Important Dates in History
1541 Hernando de Soto discovers the Mississippi River.
1692 Robert Cavalier, Sieur de LaSalle, claims Louisiana, naming it for Louis XIV of France.
1714 Louis Juchereau de St. Denis establishes Fort St. Jean Baptiste (Natchitoches), the first permanent settlement in the Mississippi Valley and what would become the Louisiana Purchase.
1718 New Orleans is founded and named for Phillippe Duc D’Orleans.
1763 Treaty of Paris transfer Louisiana from France to Spain.
1764 Acadian immigrants, who would eventually be known as Cajuns, arrive from Canada.
1800 Treaty of San Ildefonso transfers Louisiana from Spain back to France.
1803 Louisiana is purchased from France by the United States for $15 million.
1812 Louisiana admitted to the Union as the 18th state and adopts its first constitution.
1837 First Mardi Gras parade is held in New Orleans.
1849 Baton Rouge becomes the capital of Louisiana.
1901 The first oil in Louisiana is discovered six miles from Jennings in Jefferson Davis Parish.
1926 The “Great Flood” on the Mississippi River – the worst flood in United States history – devastates 1.3 million acres of land and leaves 300,000 people homeless.
1975 The Louisiana Superdome is completed in New Orleans.
2003 Kathleen Babineaux Blanco elected first female governor in Louisiana history.
2005 Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastate the coast of Louisiana. Katrina was the most costly natural disaster in U.S. history.
2007 Bobby Jindal elected first governor of Indian-American descent in American Tricia Helfer .
2010 The New Orleans Saints defeat the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV. The Saints championship was the first in the team’s 43 years as a National Football League franchise.