June 1, 1975
Today in 1975, the Rolling Stones kicked off their Tour of the Americas ’75 with two concerts at LSU Assembly
Center. The Tour of the Americas '75 was not tied to support of any newly released material, as it began
more than seven months after the release of the album It’s Only Rock and Roll, and it was the Stones' first
tour with new guitarist Ronnie Wood. Long-time sidemen Bobby Keys and Jim Price were replaced by Billy
Preston on keyboards and Ollie E. Brown on percussion. The setlist for the concerts started with "Honky Tonk
Women" and finished up with "Midnight Rambler."
June 2, 1994
The Prince Hall Masonic Temple on North Boulevard was added to National Register of Historic Places today
in 1994. Built in 1925, it was the center of African American entertainment in Baton Rouge for more than two
decades. Two major attractions of the building were the Temple Theatre, occupying most of the first floor and
part of the second floor, and the Temple Roof Garden occupying the fourth floor. Best known were the
appearances of national big-name bands such as Cab Calloway, Fats Waller, Louis Armstrong and Duke
Ellington. When they played in warm months, the windows of the Roof Garden were thrown open and music
reverberated throughout the neighborhood.
June 3, 1935
Today in 1935, the first PhD awarded in Louisiana was conferred at the seventy-fourth commencement at
LSU. The first degrees were awarded to Gipson Lafayette Carter and Frank Atkinson Rickey, both of Baton
Rouge. Carter had offered a dissertation called “A Survey of the Status of Ramie,” and Rickey countered with
“The Foundation of Differentiated Geometry.” The Graduate School at LSU was established in 1931. From
1931 through spring 2012, ten thousand PhD degrees had been awarded, another ten thousand Doctor of
Philosophy degrees, 576 other doctorates other than Doctor of Philosophy degrees, and over fifty thousand
master’s degrees had been awarded.
June 4, 1956
Today in 1956, the Dow Chemical Company picked up an option to purchase two thousand acres just north of
Plaquemine. Earlier in the year, the company had announced a new $20 million facility on the west side that
would hire 500 people to produce chlorine, caustic soda and several organic minerals. The plant would open
in November 1958. Today, the 1,500-acre integrated manufacturing facility near Plaquemine and brine
operations in Grand Bayou comprise one of Louisiana’s largest petrochemical complexes. With more than
3,000 employees and contract employees, Louisiana Operations is the largest employer in Iberville and West
Baton Rouge parishes and plays an active role in the surrounding communities.
June 5, 1879
Today in 1879, the U. S. Army post in Baton Rouge in downtown Baton Rouge was decommissioned, and the
last soldiers left Fort Williams. The United States Garrison and Ordnance Bureau had been commissioned in
1817, and was the largest military base in the nation. Iin August, 1862, the garrison was renamed Fort
Williams in memory of Union General Thomas Williams who had been killed in the Battle of Baton Rouge. Now
that the garrison would be abandoned, another Union general from the war, William Tecumseh Sherman,
went to work trying to secure the site as the new home for LSU, which would open at the site in 1885.
June 6, 1954
Today in 1954, Mt. Zion First Baptist Church moves to its current home on East Boulevard. since 1949. N In
1858, Isaac Palmer, an African American minister, and John Brady, a White minister and eight others formed
the Mt. Zion First African Baptist Church in Baton Rouge. The years passed and the congregation grew, and
in 1949, Dr. T.J. Jemison became pastor. During Jemison’s pastorate, he led many movements in the Baton
Rouge community for the betterment of all citizens and because of his work in the community, the church
began to grow larger in membership and many young people were found in church each Sunday.
June 7, 1968
In 1968, Baton Rouge’s only post office moved across the street from the federal courthouse building at the
corner of Florida and Seventh Street to a new facility across the street. Today was the last day of service at
the old facility before it would reopen the next day—a Saturday—at the new facility that is still in service
today. Amenities advertised for the new post office included a stamp machine, coin changer and a vending
machine for post cards and envelopes. Postmaster Alton Lea asked patrons to pick up keys to their new
boxes today to avoid confusion at the new facilty on Monday morning.
June 8, 1991
Today, in 1991, LSU won its first College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska. Coach Skip Bertman’s Tigers
had fallen short in the 1990 World Series and went into the series as the fourth seed behind Florida State,
Clemson and Wichita State. LSU swept through the preliminaries undefeated, with two wins against Florida
and one against Fresno State. In the finals, they faced the Wichita State, who had also swept into the Finals
without a loss. LSU defeated the Shockers, 6-3, to take the title. Pitcher Chad Ogea, catcher Gary Hymel,
first baseman John Tellechea and outfielder Lyle Mouton would make the All-Tournament team.
June 9, 1940
You don't often think of oil drilling in the city of Baton Rouge but today in 1940, three new permits to drill at
the University Oil Field. The field was bounded by Nicholson, Lee and Burbank Drives. In the 1920’s, the
discovery of salt water in shallow wells on and near the LSU campus, attracted the attention of geologists. A
survey in 1931 was followed by a dry hole drilled in 1933 southeast of the present field. Three separate
seismograph surveys between 1934 to 1937 were made on the University structure prior to discovery in 1938.
Twenty wells were still producing in 2017.
June 10, 1971
Piyush "Bobby" Jindal was born in Baton Rouge today in 1971. He graduated from the Baton Rouge Magnet
High School in 1988 and attend Brown University, before enrolling at New College, Oxford, as a Rhodes
Scholar. At Oxford, the theme of his thesis was "A needs-based approach to health care.” Governor Mike
Foster appointed him secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals in 1992, and in 1999, at
age 28, he was named president of the University of Louisiana System. He was elected to Congress In 2004
and 2006, and in 2007, he became the second youngest governor of Louisiana after Huey P. Long.
June 11, 1981
“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the state of Louisiana and to the motto for which it stands: A state, under
God, united in purpose and ideals, confident that justice shall prevail for all of those abiding here.” In June of
1981, the Louisiana Legislature approved the state’s official Pledge of Allegiance. If you didn’t know that
Louisiana had a Pledge, or if you thought it sounded like it had been written by a bunch of third-graders, it
might interest you to know that Mrs. Chris Murphee and her class of third graders at Jefferson Terrace
Elementary wrote the pledge as a class project and submitted it to the legislators.
June 12, 1964
The Baton Rouge Area Foundation was formed today in 1964. The first chairman was John W. Barton. Since
its founding, the foundation has issued grants totaling close to $200 million and been involved in many
projects to improve the quality of life in the Baton Rouge area, including helping to develop a master plan for
downtown Baton Rouge and inner city neighborhoods. BRAF was instrumental in starting the East Baton
Rouge Redevelopment Authority, the nonprofit that operates the animal shelter, and New Schools for Baton
Rouge, a nonprofit that is recruiting and providing resources to charter schools and failed schools taken over
by the state.
June 13, 1991
Today in 1991, Louisiana Insurance Commissioner and Baton Rouge native Doug Green was sentenced to
federal prison for fraud, money laundering and conspiring with insurance officials who financed his election.
Green had succeeded Sherman Bernard, who he upset in the 1987 primary. Green had run on a platform
calling for reform in the department - he even called himself "Mr. Clean". However, Green was subsequently
heavily implicated in the Champion insurance scandal and received a far greater sentence than had Bernard
for similar offenses for much less money. In turn, Green would be succeeded by Jim Brown, who was
convicted of lying to an FBI officer in 2001.
June 14, 1985
Today in 1985, the choir of the New Light Baptist Church visited the Louisiana House of Representatives and
serenaded them with "We Are the World." Lyrics were passed out to legislators who were asked to sing
along. The True Light Church was established on Blount Road in 1895, with Reverend Tony Scott as pastor.
In 1910 a storm destroyed the church and the church was rebuilt on the east side of the railroad track, which
is presently known as Crane Street in Scotlandville, Louisiana. Several years later the church moved to its
present location at the corner of Blount Road and Scenic Highway
June 15, 1955
Today in 1953, Baton Rouge bus drivers walked off the job in an action that precipitated the bus boycott of
1953. Ordinance 222 provided that bus seating would henceforth proceed on a "first come, first served" basis
had been passed by the city council on March 19th, but mostly ignored. Drivers complained that they had not
been told about the ordinance and had no input into its creation, and when two drivers were suspended on
June 14th for not complying with the ordinance, a strike was called for the first day. The drivers’ strike was a
pre-cursor to a strike by African American passengers on June 20th.