The Louisiana Portal
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 East Baton Rouge 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 . . . )
The Acadians (French: Acadiens) are the descendants of the 17th-century French colonists who settled in Acadia (located in the Canadian Maritime provinces — Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island — and some of the American state of Maine). Although today both Acadians and French-Canadian Québécois are francophone Canadians, Acadia was founded in a geographically separate region from Quebec ("Canada" at this time) leading to their two distinct cultures. The settlers whose descendants became Acadians did not necessarily all come from the same region in France. Acadian family names have come from many areas in France from the Maillets of Paris to the Leblancs of Normandy. Some Acadian families did not even originate in France, for example the popular Acadian surname 'Melanson' (originally 'Mallinson') has its roots in England and those with the Surname 'Bastrache' or 'Basque' can find their origin in Pays Basque ("Basque Country") which is located between France and Spain.
In the Great Expulsion of 1755, around 4000 to 5000 Acadians were deported from Acadia by the British; many later settled in Louisiana, where they became known as Cajuns. Later on many Acadians returned to the Maritime provinces of Canada, most specifically New Brunswick. During the British conquest of New France the French colony of Acadia was renamed Nova Scotia (meaning New Scotland). Today Acadians are a vibrant minority, particularly in New Brunswick and Louisiana (Cajuns). Since 1994, Le Congrès Mondial Acadien has united Acadians of the Maritimes, New England, and Louisiana. (read more . . . )
Credit: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Digital Visual Library
Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum) in the Atchafalaya Basin.
Kate Chopin (born Katherine O'Flaherty on February 8, 1850 – August 22, 1904), was an American author of short stories and novels, mostly of a Louisiana Creole background. She is now considered to have been a forerunner of feminist authors of the 20th century.
From 1889 to 1902, she wrote short stories for both children and adults which were published in such magazines as Atlantic Monthly, Vogue, the Century, and Harper's Youth's Companion. Her major works were two short story collections, Bayou Folk (1884) and A Night in Acadie (1897). Her important short stories included "Désirée’s Baby", a tale of miscegenation in antebellum Louisiana; "The Story of an Hour" and "The Storm."
Chopin also wrote two novels: At Fault (1890) and The Awakening (1899), which is set in New Orleans and Grand Isle. The people in her stories are usually inhabitants of Louisiana. Many of her works are set about Natchitoches in north central Louisiana. In time, literary critics determined that Chopin addressed the concerns of women in all places and for all times in her literature. (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?