Cold beer and tons of free crab: Friday night at a 1938 Louisiana roadhouse

During the Great Depression, the photographic unit of the Farm Security Administration assigned photographers to crisscross the country and record how people lived and worked throughout the nation.

In September 1938, while traveling through Louisiana documenting sugar plantations, rice farmers, and oyster fishermen, photographer Russell Lee stopped off at Danos' Nightclub, a roadhouse off Highway 1 in the tiny community of Raceland.

As it happened, he showed up on a Friday night, just in time for Danos' free weekly crab boil.

Grabbing his flash, he snapped photos as locals from around Bayou Lafourche smashed open piles of crustaceans, put away cases of Jax Beer, and blew off some late-summer steam.

23 PHOTOS
Nightlife inside an early Louisiana roadhouse
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Nightlife inside an early Louisiana roadhouse
(Photo via Library of Congress)
(Photo via Library of Congress)
(Photo via Library of Congress)
(Photo via Library of Congress)
(Photo via Library of Congress)
(Photo via Library of Congress)
(Photo via Library of Congress)
(Photo via Library of Congress)
(Photo via Library of Congress)
(Photo via Library of Congress)
(Photo via Library of Congress)
(Photo via Library of Congress)
(Photo via Library of Congress)
(Photo via Library of Congress)
(Photo via Library of Congress)
(Photo via Library of Congress)
(Photo via Library of Congress)
(Photo via Library of Congress)
(Photo via Library of Congress)
(Photo via Library of Congress)
(Photo via Library of Congress)
(Photo via Library of Congress)
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