Covering Louisiana

Oct 12, 2013 4:45 PM

Edwin Edwards to headline celebrity roast

Former Gov. Edwin Edwards has agreed to headline a celebrity roast that will benefit the Chennault Aviation and Military Museum in Monroe.

The News-Star reports that Edwards, who served four terms as governor and one term in jail, will be the subject of the roast called "A Night to Remember" at 7 p.m. Feb. 1 in the Monroe Civic Center.

Stu Bashner, a member of Friends of Chennault Aviation and Military Museum, said the group hopes to sell as many as 700 ticketss to the event.

"He's got such a storied and checkered political history; we know he'll be a great draw," said Bashner.

Museum director Nell Calloway said tickets will $60 each. Calloway is a granddaughter of Lt. Gen. Claire Chennault, who commanded the 1st American Volunteer group -known as the Flying Tigers - who fought against the Japanese before the United States entered World War II. The group later was absorbed into U.S. air forces.

The museum has about 10,000 artifacts including the wings Chennault won in 1919, uniforms and other military memorabilia.

The panel of those who will roast Edwards is almost as noteworthy as the former governor.

It includes former Gov. Buddy Roemer; Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne; state Sen. Francis Thompson, D-Delhi, who served in the House when Edwards was governor; former lawmaker Willie Crain, who served in the Senate; Sen. Robert Adley, R-Benton; West Monroe Mayor Dave Norris; and Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham.

Bashner said he hopes the event highlights the museum and its cultural and historical importance.

Calloway said the museum is trying to raise $11 million to pay for a hangar that would house a definitive history of the Flying Tigers.

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