Recently, The Roosevelt New Orleans held a sweepstakes in celebration of its 125th Anniversary. The contest asks the public to return items that were taken from the hotel since its opening in 1893. In the first two months of the campaign we’ve received over 40 items and while many types of items were expected (plates, silverware, cups, and menus), a few items have truly stood out, and have allowed us to relish in The Roosevelt's storied history.
One of the most unique items received is a program from Louisiana's official celebration of the 100 Year Anniversary of its statehood in 1912. Louisiana first became a state on April 30th, 1812, and on April 30th, 1912 at 8pm the state and other key stakeholders celebrated the centennial with a celebration in the Gold Room (now Blue Room) of the then Grunewald Hotel.
Over the years The Roosevelt has hosted famous musicians, celebrities, and politicians, as well as huge parties and celebrations. However, this returned item may be from the most important event in our history. The hotel has long been considered one of the South's great hotels, and Louisiana choosing it as the site of the centennial celebration proves as much.
So what went on during the celebration? Guests were invited to a dinner featuring the following cuisine:
- Salted Pecans
- River Shrimp in Jelly
- Crawfish Bisque
- Parisian Potatoes
- Tournedoes of Lamb
- Candied Banans
- Punch Louisiana
- Milk Fed Chicken Gourmet
Some of the chef’s food preferences have stood the test of time, while others (River Shrimp in Jelly) have been phased out as consumers have showed interest in other dishes. The program also indicates the toasts given during the ceremony. While listening to a rendition of "Southern Smiles March," toastmaster Professor Alcee Portier, President of the Louisiana Historical Society at the time, toasted to the guests in attendance, to the President of the United States James Madison, to Spain and France and many of the other parties involved in helping Louisiana reach 100 years of statehood.
Returned items like this allow us to showcase the distinct history of The Roosevelt. Through name changes, closings, storms and renovations, The Roosevelt has remained a true New Orleans landmark and grand dame of the south.
Read more about what occurred at the centennial banquet here.