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Spotlight on History

SWI in the 1980s

Louisiana: The State We're In


All of the surviving episodes of LPB’s Louisiana: The State We’re In series from the 1980s have now been digitized, catalogued, and made freely available for streaming here on the LDMA.  From the decade that spanned the Treen, Edwards, and Roemer administrations in Louisiana, you can now check out some of the major stories in politics, as well as other major events around the state.  Start exploring here:



Brilab Scandal


Brilab Scandal (1980)

Watch an in-depth report on the FBI investigation into an insurance kickback scheme involving New Orleans mobster Carlos Marcello and several state officials.



President Jimmy Carter in New Orleans


Presidential Election (1980)

See a report on the Louisiana campaign stops of candidates Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan weeks before the 1980 presidential election.




Expulsion of State Senator Gaston Gerald


Expulsion of Gaston Gerald (1981)

View a report on the hearing and expulsion of State Senator Gaston Gerald, the first expulsion in the history of the Louisiana Legislature.



Governors Dave Treen, Jimmie Davis, Robert Kennon & John McKeithen


Gospel Singing Day (1982)

Watch a visit to Gospel Singing Day at the Governor’s Mansion with Governor Dave Treen and former Governors John McKeithen and Jimmie Davis.




Senate President Michael O'Keefe


Resignation of Michael O’Keefe (1983)

See a report on the resignation of Michael O’Keefe as Senate President following his conviction on federal mail fraud and obstruction of justice charges.


Special Olympics in Baton Rouge


Special Olympics (1983)

View LPB’s in-depth coverage of the 1983 Special Olympics International Summer Games held on the LSU campus in Baton Rouge.




Execution of Robert Wayne Williams


Execution of Robert Wayne Williams (1983)

Watch an in-depth report on the execution of convicted murder Robert Wayne Williams, the first execution in Louisiana since 1961.



Louisiana's Vanishing Coast


Louisiana’s Vanishing Coast (1984)

See a one of the first LPB reports on the growing concerns about coastal erosion in Louisiana, including visits to Fort Livingston in Jefferson Parish & Fort Proctor in St. Bernard Parish.


Louisiana World Exposition



Louisiana World Exposition (1984)

View a report on what went wrong with the 1984 World’s Fair in New Orleans, the worst financial flop in the history of the world’s fair.



Diver Greg Louganis at the National Sports Festival


National Sports Festival (1985)

Watch a visit to the National Sports Festival in Baton Rouge, an event for amateur athletes hosted by the United States Olympic Committee, including diver Greg Louganis.




Governor Edwin Edwards in 1985


Edwin Edwards Mistrial (1985)

See a report on the declaration of a mistrial in the trial of Governor Edwin Edwards on fraud and racketeering charges related to the permitting process for hospitals and nursing homes.



Dr. Louise McFarland, Louisiana state epidemiologist


AIDS in Louisiana (1987)

View one of LPB’s first reports on the growing concerns about AIDS in Louisiana, including an interview with Dr. Louise McFarland, the state epidemiologist. 




Governor-Elect Buddy Roemer



Buddy Roemer Elected Governor (1987)

Watch a report on the surprising election of Buddy Roemer as governor following Edwin Edwards’ decision to drop out of the run-off election.



Reverend Jimmy Swaggart


Jimmy Swaggart Scandal (1988)

See a report on the scandal involving Reverend Jimmy Swaggart of the Family Worship Center in Baton Rouge and allegations of misconduct involving a prostitute in New Orleans.



1988 Republican National Convention in New Orleans


GOP Convention in New Orleans (1988)

View LPB’s special coverage of the 1988 Republican National Convention in New Orleans and its impact on the state.



Dolly Parton at the Steel Magnolias Premiere in Natchitoches


Steel Magnolias Premiere (1989)

Watch highlights of the Louisiana premiere of the film Steel Magnolias in Natchitoches, including interviews with stars Dolly Parton and Daryl Hannah.



To see more stories, check out the Louisiana: The State We’re In series