2016 Sunset Report

OLG & DCRT Strategic Plan
2020-21 through 2024-25


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History Zulu Characters Louis Armstrong
Zulu King

Louis Armstrong, Zulu King

Growing up in the New Orleans neighborhood where Zulu began, jazz legend Louis Armstrong had a dream of becoming a member and possibly king. He was named an honorary member in 1931 and saw his boyhood dream of becoming a Zulu king fulfilled in 1949.

Armstrong’s reign was an international media story, and his image as king graced the cover of Time magazine. “Oh we had a ball at City Hall,” Armstrong later wrote “[Mayor Chep Morrison’s] office was packed and jammed with the press – his friends and my friends, and I’m telling you . . . we really did pitch a boogie woogie.”

The day also had a lasting impact. The club has honored Satchmo’s place in Zulu history a many times through a doubloon, souvenir booklet, and a poster. One of Zulu’s most popular floats today features a giant figure of Louis Armstrong.

In 1952 Louis Armstrong wrote a four-page letter to a reporter for the New Orleans Item describing his historic reign as Zulu. Now in the collection of the Louisiana State Museum, the letter is both a priceless piece of history and wonderful example of Armstrong’s exuberant writing style.

Download Louis' Full Letter