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30 different Native American tribes lived in Louisiana when Spanish
explorer Hernando de Soto first visited the area in 1541.
In 1682, Robert Cavelier came down the Mississippi River and
claimed the entire valley for France.
He named the area Louisiana, after King Louis XIV of France.
1714 France established the first permanent settlement, Natchitoches,
along the banks of the Red River.
New Orleans was founded in 1718.
Although Spain acquired Louisiana in 1762, French settlers
continued to migrate to the region.
During the 1760s, Acadians forced from their homes by British
troops came to Louisiana from eastern Canada.
Their descendents are now known as Cajuns.
the Revolutionary War, New Orleans was used as a base for Continental
Congress to send supplies to the eastern colonies.
After the war, Spain gave Louisiana back to France.
In 1803, the United States bought the land from France in the
sugar industry grew quickly in Louisiana during the early 1800s.
A new method of growing sugar in large quantities, allowed
plantations to grow sugar cane as a major crop.
A steamboat, the New Orleans, made its first trip down the
Mississippi River in 1812.
This waterway soon made the city New Orleans an important trading
center, as passengers and goods were transported to larger markets.
after Louisiana became a state on April 30, 1812, war broke out with
The British tried several times to capture New Orleans in 1815,
but General Andrew Jackson and a little army of volunteers defeated the
Jan. 26, 1861, Louisiana seceded from the United States and joined the
Confederacy a few months later.
During the Civil War (1861-1865), over 56,000 soldiers fought in
the Confederate Army from Louisiana.
In 1862, Union soldiers captured New Orleans.
There was little fighting, but much property damage done
Only three other states experienced more loss and destruction.
the war Louisiana was readmitted to the Union in 1868, but forced to
accept a new constitution giving rights to African-Americans.
Reconstruction ended in Louisiana in 1877, later than any other
During the 1880s, new industries were developed.
The mouth of the Mississippi River was deepened allowing huge
ships to enter New Orleans.
Railroads soon expanded from New Orleans to all major cities in
the United States.
The lumber industry also expanded and rice became a major crop.
the early 1900s, discovery of oil and natural gas brought industrial
growth to Louisiana.
Huey P. Long was governor of Louisiana during the Great
He provided thousands of jobs by expanding roads and highways in
Education was improved with new school buildings and free
War II (1939-1945) helped the economy by bringing new industries to
Fuel, oil, and boats were required for the U.S. Navy.
Shipbuilding, oil, and gas industries continued to grow during
New factories were built and shipping increased greatly at the
Port of New Orleans.
problems escalated during the end of the 1950s and 1960s.
The Louisiana State University became integrated in 1950.
Segregation on buses in New Orleans ended in 1958.
Soon afterward, all schools, restaurants, and state facilities
were required to integrate.
In 1977, Ernest N. Morial became the first black mayor of New
in Louisiana continued to grow until the mid-1980s.
Oil prices fell, hurting both the oil and service industries.
The aerospace industry also slowed when the space shuttle Challenger
Thousands lost their jobs and unemployment in the state reached a