The Creole State
Louisiana Superlatives

Melrose Plantation, which is located on the Can River near Natchitoches, is the site or the African House. It is the only authentic example of early African architecture in North America.

Largest Bald Cypress,
The largest bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) in the nation is located in the Tunica Swamp near St. Francisville. Measuring 53 feet, 8 inches in circumference, the champion tree is 83 feet tall and has an 85-foot crown spread.

Oldest Cathedral,
Originally built in 1718, the St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans is the oldest cathedral in the U.S. The present structure, the third one on the site, dates from 1789.

Catholic Diocese
On April 25, 1793, Pope Pius VI established the Diocese of Louisiana, the second oldest in the U.S.City,

Oldest Settlement
In 1714-15 Louis St. Denis founded Fort St. Jean Baptiste at the present site of Natchitoches, the first permanent settlement in Louisiana

The start of the Civil War .
By order of Maj. Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard of St. Bernard Parish, the first shot of the Civil War was fired in defense of the city of Charleston at Fort Sumter, on April 12, 1861

The Last Civil War Battle
Mansfield State Commemorative Area, in DeSoto Parish, was the site of the last major Confederate victory in the Civil War. On April 8, 1864, Confederate general Richard (“Dick”) Taylor routed the forces of Union general Nathaniel Banks to end the northern Red River campaign. (Submitted by Claude Kenneson)

Cotton, Permanent Press Cotton,
Dr. J. David Reid, formerly with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in New Orleans, is considered the “father of wash-and-wear,” the pioneer in the field of durable-press fabrics

Ninety-nine percent of all crawfish produced in the U.S. comes from Louisiana

Cypress Mill
The largest cypress mill in the world is located in St. Mary Parish.

Drunken Driving Arrests
The national record for most drunken driving arrests in eight hours is 43 by the New Orleans Alcohol Safety Enforcement Section, September 22-23, 1972.

Geographical Notes
Louisiana, named by LaSalle in honor of King Louis XIV of France, was admitted to the Union as a state in 1812. The state is 280 miles long, 275 miles wide, and contains a land area of 43,566 square miles. Inland water bodies totaling 3,593 square miles give the state a total area of 47,159 square miles, thirty-first in size nationally.

Larges Heliport,
The world’s largest commercial heliport is based in Morgan City. Owned by Petroleum Helicopters, Inc., it has landing pads for 46 helicopters, complete fuel, maintenance facilities, and passenger waiting room accommodations.

The U.S.S. New Orleans

Courtesy of Pomona Public Library


Hungarian Settlement
The oldest Hungarian settlement in the nation is located in Albany. (Submitted by Claude Keneson)

Louisiana has over 2,482 islands and they cover almost 1.3 million acres, the third in total islands in the nation and the second in total acreage.

Origin of Jazz
The name “jazz” was first given to music of New Orleans origin in 1915, when it appeared in Chicago.

The largest lake in the state is Lake Pontchartrain, with a 621-square-mile area. Of natural origin, it has a maximum depth of 15 feet and a shoreline 117 miles long

Louisiana is the only state in the Union whose jurisdiction is based on civil law. All other states in the nation are under the common law code.

Main Street
Bayou Lafourche is called “the longest main street in the world,” stretching 65 miles from Thibodaux to Leeville in Lafourche Parish, (Submitted by Claude Kenneson)

South Louisiana bayou's

First Mardi Gras Parade
The first Mardi Gras parade took p
lace on Shrove Tuesday in 1838 in New Orleans.Mardi Gras,

Oldest Person of Color Organization
The oldest person of color carnival organization in New Orleans, and reputedly in the world, is the original Illinois Club, founded in 1894.

Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the widest (7,600 feet) at East Carroll Parish; the narrowest (1,250 feet) at the Irvine Light, near Bayou Sara; the deepest (214 feet) opposite Governor Nicholls Street in New Orleans; and the shallowest dredged depth (9 feet) in channels at many points.

Ranking first in the South and fifth in the nation are the holdings of the Museum of Natural Science and affiliated research collections of the Museum of Zoology, housed in Foster Hall at LSU, Baton Rouge.

Deepest Oil Platform
Shell Oil Company is responsible for the world’s deepest oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico, 130 miles south of New Orleans. The Mars platform, 31 stories high with a deck the size of approximately two football fields, floats 2,940 feet above the bottom of the Gulf. It weighs 36,500 tons and is built to sustain hurricane winds up to 140 mph.

Largest,Oil Refinery
The Exxon refinery at Baton Rouge is the largest oil refinery (in capacity) on the North American continent.

Louisiana State Tags

The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway

is the longest overwater span in the world. The southbound lane is 23.86 miles (125,980.8 feet); the northbound lane is 23.87 miles (126,033.6 feet)


Louisiana is the only state in the nation that is divided into parishes, not counties-dating from the earliest boundaries set using existing Catholic diocese boundaries. (Submitted by Claude Kenneson)
Orleans Parish , 486,036
, has theLargest Population.

Smallest Parish
Tensas, 6,745 residents

Hottest Peppers,
The world’s hottest variety of pepper is the Capsicum, of which the Tabasco pepper is a member

Louisiana is the leading U.S. producer of southern pine wood

.Port of New Orleans
New Orleans is the largest port on the Gulf of Mexico, the second largest in the U.S., and the third largest in the world in volume of cargo handled.

Port of New Orleans
New Orleans is the No. 1 port in trade with Latin America.

Our Natural Wonder

Deepwater Ports,
Baton Rouge’s port facility is the nation’s farthest inland deepwater port, the fourth largest port in the nation, ranking behind New York, New Orleans, and Houston.

The Fair Grounds in New Orleans was the first track to introduce a mechanical starting gate and the first to glass-enclose and steam-heat the grandstand, 1924.

The first through train service to Chicago from New Orleans began in 1873. The line eventually became the Illinois Central.

Railroad Bridge
The world’s largest bridge crosses the Mississippi River by way of the Huey P. Long Bridge in Jefferson Parish near New Orleans. Its length’s 23,235 feet (4.4 miles), including the approach.

The heaviest precipitation for one year in Louisiana was 80.58 inches, reported in 1991.

Oldest Restaurant,
Antoine’s in New Orleans, established in 1840, is the state’s oldest continuously operating restaurant.

Revolt against a Foreign Power
In 1768 Louisiana was the first colony in North America to revolt against a foreign power (Spain). On October 29, Nicolas LaFreniere’s speech in the Superior Council gave a rationale for the revolt and expulsion of Ulloa, the Spanish governor

The largest rice milling company in the world is Riviana, located in Abbeville in Vermilion Parish.

Louisiana is the nation’s number one salt-producing state, with 24 percent of domestic production.

Salt Mine
The second largest salt mine in North America is at Belle Isle

Salt Mine, Oldest
Discovered in 1862, the salt mine at Avery Island is the oldest in the Western Hemisphere.

First School,
The first school in Louisiana was the Ursuline Convent for girls, established in 1727 in New Orleans

Separate but Equal Doctrine
The first decision on the “separate but equal doctrine” was decided in a Louisiana case, Plessy v. Ferguson, on May 18, 1896. What is generally not known is that the Louisiana Supreme Court held for Plessy, but the U.S. Supreme Court reversed this decision and thus established the separate but equal doctrine.

Spanish mission
The only Spanish mission in Louisiana, San Miguel de Los Adais, was established in 1717 in Sabine Parish.


Tallest State Capitol,
The Louisiana state capitol in Baton Rouge, 34 floors, 450 feet high.

, First Steamboat,
The first steamboat to navigate the Mississippi River, Nicholas Roosevelt’s New Orleans, arrived at New Orleans from Pittsburgh on January 10, 1812.

The world first iron submarine, the Pioneer was built in a machine shop in New Orleans in 1861.

Sugarcane was first introduced into Louisiana in 1751

The wold’s largest sulphur warehouse is located at Port Sulphur. (Louisiana: The Land and its People)

The Superdome in New Orleans is the largest enclosed stadium-arena in the world

Syrup Plant
The world’s largest syrup plant, producing sugarcane syrup, is Steen’s Syrup Mill in Abbeville.

Tennis Club, Oldest
The New Orleans Lawn Tennis Club is the OLDEST in the Americas, located in Louisiana, established in 1876.

The first theater established in the U.S. was in New Orleans.Theater, Community
New Orleans’ Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre, whose history dates from 1919, is recognized as the oldest community theater in the United States.

The largest manufacturer of neckties in the world, Wemco, Inc., of New Orleans, produces 8.3 million neckties per year.

Perique Tobacco,
St. James Parish is the only area in the world where perique tobacco is grown.

The second oldest food trademark in the U.S. Patent Office is “Tobasco,” the pepper sauce bottled on Avery Island by the McIlhenny Company.

Louisiana has more than seven million acres in wetlands and estuarine water, more than any other state in the nation.


Louisiana Almanac 1997-1998 Edition
Editor: Milburn Calhourn
Assistant Editor: Jeanne Frois

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