Kentwood, Louisiana might be a small town nestled in Tangipahoa Parish, but it has witnessed its fair share of historical events over the years. From important milestones in civil rights history to natural disasters, Kentwood and its surroundings have left an indelible mark on the state's history. Here are seven historical events that have taken place near Kentwood, LA.
1. The Civil Rights Movement and Kentwood:
Kentwood played a significant role in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. In 1965, the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) organized a voter registration campaign in Tangipahoa Parish. African American citizens in Kentwood joined together to fight against voter suppression and discrimination. These efforts aimed to secure equal rights and voting rights for African Americans.
2. Woodland Plantation:
Located a few miles east of Kentwood, the historical Woodland Plantation stands as a reminder of the rich history of the area. This antebellum home was built in the 1830s and has been preserved to showcase the grandeur and opulence of the past. Visitors can tour the plantation, explore the grounds, and learn about the site's historical significance.
3. Hurricane Katrina:
In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina unleashed its wrath on the Gulf Coast, causing widespread devastation. Although not directly affected by the storm's worst impact, Kentwood experienced strong winds and heavy rainfall, leading to power outages and property damage. Many residents provided shelter and support to evacuees from nearby affected areas.
4. Tangipahoa Parish African American Heritage Museum:
The Tangipahoa Parish African American Heritage Museum, located in Hammond, just a short distance from Kentwood, provides a comprehensive look at the region's African American history. The museum showcases artifacts, photographs, and stories of local residents who played important roles in shaping the community and the struggle for civil rights.
5. The Murder of Frank Morris:
In 1964, Frank Morris, an African American man, was murdered under mysterious circumstances near Kentwood. Morris was arrested for participating in a voter registration drive in nearby Amite City, raising suspicions about racially motivated foul play. This tragic event shed light on the challenges faced by civil rights activists in the Deep South during the era.
6. Tangipahoa Parish Fair:
The Tangipahoa Parish Fair, an annual event that began in 1888, is a significant cultural and historical event for the region. The fair exhibits agricultural products, livestock, and showcases local talent, including music, arts, and crafts. This gathering provides a sense of community and reflects the agricultural heritage that has shaped Kentwood and surrounding areas.
7. The Kentwood Springs Hotel:
The Kentwood Springs Hotel, built in the early 20th century, stands as a testament to the once-thriving resort town it catered to. It attracted visitors from all over Louisiana, offering mineral springs believed to have healing properties in addition to its luxury accommodations and entertainment. The hotel served as a retreat for those seeking relaxation or therapeutic experiences.
While Kentwood, LA, may be a modest town, it has experienced its share of significant historical events. From its involvement in the Civil Rights Movement to natural disasters and its historical sites, Kentwood serves as a testament to the rich history and vibrant community of this part of Tangipahoa Parish. Exploring these historical events provides valuable insights into the struggles and triumphs that have shaped this charming southern Louisiana town.
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