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.
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.
On April 25, 1793, Pope Pius VI established the Diocese of
Louisiana, the second oldest in the U.S.City,
In 1714-15 Louis St. Denis founded Fort St. Jean Baptiste
at the present site of Natchitoches, the first permanent settlement
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
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
The largest cypress mill in the world is located in St. Mary
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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)
Mardi Gras Parade
The first Mardi Gras parade took place on Shrove Tuesday in
1838 in New Orleans.Mardi Gras,
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.
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.
The Exxon refinery at Baton Rouge is the largest oil refinery
(in capacity) on the North American continent.
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
Smallest Parish Parish,
Tensas, 6,745 residents
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.
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.
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 heaviest precipitation for one year in Louisiana was 80.58
inches, reported in 1991.
Antoine’s in New Orleans, established in 1840, is the
state’s oldest continuously operating restaurant.
Revolt against a Foreign
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.
The second largest salt mine in North America is at Belle
Salt Mine, Oldest
Discovered in 1862, the salt mine at Avery Island is the oldest
in the Western Hemisphere.
The first school in Louisiana was the Ursuline Convent for
girls, established in 1727 in New Orleans
Separate but Equal
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
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
, 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
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
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.
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
Assistant Editor: Jeanne Frois