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Louisiana Facts

Louisiana

Louisiana is a southeastern state that’s a true “melting pot” of cultures: French, African, French-Canadian, and modern American.

It’s famous for its unique Creole and Cajun culture, food, jazz music, and Mardi Gras festival. You can also find fishing, state parks, and wartime exhibits.

seal-of-louisiana

Quick Facts

  • Capital: Baton Rouge
  • Population: 4.7 million
  • Nickname: Pelican State, Bayou State, Creole State
  • Key Cities: New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Shreveport, Metairie
  • Postal Abbreviation: LA
  • Major Industries: Oil, natural gas, commercial fishing, chemicals, agriculture

History

  • How did Louisiana get its name: Louisiana was named by the French explorer Robert Cavalier Sieur de La Salle in 1683. He named it “La Louisianne” in honor of Louis XIV, the King of France.
  • Date admitted to the Union: Thursday, April 30, 1812

Geography

  • Size: 52,271 sq. miles
  • Lowest point: New Orleans at -8 feet
  • Highest point: Driskill Mountain at 535 feet
  • Counties: 64 (called parishes)
  • Famous locations: New Orleans’ French Quarter, Atchafalaya Swamp, Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo, National WWII Museum, Melrose Plantation

Famous Louisianans

  • Reese Witherspoon- actress
  • Tim McGraw- singer
  • Terry Bradshaw- football player
  • Louis Armstrong- jazz musician
  • Ellen DeGeneres- actress/television host
  • Tyler Perry- actor/filmmaker

Fun Facts

  • Louisiana has one of the largest alligator populations in the United States. There are about two million alligators in the wild and another 300,000 on alligator farms. In fact, there’s about half as many alligators as there are people in the state. Yikes!
  • Rayne, Louisiana is nicknamed the “Frog Capital of the World” and has an annual frog festival. The festival includes a pageant for high school students, lots of frog leg snacks, and frog races and jumping competitions. The frogs dress in their best tuxedos and top hats.
  • A Six Flags amusement park in Louisiana that was abandoned after Hurricane Katrina has been used to film scenes for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, Jurassic World, and others.

six-flags-jurassic-park

  • Louisiana’s capitol building is the tallest in the United States. It has 34 floors and is 450 feet tall.
  • The world-famous Mardi Gras festival is celebrated in New Orleans each year. The population of New Orleans is just over 384,000, but about 1.4 million people flock to the city to celebrate. The official colors of Mardi Gras are purple for justice, gold for power, and green for faith.
  • Louisiana has also played an important role in the history of music. New Orleans is sometimes called the “birthplace of jazz,” and one of the world’s most famous jazz musicians, Louis Armstrong, is from Louisiana. The first opera in the United States was also performed in New Orleans in 1796.

More US state facts.