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New Orleans History

Enthralling, captivating and always a good time, that’s New Orleans through the ages

If New Orleans history was translated to the silver screen, it would be a blockbuster – a story dripping with drama, romance, piracy, intrigue, tragedy, and inspiration. 

Volleyed between the French and the Spanish from the late 17th century until the United States bought Louisiana for pennies an acre in 1803, New Orleans is forever shaped by its European heritage. The city’s broad timeline offers a portal into what we see, taste, hear and experience in 21st century New Orleans. 

  • Stories of slaves and free people of color, of the Irish and Italians who immigrated to New Orleans, of battles won and lost and sacrifices that secured America’s freedom on the world stage are...
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  • Tennessee Williams said, “America has only three cities: New York, San Francisco and New Orleans. All the rest are Cleveland.” New Orleans culture is unlike any other.
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  • Mardi Gras is so much more fun when you understand what it is you’re celebrating and what each tradition means to the generations of parade-goers who have stood on these parade routes before...
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  • The New Orleans soundtrack is the product of many: Africa, Sicily, Ireland, Germany, Mexico & Central America. Click here to learn about the history of music in New Orleans.
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  • No other city in America keeps its history as vital or as accessible as New Orleans. Entire neighborhoods, whole buildings, cemetery crypts, manhole covers, cobblestone streets and ancient oaks serve...
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  • A city in a class of its own, New Orleans offers endless opportunities for fun and entertainment, casting a global allure that brings more than 10 million visitors to the city a year. The particular...
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  • “Sylvain" was the city’s first opera performance, and New Orleans still has an Opera presence today. Click here to learn about the history of Opera.
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  • Step over a threshold to the past when you visit one of the many historic New Orleans homes open to the public. These architecturally significant houses are lovingly furnished so you can imagine what...
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  • New Orleans, a world class dining destination, is home to many legendary eating establishments.
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  • Discover the bars celebrated for centuries for their locale, rich histories, trademark drinks and master bartenders.
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  • New Orleans is a gumbo of historic influences, a spicy mash up of cultures that range from Native American and African to Cuban, French, Spanish, Sicilian and Irish and more. Much of that...
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  • For more than 300 years, immigrants from all over the world have been putting down roots in New Orleans, many disembarking here for their first steps in America. Some families can trace their ancestry...
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New Orleans History Videos