In 1938, the Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans hosted the Eighth National Eucharistic Congress. This was a huge celebration involving the entire city. These pictures show Canal Street decorated for the Congress. Both are looking lakeward. In the top photo, the closest intersection is with St. Charles and Royal Streets. The bottom photo was taken from just in front of the Liberty Monument at the foot of Canal Street. Perhaps the most striking thing about these pictures is the double line of palm trees along the neutral ground, since this part of Canal Street did not have trees of any kind in this period. But a close inspection shows that there are three light globes sticking out of the palm fronds at the top of each “tree.” The palms were actually built on the light poles! A few of the light poles, including the one in the foreground of the bottom picture, were decorated to resemble a monstrance, with the logo of the Congress at the top.
In the center of the top picture, we see a pair of 400-class cars serving the Tulane Belt line on the center tracks, and to our right from the Tulane cars, an 800 (or possibly a 900) class car serving the Desire, Gentilly, or City Park line on the outer lakebound track. Note the black stripe down the center of the silver roofs of the streetcars. There is a spot just to our left from the roof of the Maison Blanche building. A closeup look at this spot reveals that it has fins: it is an end view of a dirigible, and the fins are its gondola and motors. The second picture below is a closeup of the center of the top picture. The third picture is another closeup, with the dirigible at the left and a good view of the top of one of the decorated light poles at the right. — International News Photo (bottom picture)
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