Stuff Jeremy Didn’t Know Yesterday Morning…

Between a book project on the 1973 constitutional convention, a series of history segments produced by LaPolitics, committee meetings and mountains of emails and news clips, I feel like I’m always reading or researching or listening.

More to the point, I often feel like I come across fascinating factoids that, for me, have no professional application. But that ends today.

Here are seven items of interest that I came across yesterday and this morning. (I also used these factoids as part of my closing remarks for a speech delivered today to Louisiana REALTORS.)

1.) The late John M. Parker, who served as governor of Louisiana from 1920 to 1924, personally killed a bear in the Tensas swamp with nothing but a Bowie knife because his hunting partner — none other than Teddy Roosevelt — couldn’t get a clean shot. (For what it’s worth, Parker was likewise linked to a lynch mob that killed 11 Sicilians who were allegedly affiliated with the mafia. He was also implicated in the assassination of a police chief, almost nominated for vice president and he permitted Standard Oil to serve in a legislative advisory role during the 1921 constitutional convention. In fact, Standard Oil attorneys were allowed to write the actual severance tax law that became part of the previous constitution.)

2.) Earlier this month, and following no objections from the House, a resolution was filed with the secretary of state recognizing something called “Zydeco Wine.” What did the House recognize Zydeco Wine as? Nothing, really. The resolution just acknowledges the existence of Zydeco Wine, which is made entirely of grapes grown in West Monroe.

3.) Asked in 1974 about good government groups like PAR and CABL, then-Gov. Edwin Edwards said any group that claims to be for good government is “not human, not practical and not so.”

4.) The color scheme for tonight’s state dinner at the White House, to celebrate the friendship between France and the United States, is cream and gold, according to Politico Playbook.

5.) Our current Constitution was written in 1973 and 1974. Prior to that, Louisiana had a guiding charter that was created in 1921. Then there were another nine prior to that dating back to 1812, which marks our statehood. But who were the key drafters of that 1812 document? One was C.C. Claiborne, Louisiana’s very first governor. And his primary writing partner, believe it or not, was none other than Thomas Jefferson.

6.) Louisiana is home to slightly more than 100 hospitals, an official with the Division of Administration told the Appropriations Committee today.

7.) “Only three bills have been signed into law so far out more than 1,400 introduced by lawmakers,” reports Melinda Deslatte of The AP.

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