Portal:Louisiana

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The Louisiana Portal

St. Louis Cathedral, New Orleans

The state of Louisiana is located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge, and its largest city is New Orleans. As of the 2010 Census the New Orleans population was 343,800, an increase of 88,800 people since the Census Bureau's count in July 2006. The population within the city limits of Baton Rouge was 224,000 pre-Katrina and according to the Census Bureau the population increased to about 232,000 in the year following Katrina. Other data suggest that even with its many post-Katrina problems, New Orleans is repopulating faster than Baton Rouge.

Louisiana is the only state that is divided into parishes; most other states are divided into counties. The largest parish by population is East Baton Rouge Parish and largest by area is Terrebonne Parish. The New Orleans metropolitan area is Louisiana's largest metropolitan area.

Louisiana has a unique multicultural and multilingual heritage. Originally part of New France, Louisiana is home to many speakers of Louisiana French and Louisiana Creole French. African American and Franco-African, and Acadian, French / French Canadian form the two largest groups of ancestry in Louisiana's population. (read more . . . )

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Cajun music, an emblematic music of Louisiana, is rooted in the ballads of the French-speaking Catholics of Canada. Cajun music is often mentioned in tandem with the Creole-based, Cajun-influenced zydeco form, both of Acadiana origin. These French Louisiana sounds have influenced American popular music for many decades, especially country music, and have influenced pop culture through mass media, such as television commercials.

The unaccompanied ballad was the earliest form of Cajun music. The narrative songs often had passionate themes of death, solitude or ill-fated love — a reaction to their harsh exile and rough frontier experience, as well as celebrations of love and humorous tales. Ballads were ritually sung at weddings and funerals, and sung informally for small groups of people at house parties as the food cooked and young children played.

In earlier years, the fiddle was the predominant instrument. Usually two fiddles were common, one playing the melody while the other provided the séconde, or back-up part. Twin fiddling traditions represent the music in its purest form, as it was brought to Louisiana with the early immigrants and before popular American tunes mingled with it. Gradually, the diatonic accordion emerged to share the limelight. The introduction of the accordion can be traced back to German Coast settlers. (read more . . . )

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Old Louisiana State Capitol.jpg
Credit: David J. Kaminsky.
Old Louisiana State Capitol, North Boulevard, Saint Philip, America & Front Streets, Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge Parish, LA.

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Huey P. Long

Huey Pierce Long, Jr., nicknamed The Kingfish, was an American politician from the U.S. state of Louisiana. A Democrat, he was noted for his radical populist policies. He served as Governor of Louisiana from 1928 to 1932 and as a U.S. senator from 1932 to 1935. Though a backer of Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1932 presidential election, Long split with Roosevelt in June 1933 and allegedly planned to mount his own presidential bid.

Long created the Share Our Wealth program in 1934, with the motto "Every Man a King," proposing new wealth redistribution measures in the form of a net asset tax on large corporations and individuals of great wealth to curb the poverty and crime resulting from the Great Depression. Charismatic and immensely popular for his social reform programs and willingness to take forceful action, Long was accused by his opponents of dictatorial tendencies for his near-total control of the state government. At the height of his popularity, the colorful and flamboyant Long was shot on September 8, 1935, at the Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge; he died two days later at the age of 42. His last words were reportedly, "God, don't let me die. I have so much to do."

As governor, Long inherited a dysfunctional system of government tainted by influence peddling. Corporations often wrote the laws governing their practices and rewarded part-time legislators and other officials with jobs and bribes. Long moved quickly to consolidate his power, firing hundreds of opponents in the state bureaucracy from cabinet-level heads of departments and board members to rank-and-file civil servants and state road workers. Like previous governors, he filled the vacancies with patronage appointments from his own network of political supporters. Every state employee who depended on Long for a job was expected to pay a portion of his or her salary directly into Long’s political war-chest; these funds were kept in a famous locked "deduct box" to be used at his discretion for political purposes.

Once his control over the state’s political apparatus was strengthened, Long pushed a number of bills through the 1928 session of the Louisiana State Legislature fulfilling some of his campaign promises, including a free textbook program for schoolchildren, an idea advanced by John Sparks Patton, the Claiborne Parish school superintendent. He also supported night courses for adult literacy and a supply of cheap natural gas for the city of New Orleans. Long began an unprecedented building program of roads, bridges, hospitals and educational institutions. His bills met opposition from many legislators and the media, but Long used aggressive tactics to ensure passage of the legislation he favored. He would show up unannounced on the floor of both the House and Senate or in House committees, corralling reluctant representatives and state senators and bullying opponents. These tactics were unprecedented, but they resulted in the passage of most of Long's legislative agenda. By delivering on his campaign promises, Long achieved hero status among the state's majority rural poor population.

When Long secured passage of his free textbook program, the school board of Caddo Parish (home of conservative Shreveport), sued to prevent the books from being distributed, saying they would not accept "charity" from the state. Long responded by withholding authorization for the location of a nearby Air Force base until the parish accepted the books. (read more . . . )

Did you know...

  • ...that the mayor of tiny Logansport, Louisiana, worked for 16 years to keep a new bridge over the Sabine River a high priority?
  • ...More than one-half of the species of birds in North America are resident in Louisiana or spend a portion of their migration there?
  • ...Louisiana has the greatest concentration of crude oil refineries, natural gas processing plants and petrochemical production facilities in the Western Hemisphere?
  • ...Louisiana is the only state with a large population of Cajuns, descendants of the Acadians who were driven out of Canada in the 1700s because they wouldn't pledge allegiance to the King of Great Britain?
  • ...The town of Jean Lafitte was once a hideaway for pirates?
  • ...Because of its many bays and sounds, Louisiana has the longest coastline (15,000 miles) of any state and 41 percent of the nation's wetlands?
  • ...Louisiana is the nation's largest handler of grain for export to world markets and that more than 40 percent of the U.S. grain exports move through Louisiana ports?
  • ...The site of the oldest known Louisiana civilization is Poverty Point in West Carroll Parish, where an Indian village existed 2,700 years ago?
  • ...Louisiana has 2,482 islands, covering nearly 1,300,000 acres (5,300 km2)?
  • ...The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, with a length of 23.87 miles (38.42 km), is the world's longest bridge built entirely over water?
  • ...Baton Rouge was the site of the only battle fought outside of the original 13 colonies during the American Revolution?
  • ...Louisiana produces more furs (1.3 million pelts a year) than any other state?

WikiProjects

Flag of the State of Louisiana You are invited to participate in WikiProject Louisiana, a WikiProject dedicated to developing and improving articles about Louisiana.

State symbols

Flower Magnolia Magnolia

Brown Pelican

Motto Union, justice, and confidence
Nickname The Pelican State
Tree Bald Cypress
Bird Brown Pelican

Louisiana news

Wikinews Louisiana portal
  • October 9: Hurricane Nate weakens as it reaches United States
  • September 23: On the campaign trail in the USA, August 2016
  • August 15: Wikinews Shorts: August 15, 2016
  • December 20: Public health officials advise on rising flu levels in Texas 2013/2014 season
  • August 27: Tropical Storm Isaac creates worries across US gulf states
  • June 16: FanFiction.Net adult content purge felt across fandom two weeks on
  • June 12: Louisiana State University loses spot in college world series
  • May 20: Wikinews interviews John Wolfe, Democratic Party presidential challenger to Barack Obama
  • May 5: On the campaign trail, April 2012
  • April 4: On the campaign trail, March 2012

Categories

Web resources

Official State of Louisiana website
  • Louisiana State Government
  • History and Culture of Louisiana
  • Census Statistics on Louisiana
  • U.S. Census Bureau
  • USDA Louisiana Statistical Facts
  • USGS real-time, geographic, and other scientific resources of Louisiana
  • Louisiana Geographic Information Center
  • Photos of Louisiana - Dept. of Culture, Recreation, and Tourism

Spotlight city

The city of Plaquemine is the parish seat of Iberville Parish, in the U.S. state of Louisiana. Plaquemine was noted to be settled as early as 1775. Due to its location at the juncture of Bayou Plaquemine with the Mississippi River, the village soon began to prosper and grow. By 1838, the town was incorporated, electing Zenon LaBauve as its first mayor. Plaquemine continued to grow in the antebellum era. Massive plantations were constructed in nearby regions. The town has been the seat of Iberville Parish government since its incorporation. The former Parish Courthouse on Railroad Avenue has been serving as City Hall since 1985.

The Plaquemine Lock, constructed from 1895-1909, was a vitally important link between the Mississippi River and the Intracoastal Canal, of which Bayou Plaquemine served as its northern terminus. Its design served as the proto-type for the upcoming Panama Canal locks. The locks were shut in 1961. Today, it is operated as a state park. (read more . . . )

Louisiana Topics

Statistics: Population

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