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History of the Po' boys - Last day of Mardi Gras

Today is the last day of Mardi Gras.  In honor of the festivities, I wanted to tell you the history of how the Po' boy sandwiches came about.

The famous Po' boy sandwiches of New Orleans are said to have been invented in 1929 during the transit strike.

Two former streetcar conductors by the names of Bennie and Clovis Martin  had opened the Martin Brothers Coffee Stand and Restaurant in the French Market back in 1922.

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On July 1, 1929, the transit strike began and the brothers wanted to do something for their former co-workers in the street railway employees' union.  To show their support, they made up big roast beef sandwiches on French bread and told their employees to give them free to the "poor boys" on strike.

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" We fed those men free of charge until the strike ended.  Whenever we saw one of the striking men coming, one of us would say, "Here comes another poor boy." - Bennie Martin

The po' boys have come to be a major part of New Orleans history and the sandwiches have evolved over the years.

Learn more about the history of the Po' boy by visiting

Disclosure:  Information obtained from The Little Black Book.


  1. I never knew that-how interesting! I have never even had a Po Boy sandwich (I live in NY) and had no idea it was roast beef--which I happen to like to eat!! It is always interesting to learn the history behind traditions!

  2. Now that is so interesting! All I knew about them was they are utterly fantastic, but now they mean even more!

  3. Who would've thought? I love learning the history behind popular foods like this.

  4. This is interesting. I always wondered where the Po Boy sandwich came from.


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