January 8, 2015
Dear Louisiana Historical Society member,
As all of you know, January 8, 2015 will mark the 200th anniversary of the principal Battle of New Orleans. For over a century and a half, our Society has taken a lead in observing this date with a festive banquet. Honoring the bicentennial, we plan this year to return to Antoine’s Restaurant for the banquet, and have a grand time celebrating.
We expect a lively set of guests. Waste no time sending in your reservation and selecting your attire. If you choose to dress as your favorite historical figure, please let us know and we will arrange for a brief script for you to deliver. You may want to be Jean or Pierre Laffite. Perhaps you prefer General John Coffee of Tennessee. You may wish to commemorate those who celebrated the Centennial—the grand dame Grace King, the Quarterly’s Laura Porteous, or the legal scholar Henry Plauché Dart. Your many remarks will replace our annual banquet lecture and be the occasion for a particularly enjoyable evening. Otherwise, please plan to don period dress, wear an evening gown, or dress in white tie for the occasion.
The banquet will be held in the Main Dining room just inside the front door, which will be open to banquet attendees only. This room has an old-fashioned New Orleans bistro look, with mirrors across two walls, a tile floor, fans, and a pair of cast iron columns. Our flags will march across the rear, behind the head table. Attendance will be limited to the capacity of the room, which is one hundred.
A string quartet will grace the banquet and help the early arrivals sip their Sazeracs and snitch celeri et olives. The menu is the best in the house, opening with Soufflć Potatoes, followed by Oysters Foch, Shrimp Remoulade, Crabmeat Ravigote, and Oysters Rockefeller. The main course will be Louisiana’s distinctive Pompano Pontchartrain, accompanied by Asparagus au beurre. Two fine Napa Valley wines will carry the meal until the arrival of Baked Alaska with Chocolate Sauce as Champagne and coffee ever sweeten the finish.
The banquet’s program will skip lightly along as the diners, honored or otherwise, are introduced. Comments from characters, toasts and their responders, and a report announcing the conclusion of the Bicentennial of the Battle of Lake Borgne will seal 200 years since the great victory on the plains of Chalmette. For you the price is $125 a person; the Society will contribute from its reserves to cover the auxiliary costs.
Sally and I will await your reply as to your favorite historical figure. Please reply to email@example.com. You may also send your check now to the Louisiana Historical Society at 5801 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans, LA 70115. The printed invitations will be sent in December.
Bill and Sally Reeves