International Trade Mart (1948-1968)
Backstory and Context
This location was the site of the New Orleans International Trade Mart, which was founded in 1947 by Clay Shaw, a gay New Orleans businessman who was also the only person ever tried in connection the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. After living for several years in New York City and then serving in the army, Shaw returned to his home state of Louisiana, where he founded the Trade Mart and purchased and preserved many French Quarter properties. In 1963, JFK was shot by New Orleans native Lee Harvey Oswald, and New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison became convinced that the assassination was “a homosexual thrill killing”. On March 1, 1967, Garrison had Shaw arrested for conspiring to murder JFK. Two years later, on March 1, 1969, Shaw was tried, and after only an hour of deliberation, the jury found him not guilty. His reputation ruined and his large amounts of his savings spent on his defense, Shaw filed a civil suit against Garrison, but Shaw died of cancer in 1974 before the suit could be brought to a conclusion.
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Archer, Lori. “Guilty of Being Gay: NOLA Businessman Clay Shaw.” GoNOLA.com, 6 April 2017. https://gonola.com/lgbt-new-orleans/guilty-gay-nola-businessman-clay-shaw.
Laney, Ruth. “The Trouble with Tight Pants.” Country Roads Magazine, 23 September 2014. https://countryroadsmagazine.com/art-and-culture/history/the-trouble-with-tight-pants/.
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“Who was the only man to ever face legal charges for JFK’s assassination?” JFK Facts. Jeff Moreley and Rex Bradford, 9 May 2016. https://jfkfacts.org/who-was-the-only-man-to-ever-face-legal-charges-in-jfks-assassination/.