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The largest city in area in the United States is Juneau, Alaska. It covers 3,248 square miles, yet the city population is fewer than 30,000.

The oldest carousel in the United States is located in the resort town of Watch Hill, Rhode Island.
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City History

New Orleans (La Nouvelle-Orléans) was founded in 1718 by the French Mississippi Co. It was named for Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, Regent of France. In 1763, the French colony was ceded to the Spanish Empire and remained under Spanish control for 40 years. Most of the surviving architecture of the French Quarter dates from this Spanish period. Louisiana reverted to French control in 1801, but Napoleon sold it to the United States in the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. The city grew rapidly with influxes of Americans, French, and Creole French.

During the War of 1812 the British sent a force to conquer the city. The Americans unfalteringly defeated the British troops led by Sir Pakenham in the Battle of New Orleans January 8, 1815.

As a principal port, New Orleans had a leading role in the slave trade, while at the same time having the most prosperous community of free persons of color in the South. The population of the city doubled in the 1830s, and, by 1840, New Orleans had become the wealthiest and third most populous city in the nation. The Union captured New Orleans early in the American Civil War. This action spared the city the destruction suffered by many other cities of the American South.

In the early 20th century, New Orleans was a progressive major city whose most significant development was a drainage plan devised as a pump system allowing the city to expand into low-lying areas. Rapid human and natural populous left these new areas several feet below sea level. New Orleans was vulnerable to flooding even before the age of negative elevation.

Scientists and New Orleans residents gradually became aware of the city's increased vulnerability. Hurricane Betsy in 1965 had killed dozens of residents even though the majority of the city remained dry. The 1995 flood demonstrated the weakness of the pumping system. Since that time measures have been taken to repair New Orleans's hurricane defenses and restore pumping capacity.
New Orleans is known for its multicultural heritage as well as its music and cuisine and is considered the birthplace of jazz. Its status as a world-famous tourist destination is due in part to its architecture, music, cuisine, its annual Mardi Gras, and other celebrations and festivals. The city is often referred to as "The most unique city in America."

Historic Figures

Hurricane Katrina (August 29, 2005)

Hurricane Katrina (August 29, 2005)
Hurricane Katrina approached the city of New Orleans on August 29, 2005. Although the Hurricane's eye passed east of the city, the city's federal flood protection system failed resulting in the worst civil engineering disaster in American history. Floodwalls, called "levees", failed and 80% of the city flooded. Tens of thousands of remaining residents were rescued by boat, helicopter or otherwise made their way to shelters of last resort at the Louisiana Superdome or the Morial Convention Center. Over 1,500 people died in Greater New Orleans and the Lower Ninth Ward flood by Rita's storm surge. By October 1, 2005, parts of the city, about one-third of the population of New Orleans, reopened. As of March 2007 the population in the city came to 255,000, 56% of the city's pre-flood residents. Several major tourist events as well as other forms of revenue for the city of New Orleans have returned. Mardi Gras and the Jazz and Heritage Festival were never displaced and have continued as planned. Several national travel guides have once again listed New Orleans as one of the top five places to visit in the country.

July 25, 2024

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