Tag Archives: Battle of New Orleans

Happy Anniversary to Andrew and Elvis

8 Jan

See that date on the left. It represents an important day in the lives of two people who lived in Tennessee.

On January 8, 1815, Andrew Jackson led a force of amateur soldiers against a British force intent on capturing New Orleans. It was a dominant victory by the Americans and led to an interesting song by Johnny Horton. It also brought made Jackson famous throughout the land. That fame would take Jackson into politics, and the Tennessee lawyer would trade the Hermitage, his home in Tennessee, for the White House.Jackson

President Andrew Jackson is a controversial figure in American history. He kept the nation together when South Carolina threatened to secede, which is something Abraham Lincoln could not do. However, Jackson also pushed through the Indian Removal Act, which led to relocation and death of thousands of people.

People either love or hate Andrew Jackson, but one thing is certain. He brought a power to the presidency that remains. After all, how many presidents have had an entire age named for them? He has the Age of Jackson.

Concerning Jackson, there was not much middle ground among his contemporaries. Like historians, they either loved him or hated him. The latter called him King Andrew, and that leads me to another Tennessee resident who had the same moniker.

Elvis Presley, the King of Rock and Roll, was born on this day in 1935. I have written about Elvis on a couple of occasions. My first concert was an Elvis show, and it was also the night that my mom got into a fight. Then, there was the weekend that my wife, my stepdaughter and I spent in Memphis. Heck, I even wrote about Elvis and the idea of myth.Elvis Presley

All of that means that I am not going to spend much time on Elvis in this post. I am writing about two anniversaries that affected American history. One affected national politics and the policies of the nation. The other affected popular music and its artistic direction.

Today is the 200th anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans and the 80th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s birth.

A Totally Not Funny Account of My Trip to New Orleans

26 Mar

Last night, the group returned from the field trip to New Orleans after a lot of driving, walking and eating. Everyone was tired and haggard, a motley bunch indeed. Although I wanted sleep desperately, I took time to login into WordPress to check up on what I had missed over the weekend. There, I found my first negative comment.

Without going into details, the commenter took exception to one of the posts and wrote that there was nothing funny about it. In fact, I was being cruel. God forbid that someone look at the idiosyncratic aspects of life and write about them. I suppose that finding humor in the mundane is considered cruel in the eyes of some. I really don’t want to step on the toes of the sensitive, so here is a totally not funny account of my trip to New Orleans. Although, a lot of funny things happened.


Left campus at 6:45 AM in three white passenger vans.

Drove to Laurel, Mississippi and had crepes for lunch.

Drove to the La Quinta Inn on the outskirts of New Orleans.

Had hash browns covered with ham, bacon, sausage and gravy at a local diner.

Went to sleep.


Left at 8 AM for the drive to the French Quarter

Took the students on a historical tour of the French Quarter. (A lot of cool and funny stuff happened here, but some people may not want to read about it.)

Went to lunch at a food festival and had gumbo.

Watched parts of a basketball game at Margaritaville.

Had a very enlightening conversation at Pat O’Brien’s.

Marched in a wedding parade.

Met with the students to make sure they were still alive still present. (Saying “still alive” may be funny to some, but who can take the chance?)

Looked at the art being sold around Jackson Square.

Had dinner at The Court of Two Sisters and dined on shrimp wrapped in bacon; salad; duck breast; dirty rice; and bread pudding.

Strolled down Bourbon Street

Loaded onto the bus and returned to the hotel.

Went to sleep.


Got on the bus at 7:30 AM

Drove through the Garden District and the Lower 9th Ward. (There should be a social commentary here about the effects of Hurricane Katrina, but someone might take it wrong.)

Visited the site of the Battle of New Orleans.

Had lunch at McDonald’s in Laurel, Mississippi

Arrived back home.

It was a fun and informative trip for the students and teachers. It’s too bad that I don’t feel comfortable relating some of that fun. With the next post, I will return without the stick in my ass.