C-SPAN shines spotlight on Lake Charles

C-SPAN cable network visited Lake Charles this week to create special programming for its Lake Charles weekend for the C-SPAN Cities Tour on Book TV, C-SPAN2 and American History TV, CPSAN 3, airing Sept. 15-16.

The C-SPAN Cities Tour producers visited various sites across the United States looking to “turn a spotlight on unique cities in the U.S. that may not get national coverage otherwise,” said Ashley Hill, producer and community relations representative. “There’s so many stories right here under our noses and there’s so many stories to tell,” she said.

With an east coast and west coast team, C-SPAN Cities Tour producers visit a new city each week.

“Just as C-SPAN strives to make Washington D.C. accessible to the rest of the country, our Cities Tour seeks to do the same,” said Hill. Like the USS Orleck the team visited on Tuesday, she said, “You don’t realize that small towns have big stories … It is kind of sitting here tucked away and you might not know that this ship that’s sitting in rural Louisiana played a big part in military operations.”

In addition to the USS Orleck, the team visited the McNeese University Frazar Memorial Library Archives Maude Reid Scrapbooks, the Imperial Calcasieu Museum and Mardi Gras Museum and took a driving tour of the city with local author and historian Adley Cormier. The team also interviewed several local authors and visited local schools to promote journalism careers.

Visiting the library archives, the team focused on the scrapbooks of Maud Reid, an early Lake Charles settler and pioneer.

“These are great time capsules into history,” remarked Hill. “When you look at history, we hear a lot from only one perspective. We hear it a lot from maybe a white male perspective. So, to have a female’s take on history, the building of Lake Charles and what it was like to live here at that particular time is really, I think, particularly interesting.”

Tiffany Rocque, producer and video journalist, who travelled with Cormier on the city driving tour, said she thinks viewers will be particularly intrigued to learn these “little histories that maybe aren’t told as widely outside of the state they’re in.”

“This is my first trip to Southwest Louisiana … the assumption is that the story of New Orleans is the entire Louisiana story and it’s not … people had farms, there were cowboys and prairies and that was not the part of the Louisiana story that I had ever heard before.”

Similarly, Adrienne McGibbon, producer, said the Mossville History project is a story she looks forward to sharing with the world.

“How that community has survived throughout the time, what’s happened to that community and how they’re remembering the people who lived here and their lives,” is certainly is unique to the spirit and culture of Lake Charles.

For more information on the C-SPAN Cities Tour visit www.c-span.org/citiestour.

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