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Thursday, 18 February 2016



When René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle claimed the territory drained by the Mississippi River for France in 1682, he named it La Louisiane, in honor of Louis XIV, King of France.

Mardi Gras arrived in North America as a French Catholic tradition with the Le Moyne brothers, Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville and Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, in the late 17th century. King Louis XIV had sent the pair to defend France's claim on the territory of Louisiana.

In 1719, prisoners in Paris were allowed to go free, under the condition that they marry prostitutes and go with them to Louisiana. The newly married couples were chained together and taken to the port of embarkation.

In 1762, France ceded the Louisiana territory to Spain. However, in 1800, France's Napoleon Bonaparte reacquired Louisiana from Spain in the Treaty of San Ildefonso, an arrangement kept secret for two years.

Napoleon's ambitions in Louisiana involved the creation of a new empire centered on the Caribbean sugar trade. However, when the army led by Napoleon's brother-in-law Leclerc was defeated, the French emperor decided to sell Louisiana.

In early April 1803, Spanish representatives officially transferred the Louisiana Territory to a French representative. Just 20 days later, on April 30, 1803. France transferred the same land to the United States as the Louisiana Purchase.

The United States purchased the Louisiana Territory from France for $15 million or less than US$0.03 per acre.

The Louisiana Purchase more than doubled the size of the young nation.

After the United States took possession, the area was divided into two territories along the 33rd parallel north on March 26, 1804, thereby organizing the Territory of Orleans to the south and the District of Louisiana to the north.

Louisiana became the eighteenth U.S. state on April 30, 1812; since the Territory of Orleans became the State of Louisiana, the District of Louisiana was simultaneously renamed the Missouri Territory.

By 1840 the Louisiana city of New Orleans had the biggest slave market in the United States. It had become one of the wealthiest and the third largest city in the nation.

Mixed race publisher and politician P.B.S. Pinchback became the first person of African descent to become governor of a U.S. state when he served as the 24th Governor of Louisiana for 35 days, from December 9, 1872, to January 13, 1873.


Lake Pontchartrain Causeway at New Orleans (see below), is the world's longest continuous bridge over water. The longer of the two bridges is 23.83 miles (38.35 km) long.

Louisiana had a population of about 4,533,372 people in 2010. It is the 25th largest state by population.

The state has a total area of about 51,885 square miles (134,382 km2). Louisiana is the 31st largest state by area.

Louisiana has the tallest state capitol building in the US; the building is 450 feet tall with 34 floors.

One third of the adults in Louisiana are obese. This is the highest rate in the United States.

Louisiana has the highest incarceration rate of any U.S. state, and New Orleans has the highest incarceration rate of any city in the state. One in 86 adult Louisianians is doing time, nearly double the national average.

Louisiana's incarceration rate is nearly five times Iran's, 13 times China's and 20 times Germany's.

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