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Wednesday, 7 September 2016

New Orleans


The city of New Orleans was founded by the governor of French Louisiana, Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville on May 7, 1718. New Orleans was believed to be safe from hurricanes and it was initially built in a rectangle block (now known as the French Quarter).

New Orleans

It was named for Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, who was Regent of the Kingdom of France at the time. His title came from the French city of Orléans.

On March 21, 1788 a fire in New Orleans left most of the town in ruins. The Great New Orleans Fire destroyed 856 of the 1,100 structures in the city, spanning the south central Vieux Carré from Burgundy to Chartres Street, almost to the Mississippi River front buildings.

In April 1803 both New Orleans and all the surrounding areas were sold to Napoleon Bonaparte .Just 20 days later, France transferred the same land to the United States as the Louisiana Purchase. Thereafter, the city grew rapidly with influxes of Americans, French, Creoles, and Africans.

Vice President Aaron Barr was involved with James Wilkinson in a still little-understood conspiracy in the mid-1800s , the goal of which seemed to be to create a new country in the South West, with New Orleans as its capital city.

When British forces threatened New Orleans in the War of 1812, Andrew Jackson took command of the defenses, including militia from several western states and territories. The Battle of New Orleans, which made Andrew Jackson a national hero, was fought on January 8, 1815, two weeks after the War of 1812 had ended and more than a month before the news of the war's end had reached Louisiana.

Jackson's 4,000 militiamen and 16 heavy cannons behind barricades of cotton bales opposed 10,000 British regulars marching across an open field, led by General Edward Pakenham. The battle was a total American victory.

The Battle of New Orleans (1815). Edward Percy Moran 

In 1832 a cholera epidemic hit the USA. It appeared first in Chicago before spreading south into the Mississippi Valley. Many American urban centers suffered numerous losses including the death during one twelve-day period of over 6,000 in New Orleans.

The first Mardi Gras parade held in New Orleans is recorded to have taken place in 1837.  The tradition in New Orleans expanded to the point that it became synonymous with the city in popular perception. Today, about 1.4 million people attend Mardi Gras in New Orleans every year.

New Orleans Mardi Gras in the early 1890s.

The first Greek Orthodox Church in the United States was established in 1864 in New Orleans, long frequented by Greek sailors and merchants. The original founders were mainly Greek cotton merchants, led by a man named Nicholas Benakis.

The Italian-American mafia began at the time when many Italians moved to the United States in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The first Italian mafia was in New Orleans in Louisiana but they soon spread across the country.

New Orleans was the only place in the New World where slaves were allowed to own drums. Voodoo rituals were openly tolerated.

Jazz was born in 1895, when the cornetist Buddy Bolden started a band who played in New Orleans Streets and amusement parks. Within 20 years, New Orleans-style bands were starting to enjoy popularity in north USA.

The New Orleans Superdome opened in 1975, having cost $163 million to build. With a total floor area of 269,000 square feet it is the largest enclosed arena in the world.

In 1985 New Orleans lifeguards threw a pool party at the end of summer to celebrate zero drownings for the season. And someone drowned in the pool.

When Hurricane Katrina passed through the Gulf Coast region in August 2005, New Orleans' federal flood protection system failed, resulting in the worst civil engineering disaster in American history.

Hurricane Katrina at its New Orleans landfall.

After Hurricane Katrina, the emir of Qatar donated $100 million to the region, intended to help rebuild housing, hospitals and schools.

The last significant snowfall in New Orleans was on the morning of December 11, 2008.

Snow falls on St. Charles Avenue in December 2008.By A. Murat Eren 


According to the National Register, New Orleans has no less than 20 historic districts,  more than other cities in the US.

From centuries of amalgamation of the local Creole, haute Creole, and New Orleans French cuisines, New Orleans food has developed. It is famous for specialties like beignets square-shaped fried pastries that could be called "French doughnuts."

Café du Monde, a landmark New Orleans beignet cafe established in 1862.

New Orleans is believed to be the place with the highest paranormal activity in the US, especially around the French Quarter where Marie Laveau used to live. Marie Laveau (1794 –1881) was a Louisiana Creole practitioner of Voodoo. Renowned as the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans, both she and her daughter, Marie Laveau II, (1827 - c. 1895) had a great influence over their multiracial following.

According to a 2015 survey, 41% of New Orleans households were infested with roaches—the most of any major U.S. city.

Lake Pontchartrain Causeway at New Orleans is the world's largest bridge that is continuously over water. It is almost 24 miles (about 38 kilometers) long.

New Orleans's official motto is "Laissez les bons temps rouler!"("Let the good times roll!")


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