Louisiana is nicknamed the “Pelican State.”
That’s also its state bird. Pelicans and a wide variety of other birds call Louisiana
home – they enjoy the marshy swamplands, with plenty of fish, frogs, and crayfish to catch
for their dinner. The beautiful bayous of Louisiana are also known for the Spanish moss
hanging from the trees, and the occasional lurking alligator. The slow pace of the Louisiana
waterways is a contrast to the drama and pageantry to be found in the yearly Mardi Gras celebration
in New Orleans. New Orleans is also recognized as the birthplace of jazz, that distinctly
American form of music. Jazz great Louis Armstrong was born in New Orleans. Tourists flock to
the area to hear the ever-evolving jazz music and to eat Cajun and Creole specialties you
just can’t find anywhere else. Louisiana was named after the French King
Louis XIV. In 1803, the US bought the Louisiana Territory from France for 15 million dollars.
This bargain included not only much of the territory that would become the state of Louisiana,
but also included Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma, as well as parts of
8 other states and even a little bit of Canada. The French roots are still apparent everywhere
in Louisiana,from the French names for towns to the French dialects like Cajun and Creole
spoken by many residents. Louisiana became the 18th state of the Union on April 30th, 1812.