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Louisiana Facts

Artist and ornithologist John James Audubon wrote once:

…. But where in this great continent is this oh-so favored Land….
… It is, oh dear reader, in Louisiana that all these fine bounties of nature are showing in its greatest perfection….

Historian Charles Gayarre wrote (about the Marquis de Vaudreuill, governor of French Louisiana from 1743):

…. The Marquis’ administration was for the region of Louisiana what Louis XIV’s reign had meant for France. He liked to maintain a miniature court, a far distant Versailles imitation. Old people likes to talk in an exquisite and refined manner. All the splendid uniforms of the troops, all those splendid balls, … all those other unparalleled activities they had witnessed in the glory days of the Marquis de Vaudreuill….

The state of Louisiana houses the famous and notorious Mardi Gras which is held in Nawlins, New Orleans, the Big Easy, the historic, charming old town with its oh so rich French and Creole heritage. Quite a few southern Louisiana’s residents are directly descending from French settlers who had fled eastern Canada’s Acadia region.

Did you see our 50 states quiz?

Louisiana belongs to the busiest industrial and commercial areas in America. The shipping industry is crucial, and petroleum production, fishing, and farming play also an important role in the state’s economy. You can marvel at the numerous white-columned beautiful mansions dating back to before the Civil War, they are true symbols of Louisiana’s glorious past.

The state of Louisiana is often called the land of historic charm, unparalleled beauty, and bountiful resources. New Orleans had it’s setbacks, but is continuing to flourish as one of the nation’s leading tourist destinations.

Quick Facts about Louisiana

– More than any other state was Louisiana claimed by more nations at a given time
– This is the true birthplace of jazz
– The state has one of the countries leading ports
– The state has four major deep-water harbors
– Louisiana contains the largest U.S. iron ore reserves
– The state is first in sulfur production
– Leads the nation in production of fur pelts

Louisiana Brief history

It was in 1519 that Alonso de Pineda, a Spanish explorer, was claiming that he had reached the mouth of the Mississippi River, and he called the site ‘el Rio del Espiritu Santo’ (the River of the Holy Spirit). Despite Pineda’s claims, in general Hernando de Soto is thought of as having discovered the Mississippi during his 1541-1542 expedition to the region.

Not so many visitors came to the region until 1682, when a Frenchman (Robert Cavalier, Sieur de La Salle) was putting a claim on the entire Mississippi region for the King of France. He named the region for King Louis XIV. In 1699, explorations of the brothers Pierre Le Moyne, Sieur d’Iberville and Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville were strengthening the French claims, and in that same year, the French King proclaimed Louisianacrown colony.

In 1714, Juchereau de St. Denis was founding what we now know as Natchitoches, and this was the first time there was a permanent European settlement founded in the state of Louisiana. In the year 1718, Bienville established the city of New Orleans, and in 1743, Marquis de Vaudreuil became governor of French Louisiana.

In the year 1762, all the portions of land west of the Mississippi River were given by King Louis XV to his cousin Charles II of Spain so the area could be kept out of the hands of the British. The Louisiana colonists started to rebel against the Spanish rule in 1768, and they managed to govern an Independent Louisiana Republic for nearly a year. In 1769, Spanish rule got re-established, though.

A huge fire destroyed the city of New Orleans in 1788, on Good Friday, but the city was rapidly rebuilt. In 1801, French rule was restored after the Treaty of San Il Defonso.  In 1803, though, on November 30th, the United States overtook the Cabildo, the capitol, in New Orleans, and they bought the complete Louisiana territory (The Louisiana Purchase) from the French in what we know was among the best historical real estate deals.

Eastern Louisiana continued to be claimed by Spain but in 1810, that portion of land was conquered by the United States. The folks in eastern Louisiana feared the new “foreigners” but on April 1812, the entire territory was allowed in the union as the 18th state. In 1815, on January 8th, Andrew Jackson was scoring a landslide victory during the Battle of New Orleans. Jackson had never learned that the War of 1812 had already come to an end.

Louisiana was heavily depending on slavery, so in 1861, the state quickly joined the Confederacy, but in 1862, on April 29th, David Farragut (a Union Admiral) captured the city of New Orleans. When in 1865, Edmund Kirby-Smith, a Confederate general, surrendered at Shreveport , the last big army of the South laid down their arms. After the war was ended, chaos was reigning in Louisiana for over a decade, until in 1877, government control was brought back.

Around 1915, the famed New Orleans jazz was spreading to the Chicago area, and it didn’t take long before the whole world could enjoy the popular sound. In 1929, Huey Long became governor and he soon turned out to be one of America’s most powerful and best known politicians. He was famous for his great eloquence, his excellent, sharp, and brilliant mind and he, at times, left his opponents flabbergasted with quotations from Shakespeare, the Bible, or other sources, In 1935, though, Huey Long, by then a United States Senator, was shot and killed in the state capitol.