NEW ORLEANS — Monuments, hurricanes, tornadoes … It was a busy year in the New Orleans news business.
From December 25-December 29, WGNO-News with a Twist is bringing you the top 10 stories of the year — the ones you clicked on most — two at a time.
Among the many, many stories that came from the controversial removal of Confederate monuments in New Orleans was the story of Arlene Barnum, who lives in Oklahoma, but is from Desoto Parish.
Barnum was visiting family in North Louisiana in May when she heard about the hoopla over the removal of Confederate monuments. In 2017, the city of New Orleans, led by Mayor Mitch Landrieu, removed four Confederate-era monuments — the Robert E. Lee statue at Lee Circle, the Jefferson Davis Monument on Canal and Jeff Davis Parkway, the Liberty Place Monument near the Aquarium, and the PGT Beauregard monument at the entrance to City Park.
Like many in New Orleans and around the country, Barnum had strong opinions on the Confederate monument controversy. Unlike many black people, Barnum came to New Orleans because she wanted the monuments to stay.
Barnum says her race had nothing to do with her support of the Confederacy.
“It’s about being on the right side of history,” she said at the time.
Barnum’s activism didn’t stop the removal of the Confederate statues. The last one — Robert E. Lee — came down on May 19.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu drew both widespread criticism and praise for leading the charge, and now he’s working on a book about the process. The book will be called “In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History.”
The Mel Gibson-directed "Hacksaw Ridge" movie -- the story of WWII medic Desmond Doss -- premiered at the National WWII Museum in New Orleans. At the premiere, WGNO-News with a Twist got the chance to talk to Doss' son, Desmond Doss, Jr.
Desmond Doss didn't believe in guns. He was a war medic and conscientious objector. He ended up saving 75 of his fellow soldiers.
Here's what Doss' son had to say about the film: