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We Were Merchants (2009)

Louisiana: The State We're In



Genre: Newsmagazine

Place Covered: Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana

Copyright Holder: Louisiana Educational Television Authority

Date Issued: 2009-10-30

Duration: 00:09:33

Subjects: Sternberg, Hans J., 1935- | Authors | DEPARTMENT STORES | Goudchaux/Maison Blanche (Firm) | Holden, Melvin "Kip"


  • Whinham, Charlie Host
  • Sanford, Shauna Host
  • Whinham, Charlie Producer
  • Woods, Virnado Photographer
  • Sternberg, Hans Interviewee
  • Freeman, Marianne Interviewee
  • Henson, Ron Interviewee
  • Holden, Kip Interviewee


This segment from the October 30, 2009, episode of the series “Louisiana: The State We’re In” features Charlie Whinham’s interview with Hans Sternberg, the author of “We Were Merchants.” Sternberg discusses the history of his family department store, Goudchaux/Maison Blanche, which was started by his parents in Baton Rouge in the 1930s and expanded to other locations throughout Louisiana into the 1990s. Whinham also talks to Marianne Freeman, a former customer, and Ron Henson and Baton Rouge Mayor-President Kip Holden, former employees, about their memories of the department store, including combing through the sales tables, having your picture taken with Santa Claus, the Mr. Bingle Christmas mascot, the free nickel Cokes for children, and the store’s interest-free credit card. Hosts: Charlie Whinham and Shauna Sanford