explorer Hernando de Soto visits Louisiana in his
explorations of the American southeast.
1684: René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle
names the region Louisiana in honor of France’s King
1699: The first permanent settlement in Louisiana, Fort
Maurepas, is founded by French-Candia explorer
Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville
1722: New Orleans, located near the mouth of the
Mississippi River, is named capital of New France.
1763: Most of Louisiana, other than New Orleans, becomes
a Spanish possession as a result of the defeat
of the French by the British in the French and
1763-1800: Acadians, French settlers expelled from Nova Scotia,
Canada by the British after the French and Indian
War, descend upon Louisiana and settle by the thousands.
These settlers would be called "Cajuns" by
1800: French ruler Napoleon I re-acquires Louisiana from
the Spanish in the Treaty of San Ildefonso.
1803: Napoleon I offers to sell New Orleans and the entire
Louisiana Territory (which included an area much
larger than present-day Louisiana) to the U.S.
Government for $15,000,000. The United States agrees
and America doubles in size.
1811: The largest slave uprising in American history
occurs near New Orleans. In what came to be known
as the German Coast Uprising, 95 slaves were executed.
1812: Louisiana is admitted as a state.
1840: New Orleans establishes itself as the center
of the American slave-trading industry.
1861: Louisiana secedes from the Union and joins
the Confederate States of America during the Civil
1862: Union forces capture New Orleans, the largest
city in the Confederacy. Subsequent ports near New
Orleans would also be taken by U.S. Naval forces.
1870: Louisiana is readmitted to the Union.
1897: The notable 19th-century Supreme Court decision
Plessy v. Ferguson, determined that segregation could
be legal so long as it did not result in inequality.
It originated in Louisiana.
2005: Hurricane Katrina devastates New Orleans,
breeching its levees and flooding the city. A major
humanitarian crisis ensues and thousands of people
lose their homes. At least 1,500 people are killed
as a result of the hurricane, and the city loses
nearly half of its population.