Louisiana Facts

Ron Bryant

1682 - Sieur de la Salle, a French explorer took possession of country known as Louisiana and named it for the reigning monarch of France, Louis XIV.

1714 - Natchitoches was the first permanent settlement in Louisiana founded by Louis Juchereau de St. Denis and called Fort St. Jean Baptiste.

1718 - New Orleans was decreed a city by Sieur de Bienville and had a population of more than 370 people including 147 males, 65 females, 38 children, 28 servants, 73 slaves, and 21 Indians.

1762 - France ceded its territories west of the Mississippi and the Isle of Orleans to Spain . The people of New Orleans did not know until 23 months later that they were no longer under French rule.

1763 -By the Peace of Paris Great Britain acquired from France its Louisiana territory east of the Mississippi and north of the Isle of Orleans. Baton Rouge was fortified by the British and called New Richmond ..

1769 - Spanish Gov O'Reilly gained firm control of Louisiana for Spain . He divided Louisiana into 22 ecclesiastical parishes. Louisiana is the only state that is comprised of parishes instead of counties.

1769-1779 - War broke out between Spain and Britain and as a result of Spanish victory, the West Florida parishes were returned to Spain .

1791 - The first professional theatrical production in Louisiana was presented in New Orleans by players from Santo Domingo .

1800 - Spain returned the Louisiana territory west of the Mississippi to France .

1803 - The Louisiana territory was purchased by the US from Napoleon of France for $15,000.00.

1804 - William Charles Claiborne was appointed the first governor of the Territory of Orleans (pursuant day Louisiana ).

1805 - The first Protestant Church which was an Episcopal Church was established in New Orleans .

1808 - The first public schools were established in Pointe Coupee Parish.

1812 - Louisiana becomes the 18th state to join the Union . The first steamboat to navigate the Mississippi river arrived in New Orleans from Pittsburg . The steamboat was called the “ New Orleans ”.

1815 - The Battle of New Orleans was fought. Andrew Jackson defeated the British for the United States . There were 8,000 British troops and 4,000 of Jackson 's defenders.

1821 - Artist Jean Audubon set up a studio in New Orleans .

1850 - Baton Rouge was named the new capital of Louisiana . The capital building cost 100,000 to build.

1861 - For two months Louisiana flew the flag of an independent nation after seceding from the Union and before joining the confederacy.

1864 - General Henry Allen was the governor of Confederate Louisiana.

1861 - 1865 - New Orleans fell to the Union in 1862.

1873 - Black Lieutenant Gov. P.B.S. Pinchbeck served as Louisiana 's Chief Executive.

1877 - The Reconstruction Period ended in Louisiana after the longest occupation of any of the southern states.

1901 - The first oil well was drilled in Jennings , Louisiana .

1912 - The Louisiana legislature adopted an official state flag which is the flag in use today.

1932 - A new 34 story capital was constructed in Baton Rouge by Gov. Huey P. Long.

1935 - Gov Huey P. Long was assassinated in the capital of Baton Rouge . It was also the year of the first Sugar Bowl game. On January first in New Orleans , Tulane defeated Temple 20-14.

1968 - Gov. John McKeithan was the first governor in the twentieth century to be elected to two consecutive terms.

1975 - The Louisiana Superdome was opened in New Orleans .

1977 - Dutch Morials was the first black mayor of New Orleans .

1980 - David Treen was elected as the first Republican governor in over 100 years 1983 - Edwin Edwards was the first governor to be elected to a third term 1984 - The Louisiana world exposition was held in New Orleans 1987 - The Louisiana state archives building was opened in Baton Rouge.

1991 - The Old State Capital was renovated.

1992 - Edwin Edwards served an unprecedented fourth term as governor.

2005 - Katrina was the eleventh named tropical storm, fifth hurricane, third major hurricane, and first category 5 hurricane of the 2005 hurricane season. It was the third most powerful storm of the season, and the sixth strongest Atlantic hurricane ever recorded. It hit Louisiana on the morning of August 29 as a category 3 storm and came ashore along the Central Gulf Coast near Buras-Triumph , La. . The storm surge caused catastrophic damage along the coastline of Louisiana , Mississippi , and Alabama . Levees separating Lake Pontchatrain from New Orleans were breached by the surge, flooding about 80% of New Orleans . It is the costliest hurricane in U.S. history,$75 billion in damages. It was also responsible for the death of 1,418 people.

In Agriculture - Cotton, sugarcane, rice, sweet potatoes, corn, and soybeans. Forestry is the biggest land based business.

Poultry is the largest livestock industry followed by dairy and beef cattle. Louisiana is the largest producer of alligator hides and crawfish. Tourism is the second largest industry.

Louisiana produces mineral products such as petroleum, natural gas, salt ( the largest salt mine is in Louisiana ), sulphur, carbon black, and gravel.

Louisiana is the second in the nation in oil production.