Introduction - LouisianaBordered to the south by the Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana lies in the southeast region of the United States. Its three bordering states include Texas, Arkansas and Mississippi. The state is named in honor of King Louis XIV, who was the king of France from 1643 to 1715. When you hear the words parish, Cajun food, Mardi Gras, and superdome, what likely comes to mind is Louisiana. Formatted for kids and adults alike, the following interesting information and facts on Louisiana also touches on some of the historical events that happened in the state including the Battle of New Orleans and the Louisiana Purchase.
Click here for a great selection of Amazon.com books about Louisiana.
Louisiana State Quick Facts
- On April 30, 1812 Louisiana became the 18th state to join the United States of America.
- Louisiana is a mid-sized state, ranking as the 31st biggest state in the U.S.
- The state capital of Louisiana is Baton Rouge.
- The population of Louisiana is 4,625,470 (source 2013 United States Census Bureau estimate) making it the 25th most populated U.S. state.
- The state flower of Louisiana is the Magnolia.
- This state has several nicknames which include the Pelican State, Sportsman's Paradise, Creole State, Sugar State and Bayou State.
- The name for Louisiana residents is either Louisianans or Louisianians.
- The largest city in Louisiana is New Orleans.
- Although Louisiana has no shortage of bodies of water, the most well-known is the Mississippi River. Other rivers include the Atchafalaya River, Red River, Sabine River and the Ouachita River.
- Major lakes in Louisiana include Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas, Grand Lake, Toledo Bend Reservoir, Calcasieu Lake, Catahoula Lake and White Lake.
- Louisiana has two state songs, "Give Me Louisiana" which came first and "You Are My Sunshine" which was added in 1977.
Louisiana State Interesting Facts
- Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. to have subdivisions within the state called parishes, instead of counties.
- Louisiana's state capital building is 450 feet tall (137 meters) and has 34 floors, making it the tallest state capital building in all of the United States.
- There are only two moving national historic monuments in the United States and Louisiana is home to one of them. The Saint Charles streetcar, which travels throughout New Orleans was originally called the Carrollton Railroad and dates back to 1835.
- Natchitoches is the oldest town in Louisiana, dating back to 1714.
- The Superdome in New Orleans is a giant sports and exhibition center that holds over 72,000 people.
- New Orleans is the lowest point in Louisiana at 8 feet (2.5 meters) below sea level.
- In 1796, the first documented opera performance in Louisiana took place. It was called Silvain and it was performed in New Orleans.
Louisiana State Historical Information
- Originating in southern Europe, Mardi Gras is an ancient medieval custom believed to have started in New Orleans in 1699 by French-Canadian explorer Jean Baptiste Le Moyne Sieur de Bienville. It precedes the Catholic tradition of 40 days of Lent.
- In 1803, Thomas Jefferson, in one of the greatest accomplishments of his presidency, arranged for the U.S. to purchase a huge track of land from France. Called the Louisiana Purchase this land, which makes up most of the western U.S., would eventually be used to add fifteen U.S. states.
- As The War of 1812 was coming to an end, The Battle of New Orleans was fought and, in the end, General Andrew Jackson's ability to successfully prevent the British Army from invading New Orleans made him a national hero.