Home History Pontchartrain Beach at the height of segregation

Pontchartrain Beach at the height of segregation

Pontchartrain Beach during segragation

This 1955 footage of Pontchartrain Beach was shot by Joe Budde. He and his wife, Sue Budde, donated it to THNOC.

Few attractions excite the local memory like former lakefront amusement park Pontchartrain Beach. But, when was the park opened to all?

Until the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964, Pontchartrain Beach was racially segregated, open to white patrons only. This video, from the period of segregation, shows the park’s Zephyr roller coaster and the crowd dressed in ties and tea-length skirts.

The more remote Lincoln Beach accommodated the black community, and though smaller, the beloved park drew first-class musical acts like Fats Domino and Irma Thomas. It closed down in 1964 after Pontchartrain Beach was integrated.

Eli A. Haddow, The Historic New Orleans Collection

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