1. 1984 World Fair
The 1984 Louisiana World Exposition opened on May 12 1984 and ended on November 11, 1984. The theme was "The World of Rivers — Fresh Waters as a Source of Life." Unfortunately, poor attendance and other speed bumps led this exposition to be the only one in history to declare bankruptcy during its run. Even though the fair was a financial failure, it did kickstart the revitalization of the Old Warehouse District, and many New Orleanians have fond memories of their experience at the fair.
2. When the drinking age went from 18 to 21... then back to 18... then back to 21.
Louisiana was one of the last states to raise the legal drinking age to 21. Those who were in that age range during the mid-‘90s probably remember it well. The legal drinking age was 21, but a sale loophole allowed 18-year-olds to purchase alcohol age as late as 1995. Then, in 1995 the loophole was closed, bringing the drinking age back up to 21, but the Louisiana Supreme Court lowered it back to 18 in 1996. Three months later, they raised it back to 21, where it remains today.
3. Snow on Christmas Day
New Orleanians woke up to a White Christmas in 2004 when the city got just over half an inch of snowfall for Christmas Day.
4. Cabildo Fire
Located in Jackson Square, New Orleanians will remember the tragic fire that nearly destroyed the historic building in 1988. The fire destroyed the cupola and the entire third floor, but it was eventually restored and it reopened to the public in 1994.
5. Pontchartrain Beach
This fun little amusement park on the shores of Lake Pontchartrain opened in 1928 and had a good run until it closed down in in 1983.
6. The New Orleans Sniper
Forty-five years ago, black supremacist Mark Essex terrorized New Orleans when we went on a killing spree that lasted from December 31, 1972, until January 7, 1973. He met his fate after a shootout with police at the Howard Johnson Hotel on Loyola Avenue. The stand off took several hours, multiple people were injured/killed, and in the end the U.S. Marine Corps flew a military helicopter to the scene to assist the police officers. All in all, nine people were killed and thirteen people were injured. The hotel still stands today, now a Holiday Inn.
7. The Bridge Field Incident
Dozens of people were injured when a 700-foot freighter crashed into the Riverfront Mall in 1996 after the ship lost power. It was a terrifying sight for shoppers as they scrambled to safety when the vessel crashed into the shopping strip, demolishing everything it crashed into. While over a hundred people were injured, it was a miracle that no one was killed.
8. Hurricane Katrina
Hard to forget one of the deadliest hurricanes in the history of the United States. The storm caused catastrophic damage along the Gulf Coast, and it’s tied with Hurricane Harvey as the costliest hurricane on record. Roughly 80 percent of the city and neighboring parishes were flooded and remained flooded for weeks afterward. More than 1800 people died as a result of the storm, more than 1500 of them in Louisiana — and mostly the result of the levees breaching.
9. The Saints winning the Super Bowl
Who Dat baby! It was more than just a football game, it symbolized that New Orleans was back, stronger than ever.
10. The Gleason Block
Speaking of symbolism, the famous blocked punt by Steve Gleason is remembered as a symbol of recovery for New Orleans. Gleason’s blocked punt occurred in the first home game after Hurricane Katrina, against the Falcons in 2006. It propelled Gleason into Saints history and gave New Orleans a much-needed boost of optimism.
11. The opening of the second Causeway bridge
Yep, there was a time when the Causeway was just a single, two-lane bridge. The second, northbound bridge opened in 1969.
12. And last but not least, the Rosenberg's commercial.
The most well-known address in New Orleans: 1825 Tulane. Youtube user meglise posted that nostalgic commercial, so be sure to watch it so you can get that jingle stuck in your head!
What are some other moments every New Orleanian would remember? Add them in the comments below!