Monday, February 29, 2016

6 things about Louisiana I found fascinating

1. The state is prone to frequent thunderstorms, is vulnerable to hurricanes, and is often affected by tropical cyclones. The day we drove from Shreveport to New Orleans, major thunderstorms crossed the state, leading to tornadoes, swaths of destruction, and at least two deaths (and less importantly, bad photos through the car window).

2. Louisiana is ranked 25th for population, with approximately 4,670,724 people in 2015. It is the only state divided into political subdivisions called parishes (which are the equivalent of counties). There are 64 parishes in the state, many of which are split by the Mississipi River.

3. Before 1803, what is now Louisiana was a colony of Spain purchased by France. Africans were imported as slaves, many from the same region of West Africa.

4. The state is a relatively small portion of the Louisiana Purchase (named for Louis XIV, king of France). The area stretched from Mobile Bay to Canada.

5. The highest point in the state is Driskill Mountain (535 feet above sea level). The lowest point is New Orleans, which is 8 feet below sea level away from the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain. The state is 237 miles north to south and 236 miles east to west.

6. Louisiana was the first site of oil drilling over water. The world's longest bridge over water crosses Lake Pontchartrain as part of the two-bridge Causeway. The longer of the two is 23.83 miles long.