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The Louisiana Portal

St. Louis Cathedral, New Orleans

The state of Louisiana is located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge, and its largest city is New Orleans. As of the 2010 Census the New Orleans population was 343,800, an increase of 88,800 people since the Census Bureau's count in July 2006. The population within the city limits of Baton Rouge was 224,000 pre-Katrina and according to the Census Bureau the population increased to about 232,000 in the year following Katrina. Other data suggest that even with its many post-Katrina problems, New Orleans is repopulating faster than Baton Rouge.

Louisiana is the only state that is divided into parishes; most other states are divided into counties. The largest parish by population is Jefferson Parish and largest by area is Terrebonne Parish ). The New Orleans metropolitan area is Louisiana's largest metropolitan area.

Louisiana has a unique multicultural and multilingual heritage. Originally part of New France, Louisiana is home to many speakers of Louisiana French and Louisiana Creole French. African American and Franco-African, and Acadian, French / French Canadian form the two largest groups of ancestry in Louisiana's population. (read more . . . )

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The Battle of New Orleans took place on January 8, 1815, and was the final major battle of the War of 1812. American forces under General Andrew Jackson decisively defeated an invading British army intent on seizing New Orleans and America's western lands. The Treaty of Ghent had been signed on December 24, 1814, but news of the peace would not reach New Orleans until February.

By December 12, 1814, a large British fleet, under the command of Sir Alexander Cochrane, with more than 10,000 soldiers and sailors aboard had anchored off the eastern Louisiana coast at Lake Borgne. Guarding access to the lake was an American flotilla, commanded by Thomas ap Catesby Jones, consisting of five gunboats. On December 14, British sailors in rowing boats, each boat armed with a small cannon, captured the vastly outnumbered gunboats in a brief but violent battle. Now free to navigate Lake Borgne, thousands of British soldiers, under the command of General John Keane, were rowed to a garrison on Pea Island, about 30 miles east of New Orleans.

On the morning of December 23, Keane led a vanguard of 1,500 British soldiers from the island to the east bank of the Mississippi River, less than ten miles south of New Orleans. Keane could have attacked the city by advancing for a few hours up the river road, which was undefended all the way to New Orleans, but he made the fateful decision to wait for the arrival of reinforcements. Early that afternoon, when news of the British position reached Jackson at New Orleans he reportedly said, "Gentlemen, the British are below, we must fight them tonight." Jackson quickly sent about 2,000 of his troops from New Orleans to a position immediately north of the British to block them from making any further advances toward the city. Jackson, because he needed time to get his artillery into position, decided to immediately attack the British.

On the night of December 23, Jackson personally led a three-pronged attack on the British camp which lasted until early morning. After capturing some equipment and supplies, the Americans withdrew to New Orleans suffering a reported 24 killed, 115 wounded and 74 missing or captured, while the British claimed their losses as 46 killed, 167 wounded, and 64 missing or captured. (read more . . . )

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Credit: Einar Einarsson Kvaran.
Louisiana State Capitol Building.

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Patricia Clarkson

Patricia Davies Clarkson (born December 29, 1959) is an Academy Award-nominated American actress. Clarkson was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, the daughter of Jackie Clarkson (a prominent local New Orleans politician and councilwoman) and Arthur Clarkson, a school administrator who worked at the Department of Medicine of Louisiana State University.

Clarkson starred in a series of high-profile films in her early career, including The Dead Pool, Rocket Gibraltar and Everybody's All-American. She starred in the short-run television series Davis Rules, and in the miniseries Alex Haley's Queen. Other television appearances have included the role of "Aunt Sarah" in Six Feet Under, for which she won two Emmy Awards.

In 1999, she appeared in The Green Mile, and in 2002 in Far from Heaven. In 2003, she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Pieces of April, in which she plays an acerbic mother dying of cancer. Clarkson garnered critical acclaim for her work in The Station Agent (2003). Some film enthusiasts note her talent as a character actor. (read more . . . )

Did you know...

  • ...that the mayor of tiny Logansport, Louisiana, worked for 16 years to keep a new bridge over the Sabine River a high priority?
  • ...More than one-half of the species of birds in North America are resident in Louisiana or spend a portion of their migration there?
  • ...Louisiana has the greatest concentration of crude oil refineries, natural gas processing plants and petrochemical production facilities in the Western Hemisphere?
  • ...Louisiana is the only state with a large population of Cajuns, descendants of the Acadians who were driven out of Canada in the 1700s because they wouldn't pledge allegiance to the King of Great Britain?
  • ...The town of Jean Lafitte was once a hideaway for pirates?
  • ...Because of its many bays and sounds, Louisiana has the longest coastline (15,000 miles) of any state and 41 percent of the nation's wetlands?
  • ...Louisiana is the nation's largest handler of grain for export to world markets and that more than 40 percent of the U.S. grain exports move through Louisiana ports?
  • ...The site of the oldest known Louisiana civilization is Poverty Point in West Carroll Parish, where an Indian village existed 2, 700 years ago?
  • ...Louisiana has 2,482 islands, covering nearly 1,300,000 acres (5,300 km2)?
  • ...The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, with a length of 23.87 miles (38.42 km), is the world's longest bridge built entirely over water?
  • ...Baton Rouge was the site of the only battle fought outside of the original 13 colonies during the American Revolution?
  • ...Louisiana produces more furs (1.3 million pelts a year) than any other state?


Flag of the State of Louisiana You are invited to participate in WikiProject Louisiana, a WikiProject dedicated to developing and improving articles about Louisiana.

State symbols

Flower Magnolia Magnolia

Brown Pelican

Motto Union, justice, and confidence
Nickname The Pelican State
Tree Bald Cypress
Bird Brown Pelican

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Official State of Louisiana website

Spotlight city

Abita Springs is a town in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 1,957 at the 2000 census. According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 10.7 km² (4.1 mi²), all land.

  • The Abita Brewing Company -- In 1986, Abita Brewing Company was established as a microbrewery, and in 1994 they added a brew pub & restaurant. Abita's beer is brewed with the pure water of the artesian wells in Abita Springs.
  • The UCM Museum Pronounced "you see 'em", and also known as the "Abita Mystery House" is an Abita Springs tourist attraction. The museum features an eclectic collection of antiques (particularly electronics and arcade games) and dozens of examples of proprietor John Preble's folk art, which ranges from the whimsical to the macabre. (read more . . . )

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Statistics: Population

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