TriPod: New Orleans At 300

TriPod: New Orleans at 300 is WWNO’s FRESH radio history of New Orleans, released in weekly segments as our city approaches its Tricentennial in 2018. Each TriPod segment is its own micro-documentary, devoted to a single story or subject from New Orleans’ rich history. The series explores lost and neglected stories, delves deeper into the familiar, and questions what we think we know about the city’s history.

Why “TriPod”? “Tri” for the city’s three centuries, “Pod” for podcast, and “tripod”, a three-legged tool used to steady a capturing device that documents a time and place. TriPod moves beyond the familiar themes of New Orleans history to focus on forgotten, neglected, or surprising pieces of the city’s past, and to enrich understanding of its present and future.

TriPod is a production of WWNO in collaboration with The Historic New Orleans Collection and the Midlo Center for New Orleans Studies at the University of New Orleans. The series is hosted and produced by WWNO’s Laine Kaplan-Levenson, working with the assistance of a forty-member international advisory group of historians and archivists.

TriPod airs Thursdays during Morning Edition at 8:30 a.m. on 89.9 FM, repeats on Mondays during All Things Considered, and is available anytime on WWNO.org and as a podcast on iTunes.

Click to meet the TriPod Editorial Board and Advisory Group.  

Click here to open TriPod in iTunes.

Click here to open TriPod in Stitcher.

Subscribe using another podcast player:

- Open your player

- Find the “Subscribe to Podcast” option

- Enter this URL: http://wwno.org/podcasts/88432/rss.xml

Ways to Connect

Photo by Owen F. Murphy, Jr., The Historic New Orleans Collection, Gift of Arts Council of New Orleans [1996.93.47]

TriPod: New Orleans at 300 returns with part two of its highway series. This is the story of the I-10 interstate bridge that sits above Claiborne Avenue.

Part one of this story was about the proposed Riverfront Expressway through the French Quarter and along the Mississippi River. That leg of the highway did not happen, and the French Quarter was saved from being demolished under a freeway. But that same year, 1968, a different section of the Riverfront Expressway did go up. Under that part? The Treme neighborhood, along Claiborne Avenue.

The Historic New Orleans Collection, Gift of Mr. David D. Plater [2003.0083.2.1]

TriPod: New Orleans at 300 returns with a two-part series on highways. The first looks at a controversy so intense, it’s called the ‘Second Battle of New Orleans.’

Imaginative view of Madame Delphine's House, 253 Royal Street in the Vieux Carre.
Kemble, Edward Windsor / Historic New Orleans Collection

TriPod: New Orleans at 300 returns with a story about George Washington Cable, and the beautiful danger of writing New Orleans-based historical fiction.


 A Tobacco Card from 1887
Joseph Makkos / NOLA DNA

TriPod: New Orleans at 300 returns with a profile of Eliza Jane Nicholson, a small town poet who became the first woman publisher of a major metropolitan newspaper.


In 1834, artist George Catlin witnessed Choctaw lacrosse in Indian Territory near present-day Oklahoma.
George Catlin / Smithsonian American Art Museum

TriPod: New Orleans at 300 returns with a new story about an indigenous sport that became popular before the Civil War.


The Purple Knights pose on the court; Harold Sylvester is kneeling next to his coach.
Harold Sylvester / Amistad Research Center

TriPod -- New Orleans at 300 revisits the first integrated high school sports contest in Louisiana, on February 25, 1965.

The Historic New Orleans Collection

TriPod goes back to the days when Algiers was a stomping ground for bullfights and other forms of animal combat.

It’s a Sunday afternoon. The sun is out, you’ve already gone to church, and you’re not sure what to do next. Then you find out the ferry to cross the river to Algiers is running at half rate, on account of a sporting event. A fight. Between a bull. And a grizzly bear.

 1918 photo of Louis Mayer's father (Louis E. Mayer), and uncles Gus (Gustave John Mayer) and Rudolph Mayer on the stage at the Turnverein von New Orleans. Uncle Gus is top left, Louis Mayer is in the middle.
Louis Mayer

When you think about gymnastics — parallel bars, the pommel horse, ropes — what else pops into your head? Fighting Napoleon and frosted beer mugs? Me too!

Here's how the Germans brought gymnastics to New Orleans.

Image of the St. Malo Maroon community from an 1883 edition of Harper's Weekly.
The Historic New Orleans Collection

You live in a cave, six feet underground. You’re surrounded by wild animals, swarms of mosquitos, thick mud, and you can only come out at night. Why? Because it beats being a slave.

“They could live there for five, seven, 10 years”, says Sylviane Diouf, director of the Lapidus Center for the Historical Analysis of Transatlantic Slavery at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, New York.

McIlhenny Company Archives, Avery Island, La

You know how you can walk into a mainstream clothing or household store, like Urban Outfitters, H&M, Pier One, and find indigenous designs printed across anything from a rug to a tank top? Well this is the hyperlocal origin story of how native aesthetics entered into non-native markets.

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