Shreveport is the third largest city in the state of Louisiana. The metropolitian city had a population of 392,302 in 2000.  Shreveport is located in the north west corner of the state where Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas meet. The city is named after Capt. Henry Miller Shreve, a river boat captain credited with clearing a major logjam from the Red River in the 1830's, allowing trade to flourish in the region. Barksdale Air Force Base, headquarters of the 8th Air Force, is located across the Red River in Bossier City. The Boeing B-52 Stratofortress and the Fairchild-Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II are the primary aircraft at the base, which opened in 1933. Shreveport was also a major oil business center and Standard Oil of Louisiana was based in the city until it was absorbed into Standard Oil (Esso) of New Jersey. Shreveport is the home of Louisiana State University in Shreveport (LSUS), Centenary College, Southern University at Shreveport, and Louisiana Baptist University.
Shreveport weathered the Great Depression better than most towns. The city's civic improvement projects, begun in the 1920s and completed by 1930, helped to sustain the optimistic view that prosperous times awaited. Transportation and educational improvements, supported by federal dollars, continued even in hard times. The Chamber of Commerce waged a publicity campaign to boost retail sales and project optimism. The Chamber also established a farmer's market and lobbied for state road funds. Construction at Barksdale Field, at the time the largest airfield in the world, began in 1931. Barksdale provided jobs and injected cash into the local economy.
In the 1990's, Shreveport had a professional football team, the Shreveport Pirates, from the Canadian Football League. The Pirates, like all of the American CFL teams, had folded by 1996. Shreveport was a potential city to temporarily house the NFL's New Orleans Saints after Hurricane Katrina, but they instead played at San Antonio and at LSU Stadium in Baton Rouge. The Saints would play the Dallas Cowboys in Shrveport during the 2006 NFL preseason.