A Depression Era Guide To New Orleans

1543 July. Luis Moscoso and the survivors of DeSoto's expedition, descending the river on their way to Mexico, are the first white men to view the site of the future city.

1682 March 31. La Salle and Tonti, on their trip from the Great Lakes to the Gulf, stop at an Indian village, at or near present-day New Orleans. April 9. La Salle erects a cross three leagues above the mouth of the Mississippi and names the territory Louisiana in honor of Louis XIV.

1699 March 6. Iberville and his scouting expedition stop at the present site of New Orleans, where a buffalo is killed, a cross erected, and some trees marked.

1718 Spring. Bienville, with the assistance of Pauger and de la Tour, lays out the streets and founds La Nouvelle Orleans.

1722 Under Governor Bienville, New Orleans becomes the capital of Louisiana.

1724 March. Bienville promulgates the Code Noir (Black Code) regulating slavery and religious worship.

1727 August 6. The Ursulines arrive and establish a convent school for girls.

1728 December. The first company of Filles a la Cassette (Casket Girls) arrive and are placed in the care of the Ursulines while being courted by the colonists, sadly in need of wives.

1729 December. Refugees bring news of the Indian massacre of Fort Rosalie (Natchez), and Governor Perier begins construction of first defense woiks (ditch and stockade) against a possible Indian attack.

1735 November 16. Jean Louis, a sailor, dies and leaves his savings to establish the first charity hospital in New Orleans.

1743 Under Governor Vaudreuil (1743-53) New Orleans becomes a gay social center.

1763 February 6. Louisiana is ceded to Spain by the Treaty of Paris.

July 9. The Jesuits are expelled from Louisiana by the French authorities and their property confiscated.

1768 October. Opposition to Spanish rule breaks into open rebellion and Governor Ulloa departs for Spain leaving the Colony without European government.

1769 August 1 8. General Alexander O Reilly arrives with an armed force and takes possession of the city. Six leaders of the rebellion are eventually executed and seven others imprisoned. The Superior Council is abolished, the Cabildo established, and various changes made in government.

1777 Under Governor Galvez Americans are allowed to establish bases in New Orleans and send aid to the revolutionary forces. After war is declared between Spain and England, Galvez, in a series of campaigns, drives the English out of the Gulf Coast country (1779-82).

1788 March 21. Fire destroys over 800 houses and necessitates the rebuilding of a great part of the city.

December 5. Padre Antonio de Sedella, later known as Pere Antoine is appointed Commissary of the Inquisition, and upon attempting to establish that tribunal (which had remained dormant since O Reilly authorized it in 1770), is sent back to Spain by Governor Miro.

1791 Louis Tabary and his company of refugee players from Santo Domingo stage the first professional theatrical performances held in New Orleans.

1794 The first regular newspaper, Le Moniteur de la Louisiane, begins publication.

December 8. A second fire, almost as destructive as that of 1788, destroys a great part of the city. Rebuilding begins under the direction of Spanish architects.

1795 Carondelet Canal, connecting the city with Bayou St. John, is opened. Autumn, fitienne de Bore succeeds in refining sugar in commercial quantities, thus giving impetus to the sugar industry.

1803 November 30. France takes formal possession of the Colony from Spain in the Place d Armes.

December 20. William C. C. Claiborne and General James Wilkinson take possession in the name of the United States.

1805 The College of Orleans, the first institution of higher learning in the city, is established, but not opened until 1811.

February 22. The city of New Orleans is incorporated and the first municipal officials are elected shortly afterward.

April 19. The New Orleans Library Society is incorporated.

June 16. The Protestants of the city form their first church organization.

1812 January 10. The Orleans, first steamboat to descend the Mississippi River, arrives from Pittsburgh.

April 30. Louisiana is admitted to the Union and New Orleans becomes the capital of the State.

1815 January 8. The American forces, under General Andrew Jackson, defeat the British in the final decisive action of the Battle of New Orleans.

1823 May 8. James H. Caldwell opens the first American Theater on Camp Street, introducing the use of illuminating gas.

1825 April 10. Lafayette arrives in New Orleans for a five-day visit.

1831 April. The Pontchartrain Railroad, first railroad west of the Alleghenies, offers freight and passenger service to Milneburg.

1835 April 2. The Medical College, which eventually develops into the University of Louisiana (1847) and Tulane University (1884), is established.

1836 March 8. A new charter divides the city into three municipalities, each with its own board of aldermen, under one mayor, and a general council composed of the three municipal councils.

1837 January 25. The Picayune, now the Times-Picayune, begins publication.

1838 Shrove Tuesday. First Mardi Gras parade held.

1846-47 The Picayune scoops the world on the Mexican War as George \V. Kendall, first modern war correspondent, sends his copy by pony express.

1850 October 26. The New Orleans public school system is greatly enlarged from funds left to the city for that purpose by John McDonogh.

1853 Eleven thousand inhabitants perish in the most severe yellow-fever epidemic in the history of New Orleans.

May 10. The City Hall, designed and built by James Gallier, Sr., is dedicated.

1859 December i. The French Opera House opens its doors with the production of Guillaume Tell.

1860 November 19. Adelina Patti sings at the French Opera House in Donizetti s Lucia di Lammermoor.

1861 January 26. Louisiana adopts the Ordinance of Secession.

1862 April 30. The city surrenders to Admiral David E. Farragut and his Federal forces.

May. General Benjamin F. Butler assumes command of the city.

1864 May. Constitution of Louisiana amended, abolishing slavery.

1866 July 30. A riot occurs at the Mechanics Institute in which a large number of Negroes and whites are killed and wounded.

1874 September 14. The White League forces defeat the Metropolitan Police in a pitched battle at the head of Canal Street.

1880 August. Captain James B. Eads completes the jetties at South Pass, thus deepening the channel at the mouth of the river and aiding shipping.

1884 Tulane University, endowed by Paul Tulane, takes over the buildings and equipment of the University of Louisiana.

Decembe v 16. The Cotton Exposition is opened in Audubon Park and is continued, in part, the following year as the American Exposition (November 10, 1885, to March 31, 1886).

1886 October n. Newcomb College is founded.

1891 March 14. Eleven Italian prisoners, alleged slayers of Chief of Police
Hennessey, are taken from the Parish Prison by a mob of citizens and

1892 September 7. James J. Corbett defeats John L. Sullivan in a twenty-one round knockout victory under the auspices of the Olympic Athletic

1902 September 27 October 10. A street-car strike is productive of serious disorders.

1905 Last of yellow-fever epidemics occurs.

1911 Loyola University evolving from Loyola Academy, is established by
the Jesuits.

1912 August 12. The commission form of city government is adopted.

1915 September 29. A severe tropical hurricane inflicts serious property damage throughout the city.

1934 January i. The first Sugar Bowl football game is played by the Tulane and Temple elevens.

1935 December 16. The Huey P. Long Bridge across the Mississippi is completed and dedicated.

A Depression Era Guide To New Orleans
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