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Facts About Louisiana

Updated on July 25, 2013

Louisiana: The Pelican State

Have fun learning fast facts about Louisiana, The Pelican State! There are many Eastern Brown Pelicans on the coast of Louisiana. They have been a symbol of Louisiana since the early European settlers noticed how carefully they raised their chicks. They are the only dark pelican, and the only ones that dive into the water to catch fish. The pelican is Louisiana's official state bird and is on the state flag, the great seal, the state quarter, and state painting. The Brown Pelican became endangered by 1970 due to use of pesticides. Thankfully, more were brought up from Florida and were able to repopulate the protected coastline by 1995. Now there are about 40,000 Brown Pelicans nesting there.

Louisiana became the 18th state on April 30th, 1812. It is the 31st largest state in America (51,843 square miles) and has the 22nd most people (4,533,372).

National Park Service Photo by Rodney Cammauf

Photo courtesy of Pierre Naquin at rayaldridge.com
Photo courtesy of Pierre Naquin at rayaldridge.com

Map of Louisiana - Borders: Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Gulf of Mexico

Louisiana is the only state that doesn't have counties. Instead, it is divided into parishes.

show route and directions
A markerMardi Gras! -
New Orleans, LA
get directions

B markerState Capital -
Baton Rouge, LA
get directions

C markerPoverty Point State Historic Site -
Epps, LA
get directions

D markerWatson Brake -
Logtown, Louisiana
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Louisiana Outline Maps

Louisiana Outline Maps
Louisiana Outline Maps

d-maps.com

is the most awesome collection of free maps on the net!

Choose to print borders, counties, cities, roads and/or water!

Louisiana State Flag
Louisiana State Flag

Louisiana State Flag

State Motto: Union, Justice, and Confidence

The Louisiana State Flag was designed in the 1800s but officially adopted in 1912. It pictures:

  • A white and gold Brown Pelican feeding its 3 young in a nest.
  • Three drops of blood, as it tears at its chest to feed them its own blood when food was hard to find.
  • A white banner below, with the state motto in blue letters.
  • A blue background.

It is now known, that while pelicans take good care of their chicks, they DO NOT tear at their own flesh to feed their young. One of the parents lowers its bill down near its chest, and the chicks take fish from the parent's pouch.

The pelican is an old symbol of protection. Here it represents the state protecting the people and their land. The pelican was used in some Christian paintings as a symbol of Christ's sacrificial death.

State Flag Coloring Page

Louisiana State Symbols

Click thumbnail to view full-size
State Flower: Southern Magnolia (Photo by Steve Baskauf, US Forest Service)State Bird: Brown Pelican (Photo by Alan Wilson at naturespicsonline.com)State Tree: Bald Cypress (Photo by Gary Stolz, US Fish & Wildlife)State Crustacean: Crawfish -  Louisiana is the crawfish capital of the world! They look like small lobsters. (Photo by Tboy1987, Wikipedia)State Musical Instrument: Diatonic "Cajun" Accordion (Photo by Michael Miceli, Wikipedia)State Cuisine: Gumbo -  Frequently made with shrimp, but sausage, chicken, or other meats are also used. (Photo by jons2 at PDPhoto.org)State Reptile: American Alligator -  Louisiana has the highest alligator population in the United States! (Photo by Jon Sullivan at PDPhoto.com)State Mammal: Louisiana Black Bear- Threatened species (Photo courtesy of USFWS)State Wildflower: Louisiana Iris - There are 5 native species but the Giant Blue Iris is the official wildflower. Irises grow in damp, marshy locations. (Photo by Rodney Barton, US Forest Service)State Dog: Catahoula Leopard Dog - The only breed of dog native to Louisiana. (Photo by Noles1984, Wikipedia)
State Flower: Southern Magnolia (Photo by Steve Baskauf, US Forest Service)
State Flower: Southern Magnolia (Photo by Steve Baskauf, US Forest Service)
State Bird: Brown Pelican (Photo by Alan Wilson at naturespicsonline.com)
State Bird: Brown Pelican (Photo by Alan Wilson at naturespicsonline.com)
State Tree: Bald Cypress (Photo by Gary Stolz, US Fish & Wildlife)
State Tree: Bald Cypress (Photo by Gary Stolz, US Fish & Wildlife)
State Crustacean: Crawfish -  Louisiana is the crawfish capital of the world! They look like small lobsters. (Photo by Tboy1987, Wikipedia)
State Crustacean: Crawfish - Louisiana is the crawfish capital of the world! They look like small lobsters. (Photo by Tboy1987, Wikipedia)
State Musical Instrument: Diatonic "Cajun" Accordion (Photo by Michael Miceli, Wikipedia)
State Musical Instrument: Diatonic "Cajun" Accordion (Photo by Michael Miceli, Wikipedia)
State Cuisine: Gumbo -  Frequently made with shrimp, but sausage, chicken, or other meats are also used. (Photo by jons2 at PDPhoto.org)
State Cuisine: Gumbo - Frequently made with shrimp, but sausage, chicken, or other meats are also used. (Photo by jons2 at PDPhoto.org)
State Reptile: American Alligator -  Louisiana has the highest alligator population in the United States! (Photo by Jon Sullivan at PDPhoto.com)
State Reptile: American Alligator - Louisiana has the highest alligator population in the United States! (Photo by Jon Sullivan at PDPhoto.com)
State Mammal: Louisiana Black Bear- Threatened species (Photo courtesy of USFWS)
State Mammal: Louisiana Black Bear- Threatened species (Photo courtesy of USFWS)
State Wildflower: Louisiana Iris - There are 5 native species but the Giant Blue Iris is the official wildflower. Irises grow in damp, marshy locations. (Photo by Rodney Barton, US Forest Service)
State Wildflower: Louisiana Iris - There are 5 native species but the Giant Blue Iris is the official wildflower. Irises grow in damp, marshy locations. (Photo by Rodney Barton, US Forest Service)
State Dog: Catahoula Leopard Dog - The only breed of dog native to Louisiana. (Photo by Noles1984, Wikipedia)
State Dog: Catahoula Leopard Dog - The only breed of dog native to Louisiana. (Photo by Noles1984, Wikipedia)
Louisiana State Quarter Coloring Page
Louisiana State Quarter Coloring Page

Louisiana State Quarter

A U.S. mint bicentennial quarter

Louisiana's state quarter pictures:

  • State bird, a brown pelican
  • Trumpet and music notes to represent New Orleans Jazz
  • Outline of the original Louisiana Purchase

Louisiana State Quarter Coloring Page

Start a State Quarter Collection!

Watson Brake
Watson Brake

Watson Brake

~3500 B.C.

Louisiana's first inhabitants were Native Americans. Watson Brake is an archaeological site in northern Louisiana, possibly built around 3500 BC. Eleven earth mounds overlooking the Ouachita River are thought to be the earliest complex construction in the Americas. They could even be older than the pyramids in Egypt!

Image Credit: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watson_Brake

Poverty Point, LA
Poverty Point, LA

Poverty point

2200 B.C.-700B.C.

Poverty Point is an archaeological site in northern Louisiana, possibly built about 2200 B.C. - 700 B.C. Watson Brake could be 1900 years older, but Poverty Point is larger (3/4 of a mile across). It has six concentric dirt mounds separated by ditches earthen mounds and ridges overlooking the Mississippi River. 500-1,000 people may have lived there. Poverty Point was built before the Mayan pyramids.

Poverty Point NPS Website

Image Credit: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poverty_Point

Louisiana Tribes Map
Louisiana Tribes Map

Louisiana Tribes

General locations of original Louisiana tribes when Spanish explorers arrived looking for gold and a waterway to the Pacific Ocean: Alvarez de Pineda (1519), Cabeza de Vaca (1528), Hernando DeSoto (1541).

Image Credit: www.native-languages.org/louisiana.htm

King Louis the XIV of France
King Louis the XIV of France

How did Louisiana get its name?

In 1682, French explorer Rene-Robert Cavelier Sieur de La Salle (1643-1687) was the first European to travel from the Great Lakes down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico. He named the state "La Louisianne" after King Louis XIV(14) of France. La Salle was hoping to find a western route to China.

Sculpture of Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville
Sculpture of Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville

Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville

Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville built Fort Maurepas in 1699 near the entrance of Biloxi Bay because of its depth and easy shipping access. In 1702, Fort Louis was built where Mobile is today. d'Iberville met with Choctaw and Chickasaw leaders to develop military alliances and trade partnerships to compete with the British. Louis Juchereau de St. Denis founded the first permanent settlement in Louisiana in 1714 with the construction of Fort St. Jean Baptiste near present day Natchitoches.

Sculpture in front of Parliament Building in Quebec, Canada.

Louisiana Purchase Map

Louisiana Purchase Map
Louisiana Purchase Map

The Louisiana Purchase doubled the size of the United States. Before the Purchase, Louisiana had been under control of the Spanish since 1763.

Image Credit: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louisiana_Purchase

Louisiana Purchase Treaty - U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

Louisiana Purchase Treaty
Louisiana Purchase Treaty

Click to enlarge

Free Louisiana Printables

Coloring pages, Maps, Quizzes, Worksheets

Louisiana for Our Kids!

Louisiana Natives Printables

Louisiana Secretary of State:

Symbols Coloring Book

"Hoisting American Colors" - by Thure de Thulstrup

Hoisting American Colors, Louisiana Cession, 1803
Hoisting American Colors, Louisiana Cession, 1803

In 1902, Swedish artist Thure de Thulstrup was hired to create a painting celebrating the Louisiana Purchase. The image shows the first raising of the United States flag after the transfer, at Place d' Armes, New Orleans, 1803 (now Jackson Square). For more information on this artist and painting visit the Cabildo State Museum.

France turned New Orleans over on December 20, 1803 at The Cabildo. On March 10, 1804, a formal ceremony was conducted in St. Louis to transfer ownership of the territory from France to the United States.

War of 1812 - 32 months of conflict between the United States and Britain, and their Indian allies.

War of 1812
War of 1812

Clockwise from top:

1. Damage to the US Capitol after the Burning of Washington.

2. Mortally wounded Isaac Brock spurs troops on at the Queenston Heights.

3. USS Constitution vs HMS Guerriere.

4. Death of Tecumseh at Moraviantown.

5. Andrew Jackson leads the defense of New Orleans.

The Battle of New Orleans 1814 - Performed by Johnny Horton, Written by Jimmy Driftwood

This fun song is very special to me. It was a favorite of my late brother and we would have a blast singing this together. Check out the British version! I also found a cute Lego version, if you just can't get enough!

What do YOU like best about Louisiana?

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      MarcellaCarlton 3 years ago

      History, I love it. I've never been that far south though.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @lovetolink: i also am glad they shared louisiana history

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      i'm doing it for a class project

    • lovetolink profile image
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      lovetolink 5 years ago

      @casquid: Thanks for sharing your Louisiana history!

    • casquid profile image

      casquid 5 years ago

      The food, by far! My Mother, Aunts and Uncle were all born there in New Orleans. I visited once. Shrimp Po Boys are my favorite!

    • goldenrulecomics profile image

      goldenrulecomics 5 years ago

      we honeymooned in Louisiana many years ago, staying in New Orleans and driving up to Lafayette. Would love to visit again!