Tourism in the Big Easy

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Colton 3/26/07 Dr. Stanonis HIST 106 Tourism in the Big Easy In professor Stanonis’ book Creating The Big Easy, he describes how the city of New Orleans tried to discover herself through the first half of the 20th century. New Orleans was constantly trying to find her niche in an increasingly urbanizing America. In the early years of the 20th century she attempted to shed her past and convert to a city of factories, businesses, and conventions. Ultimately, however, the “Big Easy” embraced its colorful past and opened herself up to tourists. The automobile, rise of the middle class, and the election of Robert Maestri as mayor all led to New Orleans becoming a city devoted mainly to tourism. When Henry Ford invented the Model T and then mass produced it he gave the average American a fairly cheap ticket to all of America. Now Americans didn’t have to worry about overpriced train fares or the price gouging of hotels by train stations. All they had to do was jump into their car and drive. This allowed Americans from the Midwestern states to vacation more. So with a little help from mail advertisements, families packed up and headed to New Orleans. Another reason for New Orleans switch to tourism came from the rise of the middle class. In the early 20th a new set of families emerged called the middle class. To distance themselves from the lower class they indulged in yearly vacations. A popular choice for a lot of American families became New Orleans. New Orleans appealed to the whole family. The French Quarter and other historical venues appealed to the parents, while the children were attracted to the gaudy colors and the frequent parades. In essence, New Orleans had the package that appealed to the fledging middle class. Finally, the passing of power in New Orleans from the Old Regulars under Mayor Walmsley to Mayor Maestri of the Longites led to the
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