Hi. Winnie Griggs here, and I’m pleased to be sharing some fun facts about my home state of Louisiana with you. Though I’ve moved around within its borders, I’ve been proud to call the Pelican State home for my entire lifetime.
Here are just a few things you may not know about my home state:
- Louisiana’s state capitol building is the tallest in the United States. The building is 450 feet tall and has 34 floors. The Capitol is surrounded by 27 acres of formally landscaped gardens.
- Louisiana is home to the longest bridge over water in the world. The Lake Pontchartrain causeway is 24 miles long and connects the city of Metairie with St. Tammany Parish.
- The Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans is the world’s largest enclosed stadium.
- Morgan City, La is home to the world’s largest heliport.
- The first Tarzan movie, Tarzan of the Apes , was filmed in St. Mary Parish .
- The staircase at Chretien Point, in Sunset, was copied for Tara in Gone With the Wind
- The nation’s first opera was performed in New Orleans in 1796.
- The name “jazz” was first given to the music of New Orleans about 100 years ago.
- Elvis got his start playing at the Louisiana Hayride in Shreveport.
- The first opera performed in America was in 1796 in New Orleans
- Grand Isle’s Tarpon Rodeo, established in 1928, is the oldest fishing tournament in the U.S.
- Grambling’s Eddie Robinson is the “winningest” football coach in college history.
- The nation’s oldest community theater, is Le Petit Theatre de Vieux Carre, is in New Orleans and dates from 1919.
Natural Resources and Flora:
- Louisiana is the number one producer of crawfish, alligators and shallots in the nation.
- Louisiana produces 24% of the nation’s salt, the most in the country.
- There are 117,518 oyster reefs in Louisiana waters.
- The salt mine at AveryIsland, the oldest salt mine in the Western Hemisphere, was discovered in 1862.
- Toledo Bend Reservoir offers 185,000 acres of bass fishing paradise.
- The oldest salt dome in the Western Hemisphere was discovered in AveryIsland in 1862
- Saint Martin Parish is home to the world’s largest freshwater river basin, the AtchafalayaBasin; the basin provides nearly every type of outdoor recreational activity imaginable.
- The TunicaSwamp, near St. Francisville, boasts the nation’s largest bald cypress.
- Louisiana has the largest variety of plant and animal species of any of the Gulf states.
- Louisiana’s 6.5 million acres of wetlands are the greatest in the nation.
- Steen’s Syrup Mill is the world’s largest syrup plant, producing sugarcane syrup.
- The AmericanRoseCenter, located in Shreveport, boasts 20,000 rose bushes.
- The world’s most complete collection of camellias is at the JungleGardens in AveryIsland.
- Redwing, La, has a cherry tree that sprouts from a cedar tree trunk.
- Louisiana has 15 State Historic Sites, 17 State Parks, and 1 State Preservation Area.
- The oldest city in the entire Louisiana Purchase Territory is Natchitoches, founded in 1714. Which means Natchitoches (a beautiful city where I spent my 4 college years) is celebrating its tri-centennial.
- Baton Rouge was the site of the only American Revolution battle outside the 13 Colonies.
- The first commemorative railroad spike to be driven by a woman was the golden spike commemorating the completion of the east-west Vicksburg, Shreveport and Pacific Railroad. It was driven at Bossier City on July 12, 1884, by Julia “Pansy” Rule.
- The St. Charles Avenue streetcar in New Orleans has been operating since 1835, which makes it the oldest line in the world. It is also one of the two only mobile national monuments in the nation.
There you have it, some of the lesser known facts about Louisiana. I hope I brought you something new. Let me know what surprised you in this list or caught your fancy.