The State of Louisiana covers an area of some 51,843 square miles, bordered by Texas, Arkansas and Mississippi with the Gulf of Mexico on its southern shore. This should not be confused with the Louisiana Territory.
It's a land of bayous and swamps, live oaks and bald Cyprus trees dripping with Spanish moss. A land of crawfish, alligators and shrimp, jasmine and jazz, magnolias, mint julep and plantations, Cajuns and creole. A land of voodoo and Mardi Gras.
First claimed by the Spanish, then the French, then passing back to the Spanish and back again to the French, only to be sold the the fledgling US in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, adding a further 828,000 square miles to the 544,000 square miles of the existing states. The Louisiana Territory was then divided up with the creation of new states, leaving the present day state of Louisiana with an area of 51,843 square miles.
The native tribes, driven south, east and west by the invading Europeans were befriended, enslaved and slaughtered, losing thousands of lives to imported diseases.
The antebellum years were a time of glory and magnificence for the white land owners, but not the African slaves forced to labor for a meager existence.
New Orleans embraced the Christian celebration of Mardi Gras like no other American city and voodoo coiled its way into Catholicism becoming a way of life for many.
The state ranks first in the US for the number of murders and also prisoners per head of population, with Angola housing over 6,000 offenders.
There is nowhere else on earth with the ability to satisfy the soul's desire for the simple pleasures of music and food. Both are rich and varied, yet maintaining a distinctive edge over all other contenders.
Louisiana, there is no place on earth to compare....