On June 8, 1969, the grand public pool at Audubon Park hosted a “Splash-in” to commemorate the re-opening of the facility that had previously closed rather than integrate. (Footage by Jules Cahn (1916-1995), courtesy of THNOC, 2000.78.4.375)
In 1928, Audubon Park in New Orleans opened a public pool so massive it was called the largest in the South and the second-largest in the country. While its impressive size could accommodate many, the laws of the segregated South limited access to whites only.
For 34 years, the pool operated as a segregated facility. When it closed in 1962, the park cited financial reasons, but the announcement coincided with a court order to integrate public pools.
A recent online article from The Historic New Orleans Collection examines the struggle to reopen the facility and the celebration that followed.
– Teresa Devlin, The Historic New Orleans Collection