Thursday, July 3, 2008

A Little Louisiana History

Thanks to an old friend for sending this...

If Hurricane Katrina and the floods causing the levees to break in New Orleans is all you know about Louisiana, here are a few more interesting facts about the Bayou State:

*Louisiana has the tallest state capitol building in the nation at 450 feet.

* The Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans is the largest enclosed stadium in the world.

* The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway is the longest over-water bridge in the world at 23.87 miles.

* Louisiana's 6.5 million acres of wetlands are the greatest wetland area in America.

* The oldest city in the Louisiana Purchase Territory is Natchitoches, Louisiana founded in 1714.

* The first bottler of Coca-Cola, Joseph Biedenharn, lived in Monroe, Louisiana, and was one of the founders of Delta Air Lines, initially called Delta Air Service.

* Delta Air Service got its start in Monroe, Louisiana, when Parish Agent, C.E. Woolman, decided to try dusting the Boll Weevil that was destroying the cotton crops in the Mississippi River Delta from an airplane. It was the first crop dusting service in the world.

* Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana is the largest predominantly black university in America.

* Baton Rouge was the site of the only American Revolution battle outside the original 13 colonies.

* The formal transfer of the Louisiana Purchase was made at the Cabildo building in New Orleans on December 20, 1803.

* The staircase at Chr├ętien Point in Sunset, Louisiana, was copied for Tara in "Gone with the Wind."

* Louisiana is the No. 1 producer of crawfish, alligators and shallots in America .

* Louisiana produces 24 percent of the nation's salt, the most in America.

* Much of the world's food, coffee and oil pass through the Port of New Orleans .

* Tabasco, a Louisiana product, holds the second oldest food trademark in the U.S. Patent Office.

* Steen's Syrup Mill in Abbeville, Louisiana, is the world's largest syrup plant producing sugar cane syrup.

* America's oldest rice mill is in New Iberia, Louisiana at KONRIKO Co.

* The International Joke Telling Contest is held annually in Opelousas, Louisiana.

* LSU (The Ole War Skule) in Baton Rouge has the distinction of contributing the most officers to WW II after the U.S. Military academies.

* The Louisiana Hayride radio show helped Hank Williams, Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash achieve stardom. It was broadcast from KWKH Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana, from 1948 to 1960.

* The term Uncle Sam was coined on the wharfs of New Orleans before Louisiana was a U.S. Territory as goods labeled U.S. were from "Uncle Sam."

* The game of craps was invented in New Orleans in 1813, as betting was a common activity on the wharves.

* When states had their own currency, the Louisiana Dix (French for ten) was a favored currency for trade. English speakers called them Dixies and coined the term Dixieland.

* New Orleans is the home of the oldest pharmacy in America at 514 Chartres Street in the French Quarter. These early medical mixtures became known as cocktails (guess they were good for what ails ya?), coining yet another term.

* New Orleans is the birthplace of Jazz, the only true American art form. Jazz gave birth to the Blues, and Rock and Roll.

See, we learn something new every day. I am very excited about the upcoming trip/reunion and am trying to figure out a way to take my Nikon digital SLR camera with me.
I'll figure it all out, after all, I have thirteen days before I leave.

And so it goes.

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