The Jefferson Parish Library will conduct a series of events in honor of the 200th anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans during the first week of 2015. The events will occur at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 West Napoleon Ave., Metairie.
The three events are free of charge and are open to the public. Registration is not required.
The Battle of New Orleans was a series of engagements fought December 23, 1814, through January 8, 1815, and was the final major battle of the War of 1812. American soldiers commanded by Major General Andrew Jackson prevented an invading British army from seizing New Orleans as a strategic tool to end the war.
ANDREW JACKSON: Morgan Molthrop will discuss his book “Andrew Jackson’s Playbook: 15 Strategies for Success from the Battle of New Orleans to the New NOLA” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 6, at the East Bank Regional Library.
The book focuses on Jackson’s strategies in bringing together a diverse group of Creoles, free people of color, pirates, Tennessee militiamen, Choctaw Indians and Kaintucks (about 3,000 in total) to defeat a disciplined army of more than 10,000 British troops. The book’s sidebars include interviews with local civic and business leaders including Michael Hecht from Greater New Orleans Inc.; Mark Romig from the New Orleans Tourism and Marketing Corporation; Tim Williamson from the Idea Village; Ron Bechet, a local artist; and Drew Brees.
FICTIONAL INSIGHTS: Keith Midkiff will discuss his book “New Orleans Besieged” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 7, at the East Bank Regional Library.
“New Orleans Besieged” explores history in an unusual manner, imagining that the British won the Battle of New Orleans. The novel is set in January 1815, when the treasure city of New Orleans lies vulnerable and exposed to greedy, bloodthirsty pirates. Protection comes not by force of arms but from the crafty mind of an old Spanish monk.
PERIOD MUSIC: Carolyn Kolb, an adjunct history professor at Tulane University, will discuss the music of the War of 1812 at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 8, at the East Bank Regional Library.
Kolb will discuss how the Battle of Fort McHenry inspired Francis Scott Key to write the poem that became the lyrics to “The Star-Spangled Banner.” She will also discuss ballads such as “Madison’s March” and “Perry’s Victory,” which told the tale of famous battles and stirred the hearts and minds of a young nation. According to Kolb, the War of 1812 spawned a huge variety of songs and instrumental music. From the stirrings of party politics under President John Adams, the traumatic effect of Jefferson’s embargo in 1807, through the defense of Fort McHenry and the last major battle at New Orleans, Americans sang about their thoughts, feelings and unfolding history.