Louisiana is a US state. The state capital is Baton Rouge, while New Orleans is the largest city. In 2006, the population of Louisiana was 4.3 million. The state has both English and French as administrative languages. The French speakers are called cajuns, and are famous for their special food and music, cajun music, and for the blacks zydeco.
The state borders Texas to the west, Arkansas to the north, Mississippi to the east, and the Gulf of Mexico to the south. The state’s surface is divided into two: the higher lying areas as well as the coastal and swamp areas, which cover an area of approx. 52,000 km², and which lies mainly along the Mississippi River, which cuts through the state from north to south over a course of 600 km to end in the Gulf of Mexico. The higher and hilly areas to the north and northwest cover an area of more than 65,000 km², and consist of prairie and woodland. See directoryaah for museums in Louisiana.
Louisiana was originally populated by a number of Native American tribes. Many place names in the state are named after Native American words. Louisiana is often hit by tropical cyclones and is vulnerable to hurricanes, especially in the low-lying area in and around New Orleans. The special geography of the area with the many marsh areas and streams makes major hurricanes even more destructive. The area also experiences a lot of thunderstorms, especially in the summer. Annually, there are an average of 60 days of thunderstorms, which is the highest number of days among all U.S. states except Florida. On average, Louisiana is affected by 27 tornadoes annually, and again, the southern part in particular is most vulnerable.
1528 – The first European to visit Louisiana arrived in 1528, and in 1541, Hernando de Soto’s expedition traveled through the region.
1682 – French explorer Robert Cavelier de La Salle names the Louisiana region to honor Louis XIV of France.
1718 – Jean Baptiste le Moyne founded New Orleans.
1719 – African slaves are imported to Louisiana. Read more here.
1722 – A tornado smashes most of New Orleans. Read more here.
1723 – New Orleans becomes the capital.
1749 – On November 29, the Natchez Indians attack the French colonists near Natchez, Mississippi. They had otherwise lived in peace for more than 10 years side by side, but when the French commander Sieur de Chépart demanded some of the Indians’ land for his own plantation near Fort Rosalie, they took revenge after several days of planning the attack, and killed almost all the French (o. 230), the fort and their home were burned down. Read more here.
1769 – Spain takes control of Louisiana.
1788 – Most of New Orleans is destroyed by a massive fire in the city.
1800 – Napoleon I of France takes over Louisiana from Spain, but in 1803 the entire colony of Louisiana was sold to the United States through the Louisiana Purchase.
1812 – Louisiana is admitted as the 18th state of the United States on April 30.
1815 – The British are defeated by Andrew Jackson in the Battle of New Orleans, the last battle of the British-American War (1812).
1832 – Yellow fever and cholera epidemic kill more than 5,000 in New Orleans.
1837 – New Orleans holds its first Mardi Gras parade.
1849 – The capital is moved from New Orleans to Baton Rouge.
1853 – Yellow Fever strikes again, killing more than 11,000 in New Orleans.
1861 – Louisiana withdraws from the Union and joins the Confederacy.
1862 – New Orleans is besieged by the Union.
1866 – Racial unrest in New Orleans kills 38 and wounds 146.
1873 – The Colfax riots take place on April 13, between Republicans and Democrats in Colfax. The White Democrats, armed with rifles and a small cannon, overpowered the Republican-liberated slaves and the militia who were trying to keep track of the courtroom in Grant Parish. White Republicans were not attacked, and most ex-slaves were killed after surrendering. About 50 more were killed later after being held captive for several hours. Read more here.
1874 – The Mississippi River is flooded, causing severe damage to Louisiana.
1884 – World’s Fair in New Orleans. Read more here.
1890 – Chief of Police in New Orleans, David Hennessy, was murdered on October 15, outside his home by people who possibly would prevent him from testifying in a lawsuit against the Mafia. The following day he died of complications from the gunshot wound, without having identified the perpetrators before his last breath was drawn – “Dagoes did it” (derogatory slang for Italians), after which he exhaled. The culprits were found and those responsible, Joseph Macheca and Charles Matranga, appeared in court. Read the rest here.
1893 – A violent hurricane kills over 2,000 in Louisiana and Mississippi. Read more here.
1901 – The first successful oil well is drilled in Jennings, which started an industry that dominated the state for many decades. The oil discovery came just nine months after oil was found in Beaumont, TX, which set off the oil fever in the Southwest. See pictures here.
1915 – A hurricane hits NO, killing 275 people and causing $ 13 million in damage.
1927 – Floods destroy 1,300,000 acres of land, leaving 300,000 homeless. It was the most destructive flood in U.S. history. Read more here.
1934 – Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrows, the infamous criminal couple who traveled with their gang in the United States during the Depression, were overpowered and killed by Gibsland police on 23 May. Their lives and destinies have been filmed many times, the best being probably Bonnie And Clyde from 1967 with Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty in the lead roles. And here. Watch a documentary here.
1956 – The longest bridge in the world – Lake Pontchartrain Causeway – opens on 30 August.
1957 – Hundreds of people are killed in Cameron Parish as Hurricane Audrey plows through Louisiana.
1958 – Bus segregation is abolished in New Orleans. It also happened for two schools two years later.
1964 – On January 25, Eastern Airlines Flight 304 crashes into Lake Pontchartrain. 51 passengers and 7 crew members were killed. Despite the shallow water depth in the lake, the majority of the plane and the passengers were never found.
1965 – Hurricane Betsy destroys southern Louisiana, killing more than 60 people.
1969 – Hurricane Camille is the third most powerful tropical cyclone to hit Louisiana on the banks of the Mississippi River on August 17.
1975 – Louisiana Superdome, inaugurated August 3 in New Orleans.
1978 – SPORT: The rematch of the professional heavyweight boxing match between Muhammad Ali and Leon Spinks was held at The Superdome on September 15 in front of 63,500 spectators, making it the largest audience ever for an indoor boxing match. Watch the first match here and the second here.
1980 – SPORT: Boxer Sugar Ray Leonard regained the welterweight world championship at The Superdome on November 25, 1980, when Roberto Duran resigned with the words “No Mas”. Watch the match here.
1981 – MUSIC: The Rolling Stones played in front of 87,500 spectators at the largest indoor concert in The Superdome to date.
1987 – On November 26, Cuban prisoners in Oakdale Jail hold 28 hostages for eight days. Read more here. And here.
2005 – The Louisiana Superdome comes into the world spotlight in 2005, in connection with Hurricane Katrina’s ravage of New Orleans from 23-31. August. Like most of the rest of the city, the arena was flooded as the city dikes could not withstand the force of the hurricane. After the massive evacuations caused by the devastation, The Superdome was used as a gathering place for the 30,000 distressed who spent the night in the large arena. More than 100 were victims of the hurricane, over 2 million. homeless people. Subsequently, the arena was closed for over a year, with the New Orleans Saints instead having to play their home games at alternate stadiums. In September, Louisiana was again hit by a hurricane ( Rita), which killed between 97-125 people, and damages for $ 12 billion.
2008 – The threat from Hurricane Gustav, forced 1.9 million. people evacuating their homes in southern Louisiana, 200,000 lived in New Orleans, making it the largest evacuation to date in the state’s history. 800,000 left without power, damaging up to $ 8 billion.
2010 – On April 20, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, sinking, causing a fairly extensive oil spill (4.9 million barrels) and pollution in the Gulf, which spread over 175 km along Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi., The coast of Alabama and Florida. 11 died, 17 were injured in the blast. Over 8000 animals (birds, turtles, and other mammals) were reported dead six months after the spill. Many of the animals were protected. Over 30,000 volunteers offered his help in cleaning up and rescuing animals. In 2012, there was still oil in the Gulf. Read more here. and here. You can see an interactive timeline here.