Historical facts about New Orleans by paperboy


									Historical facts about New Orleans
First-time visitors are often struck by the European flavor of New Orleans, and little
wonder. It's everywhere! Visitors see it in our architecture, taste it in our food, hear it
in the music that abounds, and experience it in the hospitality and characteristic accent
of our locals.

Louisiana was claimed for French king Louis XIV in 1699 and is
the only state that was once a French royal colony. "La Nouvelle
Orleans" was founded in 1718 and ruled by France and then Spain
for nearly 100 years. It is the only U.S. city where French was the
predominant language for more than one century.

The Louisiana Purchase was signed in New Orleans in 1803. In
2003, the 200th anniversary of the signing will be commemorated            St. Louis Cathedral
in a year-long, statewide celebration of activities.

New Orleans is the American city occupied longest by enemy
troops (the Union Army 1862-65) during the Civil War.

This city depended for 185 years on a canal system (108 miles)
much more extensive than that of Venice, Italy. By 1914, Baldwin
Wood's mammoth pumping and drainage system made canals

In a unique partitioning in 1835, the City of New Orleans was                King Louis XIV

literally split into three separate municipalities, each with its own
mayor and council. After 17 years, the city was reunited,
becoming the third largest and second richest in the nation.

New Orleans is often called the "Crescent City" because it was
founded on the bend of the Mississippi River. This unusual shape
causes locals and visitors to become confused occasionally, as                The Cabildo
there is no traditional "north, south, east, or west" mode of
getting around. Some streets in the city begin at one end parallel,
and end up perpendicular.

New Orleans has approximately 40,000 buildings listed on the National Register of
Historic Places, more than most other cities in the U.S. including Washington D.C.
Many of these architectural treasures are located in the 120 blocks of the French
St. Louis Cathedral, located in the historic French Quarter, is the oldest continuously
active Roman Catholic Cathedral in the United States. It was originally built in 1724
and rebuilt twice after a hurricane and a fire. The present church overlooks beautiful
Jackson Square and was dedicated in 1794.

The Old Ursuline Convent, also located in the historic French Quarter, dates to 1745,
and is the oldest building in the Mississippi River Valley.

As Americans settled in New Orleans, they built exquisite antebellum mansions in the
Garden District and Uptown. These architectural gems fill our residential areas. Locals
who recognize their architectural significance have restored many of these homes in
grand fashion.

Many of the tens of thousands of live oak trees that line our streets and boulevards
date back to before the Civil War. They have survived hurricanes, droughts, insects
and fires.
The New Orleans Streetcar line is the oldest continuously operating rail system in the
world. It currently transports locals and tourists from uptown to the business district
along St. Charles Avenue. By 2003, the Streetcar will be brought back to life along
Canal Street, after an absence of several decades.

New Orleans is known as the birthplace of jazz, and rightfully so. Early jazz greats like
Louis Armstrong, Buddy Bolden, Jelly Roll Morton and King Oliver got their starts in the
nightclubs of Storyville, a red-light district that flourished between 1897 and 1917. The
city's musical tradition remains strong with the Neville Brothers, the Marsalis family,
Harry Connick, Jr., and many others. Events such as the New Orleans Jazz and
Heritage Festival, the French Quarter Festival, Satchmo Summer Fest and others share
these gifts with the world.
The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra is the only full-time, player-managed symphony
in the United States. Musicians from all over the world come to New Orleans to study
the LPO's success.

New Orleans has a well-deserved reputation for food. There are more than 3000
restaurants in the city, many of which have been owned and operated by the same
families for generations. The predominant foods are Creole and Cajun, but there are
many ethnic restaurants that feature foods from throughout the world. The city
consistently is rated one of the top cities for food by national and international

The current population (2000) of the city is just under 500,000.


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