Known as the “Father of the Superdome,” Dave Dixon, Tulane University alumnus and civic activist, first envisioned an enclosed multipurpose mega-arena in New Orleans. A local businessman, philanthropist and visionary, Dixon persevered against seemingly insurmountable odds, overcoming political and legal obstacles to see the fulfillment of his dream.
Dixon traveled the state in the early 60’s, seeking any forum and speaking to all who would listen, drumming up public support for the Superdome. Among his converts: Gov. John McKeithen and key members of the Louisiana legilature.
To prove the city was ready for an NFL expansion team, Dixon promoted two NFL exhibition games at Tulane Stadium. On Nov. 1, 1966 (All Saints Day), the NFL announced an expansion franchise for New Orleans, contingent on a new stadium.
Construction began in 1971 and was completed in 1975. The Superdome has hosted many major events -not all of them sports-related: six Super Bowls, four Final Fours, a presidential nomination (George Bush, 1988 Republican National Convention), a Papal visit (Pope John Paul II in 1987), and a world-record concert crowd (87,500 for the Rolling Stones in 1981).
Dixon was the founder of the United States Football League and World Team Tennis. Now one of the nation’s largest antique and art dealers, he has received numerous awards for his contributions to the community, including the Times-Picayune Loving Cup in 1990 and the national Freedom Foundation Award in 1991. He was inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 1999.
How well is the state’s public school system really performing?
One national survey ranks Louisiana as 49th for academic achievement of public school students. Another national report ranks the state dead last. So, how well is the state’s public school system really performing? Where is there room for improvement? What will the new federal “Every Student Succeeds Act” mean for education in Louisiana? And how have the historic summer floods changed things? Louisiana Public Square explores these issues and more on “Pass or Fail? Louisiana’s Education System” Wednesday, September 28 at 7 p.m. on LPB HD and in New Orleans on WLAE.
The panelists are
• Superintendent Michael Faulk, Central Community School System
• James D. Garvey, Jr. , BESE Board President
• Scott Richard, Executive Director, Louisiana School Boards Association
• Rep. Patricia Haynes Smith, D- Baton Rouge; House Education Committee
LPB CEO Beth Courtney and LSU Manship School of Mass Communication professor Robert Mann host the show. The program features interviews with Louisiana Education State Superintendent John White; Debbie Meaux, President of the Louisiana Association of Educators; Brigitte Nieland with the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry and Caddo Parish School Superintendent Dr. Theodis Lamar Goree.
“Pass or Fail? Louisiana’s Education System” can also be heard on public radio stations WRKF in Baton Rouge; Red River Radio in Shreveport and Monroe; and WWNO in New Orleans. Check their station websites for schedule.
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What challenges do our returning veterans face?»»» View all Topics!