New Orleans is the largest city in Louisiana. Originally part of the French and Spanish territories in America, it retains a great deal of French heritage.
Perhaps best known as the city that gave birth to Jazz, New Orleans is also the location of the annual Mardi Gras on the eve of Lent. In August 2005 Hurricane Katrina broke its levee defense system and caused widespread devastation, but the city has been rebuilt since then.
Battle of New Orleans 1815
Hurricane Katrina passed east of New Orleans on August 29, 2005.According to the report from the American Society of Civil Engineers,
1,118 people were confirmed dead in Louisiana as a result of Hurricane Katrina. Another 135 people are still missing and presumed dead. Thousands of homes were destroyed. Direct damage to residential and non-residential property is estimated at $21 billion, damage to public infrastructure another $6.7 billion. Nearly half the region’s population has not yet returned after evacuating. Nearly 124 thousand jobs were lost, and the region’s economy was crippled.
New Orleans was voted America's Most Dangerous City in 2008 by the Congressional Quarterly Press.
“And then the West Africans were allowed to play their music in Congo Square. That happened nowhere else in the United States. That was the true key ingredient. The music and all the traditions and the sense of self-worth that comes with being able to have your own art form and customs and traditions, that was a part of the Afro American that lived in New Orleans.” Wynton Marsalis.