its doors for patrons on January 11, 1999.

Monroe Library Computer Lab, 2003

Monroe Library Reference Desk, 2003

Monroe Library Learning Commons, 2008

Monroe Library Snowflake, 2008

More information about the library’s history can be found in our new Loyola University New Orleans Library History Collection.

UP001949

How have libraries transformed YOU?

SGA Elections of the 50s

SGA Elections were last week. While you anxiously await the results, enjoy these images of Loyola students voting in the 1950s.

These photos and more can be found in the University Photographs Collection in the Louisiana Digital Library.

Loyola University New Orleans Library History Collection

Dating back to 1983 all the way through 2009, the Loyola University New Orleans library put out a periodical newsletter that documents the history of the libraries and librarians throughout the time. In the Summer 1995 issue, one of the cover page articles is focused on the library’s search for a newer, more efficient computer system that came along with the plans for building the library. The January 1999 issue first reveals the floor plans of the new library building, as well as a helpful fact sheet detailing the plans for the update.

The Fall 2000 issue explains the layout of the floors of the library in regards to the noise policy, as well as some of the new and upcoming (at the time) features the J. Edgar and Louise S. Monroe Library has to offer.

Check out this link for more issues of the Loyola University New Orleans Library Newsletter.

Posted by Student Worker Samantha

Flashback: 1968

Forty-eight years ago this week, Loyola’s campus was a-buzz with activity.

As we are today, the nation, and the campus, were focused on presidential politics. President Lyndon Johnson had just announced he would not seek another term in office. The Maroon reported that, in a visit arranged by Tulane and Loyola students, Robert F. Kennedy would be speaking at Tulane’s campus. (Kennedy would be assassinated at a campaign event in California one month later.)

Multiple Maroon articles reported on the campus fall-out of the enrollment of an undercover New Orleans police department narcotics officer.

Edgar “Dooky” Chase was the first African-American student to be elected to Loyola’s Student Council.

In entertainment news, The Beach Boys and Buffalo Springfield were about to play on campus.

Check out more of what was happening on campus any year in Special Collections & Archives or The Maroon archives online.

Bonus video: Buffalo Springfield, live!

Collection Spotlight: Dawson Gaillard Papers

Dawson Ann Forman Gaillard Keefe was born on September 25, 1938, in Marietta, Georgia, and grew up in Monroe (Ouachita Parish), Louisiana, graduating from Neville High School. She earned a B. A. in Social Studies and English at Louisiana State University (1959) and both a Master’s (1965) and Doctorate in English (1970) from Tulane University. Gaillard was a member of the faculty of Loyola University New Orleans from 1968 to 1983, and served as chair of that department from 1974 to 1977. She also edited the New Orleans Review from 1973 to 1979.

She worked as copy manager for the LSU Press from 1979 to 1981 and wrote the copy for the advertisements and book jackets of Confederacy of Dunces and other titles.  Gaillard authored a book entitled Dorothy L. Sayers (1980) on the English mystery writer and (with colleague John Mosier)  co-edited a groundbreaking anthology of short fiction, Women and Men Together (1978).

Her battle with multiple sclerosis contributed to her eventual departure from academic and professional life, and on October 1, 1985 she died in an accident at her home in Metairie, Louisiana.  The annual Dawson Gaillard Writing Awards are held in her honor at Loyola University, recognizing student work in the categories of expository writing, creative non-fiction, poetry, fiction, and script.

The Dawson Gaillard Papers consist primarily of the personal and professional writings of Dr. Dawson Gaillard. These include…

Her personal diaries from 1951 to 1985:

Gaillard-diaries

Gaillard-diary-inside

Academic work and research papers written as a student and teacher:

Gaillard-MQ

Samples of her copyediting work from LSU Press, and a small amount of original nonfiction, fiction and poetry: Gaillard-Superbug

Gaillard-photos

Also included is research related to the 1927 murder trial of Ada LeBouef and Dr. Tom Dreher, including two audiocassette tapes of interviews conducted by Gaillard with Murphy Dreher, Tom Dreher’s nephew, and Mrs. Waleer Hamlin, the wife of Ada LeBouef’s lawyer.

Gaillard-notes

Gaillard-tapes

The Dawson Gaillard Papers are available for viewing in Special Collections & Archives Monday-Friday, 9:00-4:30.

Rare Irish Books

We just can’t get enough of Irish literature and history books in Special Collections & Archives (previously here, here, here, and here). To celebrate another St. Patrick’s Day, here are some more images of rare books about St. Patrick and Ireland in our collection.

From St. Patrick, apostle of Ireland:
St-Patrick-cover

St-Patrick-TP

From St. Patrick’s Day Sermon:

St-Patrick-Sermon-TP

From History of Ireland:

History-Ireland-end-paper

History-Ireland-illustration

History-Ireland-illustration-2

These and many more can be viewed in the Booth-Bricker Reading Room in Monroe Library’s Special Collections & Archives Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM till 4:30 PM.

Pi Day

It’s Pi Day! Here are Loyola students from days of yore enjoying some pi(e) related activities.

These images and more can be viewed in the Loyola University New Orleans University Photographs Collection in the Louisiana Digital Library.

The New Orleans Mint, March 8th, 1838

Today in celebration of the 178th anniversary of the opening of the New Orleans Mint, we bring you some images and info from the book Illustrated History of the United States Mint.

MINT008

Published in 1892, the book gives a complete overview of the American coinage history and production at the time.

MINT002
MINT007 MINT001

 

Here are the pages specific to the the New Orleans Mint:

MINT004

MINT003 MINT005

If you would like to take a closer look at this volume or other books on the history of New Orleans, come visit the Booth-Bricker Reading Room in Monroe Library’s Special Collections & Archives Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM till 4:30 PM.

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Here’s a Library Lagniappe for you. A film from 1940 showing how coins are minted!