History Research Guides
Large Databases of Primary Sources
Law and Politics
African American History
Other Useful Resources
Looking for a good research topic? Here are a few ideas:
-Histories of individual cities or parishes: Lake Charles, Cameron, Jennings, DeRidder, DeQuincy, Sulphur, Westlake, etc. Although we have several extensive histories of Lake Charles up to 1930, there are very few published, comprehensive historical works since then.
-Labor violence of the 1970s and the Right to Work movement, including the Jupiter Chemical Co. incident of January 1976. The SWLA Legislative Delegation collections have lots of information about the Young Turks and Right to Work.
-Various industries and agricultural crops, including: Lumber, Rice, Cattle Ranching, Seafood, Paper, etc. Why did a particular industry thrive here? Who started the industry and attracted others to join? Have any industries or crops failed here? What is the importance of the industry? Who were the workers in the industry? What kinds of problems did they have?
-Le Grand Derangement (when the Acadians were ousted from Canada). Why did the Acadians settle here? Was life here easier or harder than in Canada? What traditions or cultural aspects do the Acadians in Louisiana share with Canadians today?
-Desegregation/Integration of McNeese, Lake Charles, and/or SWLA. Who were the first black students? Was the transition smooth? Were black students welcome?
-The African-American Community in SWLA. Who were the cultural leaders? What was slavery like in SWLA?
-Important women of SWLA, such as Rosa Hart, Julie Muller Marx, Caroline LeBleu Sallier, Pearl Watson, Maude Reid, etc.
-Lake Charles Architecture. Lake Charles has its own distinct architectural style. How did it develop? What are its characteristics?
-Petrochemical industry in SWLA. When and why did it begin? What are its effects on the community?
-Rodeo in SWLA.
-Port of LC/Shipping Industry/Deep Water Channel. How did the Deep Water Channel come about? What is the national and international significance of the Port?
-Cultural History of LC: Theatre, Ballet, Symphony, Radio, TV, Film, Visual Arts…. Lake Charles has a very strong history of local art activities and performances. One of the major influences was Rosa Hart and the Lake Charles Little Theatre.
-Student life at McNeese through the years. How has daily life changed for students? Did students have more fun? Were students safer?
-How has the population of SWLA changed throughout history? When were the surges and low points? How did community leaders respond to increases in population?
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