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55 Fun Facts About Louisiana 

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Do the spooky tales of New Orleans or the jazz culture of Louisiana intrigue you? If so, I have covered the best fun facts about Louisiana in this article. Read on!

Fun Facts About Louisiana

Louisiana was one of the most fascinating US states that I’ve read about. The state is full of eerie stories and legends, beautiful historical buildings, jazz music, and delicious cuisine. 

In this article, I have talked about all the necessary fun facts about Louisiana. 

1. Louisiana Is the 18th State to Join the US 

Let’s start with some basic fun facts about Louisiana. 

The state became the 18th state to join the US on April 30, 1812.  It took place almost nine years after the Louisiana Purchase (1803), which involved the acquisition of Louisiana from the French.

55 Fun Facts About Louisiana 

2. New Orleans Is the Biggest City in Louisiana 

Louisiana has 304 cities! Out of these, New Orleans is the biggest city in the state with a population of over 360,000 residents. It is spread across an area of 906.1 square kilometres. The city has been a major centre of history and culture. 

On the other hand, Mound is the smallest region in the state, as it has a population of just 13 people. 

3. Baton Rouge Is the Capital of Louisiana

Here is one of the surprising fun facts about Louisiana.

Although New Orleans is the most popular city in Louisiana, it’s not the state’s capital. Instead, Baton Rouge was selected as Louisiana’s capital in 1845

The Louisiana Lawmakers wanted to ensure that the capital was not too far away from New Orleans. Therefore, they chose Baton Rouge, which is 160 kilometres north of New Orleans. 

However, New Orleans was the capital of the Louisiana colony back in 1718. 

4. The Pelican State Is the Nickname of Louisiana

Here is one of the adorable fun facts about Louisiana. 

The state has many nicknames, but the most popular one is the “Pelican State”. It is because you can find many brown pelicans along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi River.

Some of the other nicknames include Bayou State, Sportsman’s Paradise, Sugar State, Cajun State, and the Jazz Capital of the World. 

5. Louisiana Has a Population of More Than 4.5 Million 

These are some population-related fun facts about Louisiana. 

Louisiana is the 25th most populous state in the US with a population of over 4.5 million people. Since 2010, the state has just seen a growth of 1.25% in its population. 

The population of Louisiana comprises 31.2% Black or African Americans, and 57.9% White people.

6. Ellen Degeneres Was Born in Louisiana

I think we can all agree that almost everyone knows who Ellen Degeneres is. The American comedian and television show is known for the iconic “‎The Ellen DeGeneres Show”.

If you’ve binge-watched her show, here’s one of the fun facts about Louisiana related to Ellen. She was born on January 26, 1958, in Metairie, Louisiana, and spent a huge part of her life growing up there.  

7. Louisiana Is Known for Its Creole Cuisine 

Let’s get into some food-related fun facts about Louisiana. 

Louisiana is popular for its Creole cuisine. The cuisine is a mix of African, European (French and Spanish), and Native American cuisines. 

The main ingredients used in this cuisine are vegetables (onions, bell peppers, and celery), various spices (paprika and cayenne), and even rice, which is served as a side. 

Some of the popular Creole dishes to try in Louisiana include étouffées, gumbos, and jambalayas

8. Louisiana Is Named After King Louis XIV

Have you ever wondered where the name “Louisiana” originated from? Well, here are some naming-related fun facts about Louisiana.

The name “Louisiana” is inspired by the French ruler, King Louis XIV, as it translates to “related to Louis”. 

In the 1680’s, a French explorer La Salle claimed the territory on the west of the Mississippi River and named it after the French king. 

9. Spain and France Ruled Louisiana Territory Back and Forth 

Let’s talk about some historical fun facts about Louisiana. 

From 1682 to 1762, Louisiana was a French colony. However, France ceded Louisiana to Spain in 1762 under the Treaty of Fontainebleau. 

Later, in 1800, France again got control of Louisiana from Spain under the Treaty of San Ildefonso. Finally, in 1803, France sold the Louisiana Territory to the US in the Louisiana Purchase. 

10. Louisiana Shares Borders With 3 US States 

Louisiana shares its borders with three US states – Arkansas (north), Mississippi (east), and Texas (west).

11. Driskill Mountain Is the Highest Point in Louisiana

Louisiana has many low-lying plains and hills. Driskill Mountain, the highest point in northern Louisiana, is located near Bryceland in Bienville Parish. 

Driskill Mountain has a height of just 535 feet above sea level

12. Louisiana Has the World’s Longest Bridge Over Water

This is one of the most unique facts about Louisiana. 

The world’s longest continuous bridge over water, The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, is situated in Louisiana. The bridge connects Metairie, a suburb of New Orleans, to the northern shore of the Pontchartrain Lake near Mandeville. 

Moreover, the causeway consists of two parallel bridges and has a length of around 38.4 kilometres. 

13. Louisiana is the Second Warmest State in the US 

Louisiana is the best state for those who love sunny weather! 

As the annual temperature of Louisiana stays around 20.3°C (68.5°F), it is the second warmest state in the US after Florida. 

14. Louisiana Is One of the Biggest US Producers of Salt

Louisiana is one of the top ten states in the US to produce salt, along with Michigan, Ohio, Texas, Kansas, New York, and Utah. In 2019, these seven states produced 92% of the country’s salt.

The first salt mining in Louisiana took place in 1961 at Cote Blanche. 

15. Louisiana Is the Birthplace of Jazz Music 

I have to include jazz if we’re discussing the fun facts about Louisiana. After all, it is a huge part of the state’s culture. 

Many jazz enthusiasts believe that the genre originated in New Orleans, Louisiana, due to the voodoo drumming rituals that took place in the 1800s. 

Hence, many renowned jazz singers are from Louisiana, such as Buddy Bolden and Sidney Bechet. You can also get to attend jazz festivals and clubs in the state because of the genre’s significance in the state’s history. 

16. Louis Armstrong Was Born in Louisiana

Louis Armstrong is a well-known American jazz vocalist. Some of his popular works are “What a Wonderful World,” “Hello, Dolly!,” “La Vie En Rose,” and “When the Saints Go Marching In.”

55 Fun Facts About Louisiana 

He was born on August 4, 1901, in New Orleans, Louisiana, and revolutionised the jazz music industry with his unique style and voice. 

17. Louisiana Is Famous for Its Hot Sauce 

Louisiana is a spicy state, as it has introduced two iconic sauces to American cuisine – Louisiana Hot Sauce and Tabasco Sauce.

The invention of the Tabasco Sauce by Edmund McIlhenny in 1868 on Avery Island in Louisiana gave rise to the Hot Sauce too. 

The Tabasco Sauce consists of Tabasco peppers, vinegar, and salt, which gives a spicy and tangy flavour. The same sauce is used for making Louisiana Hot Sauce. 

18. Louisiana Has the Largest Alligator Population in the US 

People who are scared of alligators might not want to visit Louisiana! 

The state has the largest alligator population in the US due to its swampy regions and numerous lakes, canals, ponds, and many more. 

You can find more than three million alligators in Louisiana. Sadly, the numbers increased so much that the government had to call for the expanded hunting of alligators. 

19. Bananas Foster Was Invented in Louisiana

If you have a sweet tooth, these fun facts about Louisiana are for you. 

Bananas Foster is a delicious dessert made with bananas, sugar, butter, cinnamon, and rum. It was invented at the Brennan’s Restaurant in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1951 by Chef Paul Blangé.

20. Louisiana Had the First Indoor Movie Theatre in the US

The first indoor seated movie theatre in the US, Vitascope Hall, was opened on July 26, 1896, in New Orleans, Louisiana. Forget about the US, it was also the world’s first indoor seated movie theatre.

The movie theatre consisted of 400 seats, and one seat cost just about ten cents! 

21. Louisiana Is One of the Top Strawberry Producers in the US 

If you love strawberries, these fun facts about Louisiana are for you. 

Louisiana has always remained one of the top ten strawberry producers in the US. The strawberry industry of Louisiana is estimated to be around $8 million.

The main region producing Louisiana is Tangipahoa Parish, as it accounts for about 79% of the state’s total produce.  

22. Gambling Is Spread Across Louisiana

Gambling is often associated with Nevada. Yet, Louisiana isn’t far away from it. In 1803, Louisiana had more gambling places than Philadelphia, Boston, New York, and Baltimore combined.

Even today, the state has more than 130 casinos. In fact, the Louisiana legislature even legalised gambling in 1991. You can find many casinos on the riverboat cruises of the Mississippi River and big Louisiana cities. 

23. The Mississippi River Flows Through Louisiana

Here’s one of the geographical fun facts about Louisiana.

The second-largest river in the US, the Mississippi River, runs around 965 kilometres along Louisiana’s eastern border before meeting the Gulf of Mexico.

Apart from Louisiana, it also passes through nine other states – Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Minnesota, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Wisconsin, and Mississippi.

24. Louisiana Has the Tallest State Capitol Building in the US 

These are some interesting fun facts about Louisiana. 

The state is home to the tallest state capitol building, The Louisiana State Capitol, in the US. 

The Louisiana State Capitol, situated in Baton Rouge, has a height of 460 feet (to the tip) and consists of 34 floors. The building was constructed between 1930 and 1932. 

Despite being the tallest state capitol building, it is the seventh-tallest building in Louisiana. 

25. Many Civil War Battles Happened in Louisiana

Louisiana has a bloody history, as the state has seen 23 Civil War battles! It is because the Union wanted to acquire control over the regions surrounding the Mississippi River, which included Louisiana. 

Some of the major battles that took place in Louisiana were the Battle of Fort Jackson and St. Philip, the Battle of Baton Rouge, and the Siege of Port Hudson

The Battle of Fort Jackson and St. Philip also led to the fall of New Orleans, as the Union tried to capture those forts. 

26. New Orleans in Louisiana Has Unique Tombs

Generally, the tombs are placed inside the ground. However, as New Orleans is below sea level, the early settlers noticed that the cemeteries became flooded because of a high water table. 

Therefore, the residents of New Orleans started constructing above-ground tombs to protect the bodies from getting damaged due to floors. 

27. Brown Pelican Is Louisiana’s State Bird

Here’s one of the fun facts about Louisiana for bird lovers. 

Louisiana usually ranks in the top ten states in the US for the variety of bird species. Currently, the state has more than 400 bird species.

In 1966, Louisiana declared the brown pelican as its official state bird. The brown pelican is a native pelican species of the state. Hence, there are no other states with a similar state bird.

28. Magnolia Is Louisiana’s State Flower 

There are many beautiful flowers in Louisiana. Yet, the magnolia bloom was declared as the official state flower in 1900

You can see magnolia blooms pretty much everywhere in Louisiana. Additionally, the magnolia is also a symbol of strength, which showcases the spirit and the history of the people of Louisiana!

29. People First Arrived in Louisiana Around 5,500 Years Ago

Did you know that the Native American tribes settled in Louisiana more than 5,000 years ago?

Archaeological evidence suggests that permanent human habitation took place in the region during the Archaic period (around 3500 BC).

In 1541, Hernando de Soto, a Spanish explorer and conquistador, claimed the entire region for Spain. 

30. Many Africans Were Brought to Louisiana as Slaves 

This is one of the tragic and not-so-fun fun facts about Louisiana. 

Just one year after New Orleans was found, the French brought many slave ships from Africa in 1719. Before 1730, 23 ships containing slaves were shipped to Louisiana. They were from the present-day countries of Congo, Mali, Benin, and Senegal. 

The settlers in Louisiana used slave labour for mainly agriculture and farming purposes. Unfortunately, there are many scary stories of slave torture in Louisiana too, such as the horrors of the LaLaurie Mansion

31. Four Native American Tribes Lived in Louisiana 

Louisiana recognizes four Native American tribes – the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana, the Jena Band of Choctaw Indians, the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana, and the Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana

According to a 2020 consensus, there are about 31,657 Native Americans and Alaskan Natives in Louisiana. More than 2% of the state’s population also considers itself multi-race under AIAN designation.

32. Louisiana Has a Diverse Wildlife 

The marshy regions of Louisiana, along with the low-lying plains and hills have given rise to a diverse fauna. If you love animals, these fun facts about Louisiana are for you.

There are over 70 mammal species (excluding marine mammals) living in Louisiana. These include Louisiana black bear, white-tailed deer, Virginia opossum, wild boar, bobcat, and many more. You’ll also find various species of bats such as the Eastern red bat and Evening bat.

33. Reptiles Are Kept 200 Yards Away From Mardi Gras in Louisiana 

Here are some weird fun facts about Louisiana.

There are rules in place during Mardi Gras, a carnival celebrated in Louisiana, that prohibit certain animals, especially reptiles, within 200 yards of the parade route. 

If you have a pet reptile, you should keep it away from the parade route two hours before and one hour after the parade. 

34. Madam C.J. Walker Is From Louisiana 

Most African-American women love and adore Madam C.J. Walker! She was an African-American entrepreneur and is considered the “first female self-made millionaire in America” in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Walker started a huge hair care and cosmetic brand, Madam C. J. Walker Manufacturing Company, for Black women. Apart from being a successful businesswoman, she was also a philanthropist and a social activist. 

She was born in December 1867, in Delta, Louisiana.

35. Louisiana Has More than 12,400 Kilometres of Coastline

As Louisiana is located near the coast, it has a splendid coastline of 12,426 kilometres along the Gulf of Mexico. Moreover, its coastline is the third-longest in the US.

36. Milk Is the State Drink of Louisiana

Milk was declared the official state drink of Louisiana in 1983. This is because the state has a booming dairy industry, especially in the southeast parishes of the state, such as Tangipahoa, Washington and St. Helena.

The other US states with milk as their official state beverage include Oklahoma, Oregon, and Arkansas. 

37. Counties Are Parishes in Louisiana

 Let’s get into one of the unique fun facts about Louisiana. 

Most US states have counties, a type of geographic and administrative division, within their boundaries. However, Louisiana has parishes instead of counties. The state is divided into 64 parishes, such as East Carroll Parish and Lafourche Parish. 

Louisiana’s divisions are called parishes instead of counties because “parish” is a unique term retained from its history as a predominantly Roman Catholic region under French and Spanish rule. 

38. Fats Domino Was Born in Louisiana 

Here are some rockin’ fun facts about Louisiana. 

Fats Domino, a famous rock-and-roll musician, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, on February 26, 1928. 

He was a legendary figure in rock and roll music, as he sang hits like “Ain’t That a Shame” and “Blueberry Hill.” 

39. New Orleans Is One of the Most Haunted Places

As someone who loves watching spooky movies and series, I was intrigued by New Orleans. After all, the city is shown in many paranormal shows like The Vampire Diaries and The Originals.

Due to the number of haunted pubs, occult shops, vampire communities, and cemeteries, New Orleans is the most haunted city in the US

It’s a paradise (or hell) for people who love everything supernatural, as you can go on ghost tours, explore haunted sites, and experience the spooky feels of the city. 

40. Louisiana Has a Very High Homicide Rate 

I won’t consider this one of the “fun” facts about Louisiana, but it’s still an important one. 

For 34 years, Louisiana had the highest per-capita murder rate in the whole US. In 2022, Louisiana had a murder rate of 16.1 per 100,000 people. 

In 2023, it became the second state with the highest number of murders (19.9 per 100,000 people) after Mississippi (20.5 per 100,000 people).

There are many reasons behind such a high homicide rate like poverty and disproportionate racial segregation.

41. The Catahoula Leopard Is the State Dog of Louisiana 

Here is one of the paw-fect fun facts about Louisiana!

In July 1979, Governor Edwin Edwards declared Catahoula Leopard as the state dog of Louisiana. The reason behind this is that this is the only dog breed that has originated from Louisiana. So, it has a historical significance. 

These spotted dogs are known for their intelligence and high energy levels. 

42. LSU Has Many Famous Graduates

After reading these fun facts about Louisiana, you might already know that the state is brimming with talented people. 

In fact, LSU (Louisiana State University) has many world-renowned graduates such as Shaquille O’Neal (basketball player), Hubert Humphrey (38th vice president of the US), and Joe Burrow (NFL player).

43. Louisiana Hosts Culturally Rich Festivals 

Louisiana is truly a state of culture with its elaborate history and folklore. Hence, many culturally rich festivals are being held in Louisiana. 

For instance, the Festival International de Louisiane is a music festival that represents music from over 20 countries! The French Quarter Festival and Jazz Festival are two other music festivals with many entertainment options. 

If you’re a foodie, the Louisiana Catfish Festival offers a chance to taste the authentic crispy catfish. 

44. Louisiana Has the Museum of Death

These fun facts about Louisiana prove that the state is a pretty scary place. 

The Museum of Death located in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana, is famous for its spooky displays of coffins, body bags, skulls, morticians, and many more.

You can even get to see creepy photographs of crime scenes, serial killer artworks, and mortuary equipment! If you love watching true crime documentaries, this museum should be on top of your bucket list. 

45. Saint Louis Cemetery in Louisiana Gets Thousands of Visitors 

If you love reading about monuments, here are some fun facts about Louisiana for you. 

The Saint Louis Cemetery in New Orleans, Louisiana, is well-known for its historic and Victorian-era-style tombs. It is also the oldest cemetery in New Orleans and receives thousands of visitors each year. 

You can find the tombs of the local famous people of Louisiana such as Bernard de Marigny, Paul Morphy, and Marie Laveau

46. Louisiana Has Real-Life Vampires

Let’s sink our teeth into these weird fun facts about Louisiana.

Louisiana is infamous for its vampire folklore. However, did you know that the state also has a community of modern-day vampires in New Orleans? These real-life vampires are simply humans who drink human blood from donors!

There are certain “vampires” who have also turned their human teeth into fangs. Currently, the community has around 50 members. 

47. Louisiana Has a Cute State Flag!

Here is one of the adorable fun facts about Louisiana. 

Louisiana’s flag is a combination of regal and cute. It depicts a pelican feeding her babies with drops of blood, symbolising sacrifice and nurturing. 

The flag also has the state motto – “Union, Justice, and Confidence” written on a white band. The overall blue colour of the flag symbolises truth. 

48. Louisiana Is a Popular Cruise Destination

If you love cruises, Louisiana is the place to be! As the state is near the coasts, it is a popular cruise destination because of its connectivity to many coastal regions. 

New Orleans in Louisiana has many cruises travelling to Mexico, Panama Canal, Jamaica, Belize, the Western Caribbean, and many more.

Recently, I found out that New Orleans is also the sixth-largest cruise port in the whole US!

49. Hurricane Katrina Hit Louisiana in 2005

This is one of the not-so-fun fun facts about Louisiana. 

Hurricane Katrina is one of the worst hurricanes in the US. In August 2005, it started in Florida and moved to the Gulf of Mexico. On 29th August, it struck southeast Louisiana and was categorised as a Category 3 hurricane with wind speeds of 140 miles per hour.

Hurricane Katrina is also considered the worst hurricane in Louisiana, as it caused over 1,830 fatalities and huge destruction.

50. National World War II Museum Is Located in Louisiana 

If you have been intrigued by the world wars, these fun facts about Louisiana are for you. 

The National World War II Museum or The National D-Day Museum is located in Magazine Street in New Orleans, Louisiana. 

The museum stores over 250,000 artefacts from the World War II period. Out of these, many artefacts are displayed in the museum. However, many of them are stored for research purposes. 

51. Louisiana Has an Ancient City Named Poverty Point

Here is one of the surprising and historical fun facts about Louisiana. 

The UNESCO World Heritage Site, Poverty Point, is situated in northeastern Louisiana. This ancient city consists of monuments with complex mounds and concentric ridges. Archaeologists have found that the city is at least 2,000 years old

The Native Indians lived around this site between 1700 and 1100 B.C. The explorers even found another mound from the 700 A.D.

52. Jelly Roll Morton Is From Louisiana 

As you may have already seen above, Louisiana is the birth state of many famous personalities, including Jelly Roll Morton.

Jelly Roll Morton, an American jazz pianist and bandleader, is a huge figure in the world of jazz music. He has made several contributions to the music genre and is one of the reasons for its popularity too. 

Morton was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, on October 20, 1890. Therefore, it is no surprise that Louisiana is known for its beautiful jazz scenes!

53. Louisiana Created the First Mixed Cocktail

Here are some fun facts for cocktail lovers!

Although it is not yet confirmed where the first mixed cocktail was created, the people of New Orleans claim that it was them. 

Louisiana is often credited with creating the first mixed cocktail, known as the Sazerac. In the 1830s, Antoine Amédée Peychaud introduced the drink in New Orleans. 

Sazerac consists of rye whiskey, bitters, sugar, and anise-flavoured liquor, Herbsaint. Today, Louisiana considers Sazerac as its official cocktail. Hence, it is a must-try, if you ever get to visit the state!

54. Some Trees in Louisiana Are Centuries Old

Louisiana is known for its centuries-old trees. The state tree of Louisiana, the Bald Cypress, is famous for its long lifespan. Hence, it is estimated that these trees, which grow in the state’s swamps, are at least 500 to 1,000 years old

Due to its heritage and significance to Louisiana, the US Forest Service has recognized these trees as an ecological resource. Many measures are taken to spread awareness regarding these trees and conserve them.

55. The French Quarter Is the Oldest Neighbourhood in Louisiana

Here is one of the interesting fun facts about Louisiana. It is believed that the French Quarter in New Orleans is the oldest neighbourhood in the entire state, as it was founded in 1718

The neighbourhood is also called “Vieux Carré”, and houses many iconic historical buildings, jazz clubs, French markets, and many such attractions. Some of these include Café du Monde, Bourbon Street, and St. Louis Cathedral.  

Further Reading – Fun Facts About Louisiana

From being the birthplace of jazz to having a tragic past, Louisiana has been an important part of the US history and culture. So, I hope you learned and enjoyed reading these cool fun facts about Louisiana!

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