New Orleans, Louisiana, was established as part of the French Empire in 1718.
Its location on the east bank of the Mississippi River gave it control of the American hinterland and it became strategically important to many nations. It was transferred from France to Spain, returned to France, and finally sold by Napoleon to the United States in 1803. The city was the site of a famous battle fought in 1815 between the British, who hoped to control it, and the Americans under General Andrew Jackson.
The riverbed of the Mississippi is constantly silting and the river is now actually higher than the city. Levees hold back the river and giant pumps are used to move water from the city into the river.
Although New Orleans has been a part of the United States for almost two centuries, its population takes great pride in its French heritage. Louisiana still retains parts of the Code Napoleon which, for many years, was its only law.
New Orleans is carefree city and it boasts its hot, spicy Creole seafood and its native Dixieland Jazz. The Jackson Square neighborhood maintains its French colonial homes and in other sections are pre-Civil War mansions. Visitors are surprised to find that behind this interesting facade of yesteryear, is a busy industrial and port city. Grain and coal come from the Midwest and foreign cargoes are unloaded here. New Orleans is no longer a sleepy Southern town-but it's still fun to visit.