Ray Nagin, Mayor of New Orleans

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Hurricane Katrina

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Ray Nagin re-elected Mayor
All of New Orleans should be rebuilt, suggests new report
Mayor hopes everyone will return to New Orleans, except the drug dealers
New Orleans Mayor announces layoffs
US mayors pledge support for the re-building of New Orleans
Hurricane victims are moving out of shelters
Britain links Hurricane Katrina to US refusal to sign up to Kyoto
Relief workers find fewer dead than initially thought
New Orleans troops search for survivors and dead
New Orleans Mayor orders evacuation of city
Bureaucracy has murdered people
US Secretary warns of grisly scenes as water recedes
President Bush approves emergency aid after meeting Mayor Nagin
New Orleans Mayor tells federal authorities to get off their asses
Previous reports from New Orleans

All of New Orleans should be
rebuilt, proposes new report

New Orleans, 12 January 2006:
A commission charged with crafting a post-Hurricane Katrina rebuilding strategy for New Orleans has recommended that every part of the storm-wrecked city be given a chance to rebuild, including the Lower Ninth Ward, the predominantly African-American neighborhood that sustained the worst damage in the flooding that accompanied the 29 August hurricane.

The commission proposes the city create an entity that will buy out residents in those neighborhoods that do not fully recover. A non-profit research group issued a report late last year urging New Orleans not to rebuild in flood-prone areas. New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin will eventually decide whether or not to implement the panel's recommendations. (VOA News)

Mayor hopes everyone will return to
New Orleans, except the drug dealers

New Orleans, 28 November 2005:
More than two months after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans continues its struggle to recover. Mayor Ray Nagin says the metropolis near the mouth of the Mississippi River will likely have half its pre-Katrina population for the next year or so, but he and other civic leaders are hoping that the people who do return will help revitalize what was one of America's most historic and culturally dynamic cities.

That is also the hope of Tulane University professor and architecture expert Ann Masson, who thinks a small population of dedicated people could create a New Orleans renaissance.

"If this, in fact, happens, we will be a smaller city, but we will be more focused, we will be more concentrated,” she said. “We will make better use of our land and better use of our older structures and still maintain an interesting combination of cultures and people."

Mayor Nagin says he would like to see everyone return, except the drug dealers and violent gang members who made New Orleans one of the most dangerous cities in the United States before Katrina struck.

Ann Masson says a city with less crime would also attract more families and people willing to invest in restoration. "Now, on a given evening, you can walk out and feel much safer than you could pre-Katrina. These guys are gone and we hope they never come back," said the professor.

As the clean-up continues, urban planners are studying heavily flooded zones and deciding which houses should be rebuilt and which should be demolished and cleared away.

Meg Lousteau, Director of the Louisiana Landmarks Society, says the disaster has shown clearly which style of house is best suited for New Orleans. "The older houses that we have here were designed to breathe and work with the environment -- the hot, humid climate that we have -- these [newer] houses obviously do not do that; additionally, they were built with flat roofs, which is an absolute no-no when you have as much rain as we have here."

But not everyone can live in one of the better-built historic homes in New Orleans. There is also the question of where to build. A recent article in the New Orleans Times Picayune newspaper showed that, back in 1878, no one lived in the low areas that were flooded when Katrina made levees break.

Experts are still studying ways to fortify the levees and deciding whether rebuilding in some low-lying areas makes sense. Until these questions are addressed, many former residents will not return and much of the restoration of New Orleans will remain on hold. (Report by Greg Flakus, VOA)

New Orleans Mayor announces
layoffs of 3,000 city employees

New Orleans, 5 October 2005:
New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin announced that he would have to lay off half the city’s work force because Hurricane Katrina had financially ruined the city. He said that as many as 3,000 employees would have to be layed off. “I have been unable to find the money to keep the workers on the payroll,” the Mayor explained.

Ray Nagin added that he expected the layoffs to be permanent. "I wish I didn't have to do this. I wish we had the money, the resources to keep these people," Nagin said. "The problem we have is we have no revenue streams." He said only nonessential workers would be laid off and that no firefighters or police would be among those let go. The layoffs, which will take place over the next two weeks, will save the city about US$5 million to $8 million from the city's monthly payroll of $20 million.

The Mayor confirmed that he had talked to banks and other financial institutions but their responses did not allow him to put together the financing necessary to continue to maintain New Orleans City Hall's staffing at its current levels.

US mayors pledge support for
the re-building of New Orleans

Baton Rouge, 17 September 2005:
America’s mayors have pledged to help rebuild New Orleans and other communities devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Beverly O’Neill, Mayor of Long Beach (CA) and this year’s President of the US Conference of Mayors promised New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin that city leaders from across the US would bring their support and lobbying power to help the stricken towns and cities on the US Gulf Coast. “"The nation's mayors, from cities large and small, are committed to helping them recover and when I say help, I mean now," she said.

Mayor Nagin met Conference representatives in Baton Rouge to ask for a nationwide census of New Orleans residents so city leaders can determine how far their residents have relocated since Hurricane Katrina devastated the city. "Help us identify how we can get in touch with them," the Mayor asked. Ray Nagin will also attend the US Mayors’ annual autumn leadership where he will discuss long-term assistance with 45 of America’s most influential mayors. He is likely to receive a sympathetic hearing. Beverly O’Neill told Mayor Nagin that the nation's mayors would work together to make sure that New Orleans was rebuilt for its people.

Hurricane victims in Houston
start moving out of shelters

Houston, 14 September 2005:
The numbers of evacuees from New Orleans and other parts of Louisiana being housed in large shelters in Houston, Texas, are dwindling day-by-day. Officials say there are now 4,680 people living in three large centers in Houston, down from more than 27,000 a week ago.  Most evacuees are anxious to get out of the shelters and on with their lives.

The inside of the Reliant Center, which is usually used for conventions, livestock shows and commercial gatherings, is now full of cots and mattresses, lined row-on-row. Several hundred people from southern Louisiana now call this home.

Bridget Brown, a Red Cross volunteer from Canada, says it is all very well organized. "There are areas that are specifically for women and specifically for men, specifically for the elderly and then there are some general population areas and you can see that people have set up the cots to make little living rooms for themselves," Ms. Brown said.  "Over here, Child Protective Services has set up a little area for unaccompanied minors, but you are not going to see a lot of kids in that area because CPS is trying to get them into foster care."

But sleeping in a large auditorium, surrounded by hundreds of other people is not something most people want to do for a long time. So many evacuees have rented houses and apartments in Houston. Some have also gone to other cities where they have relatives or friends.

Ed Conley, local spokesman for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, (FEMA), says families from the stricken area in Louisiana face some hard decisions.

Although several thousand people have been able to leave the Houston shelters over the past several days, there are many, including elderly and disabled people, who may need to stay here longer. Mr. Conley says FEMA's main job is to help victims of the hurricane get back on their feet and get on with their lives. But he acknowledges that many of the people left in these shelters will be in need of emergency assistance for some months to come.

Houston officials say it is likely two of the three sites being used now as shelters will be closed this coming weekend (18 September). They say remaining flood victims will be consolidated in one shelter and provided with assistance for as long as it necessary. (Report by Greg Flakus, VOA)

British minister links Hurricane Katrina
to US refusal to sign the Kyoto Protocol

Berlin, 11 September 2005:
The British Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, provoked an embarrassing dispute between the UK government and the US administration of President Bush when he claimed that the Hurricane Katrina disaster was linked to US refusal to sign the Kyoto Protocol. Mr Prescott, a former environment minister now responsible for urban affairs in Tony Blair's Labour Government, was speaking at the International Congress of the Council for European Urbanism held in Berlin when he said: "The horrific flood of New Orleans brings home to us the concern of leaders of countries like the Maldives, whose nations are at risk of disappearing completely. I'm proud that Britain has already achieved its Kyoto target on greenhouse gas emissions - six years ahead of time, with a growing economy. There has been resistance by the United States Government to Kyoto - which I believe is wrong. On a recent visit to the United States, I was delighted to see that city mayors are taking their own environmental initiative on Kyoto."

The Prime Minister's office at 10 Downing Street declined to comment on the remarks but claimed it had cleared the speech beforehand. Despite the otherwise cordial relationship between the two governments, forged over foreign policy in recent years, tensions remain over climate change issues, particularly the US refusal to sign up to Kyoto.

The speech is likely to embarrass the UK government and draw frustration in the US. The Conservative Opposition Environment spokesman Oliver Letwin said: "It's all very well Mr Prescott criticising the failure of America to sign up to Kyoto, but people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. This Government has failed to make any progress at all on reducing carbon emissions in the UK. Indeed, we are going backwards. The irony is that Mr Prescott, who is sponsoring a huge programme of environmentally unfriendly house construction, is one of the main culprits."

New Orleans relief workers find
fewer dead than initially thought

New Orleans, 10 September 2005:
With most of New Orleans now emptied of its inhabitants, relief workers began focusing on the grim task of recovering the bodies of the dead. There is hope that initial estimates of the death toll may not prove to be accurate. City officials said troops, National Guard, and police began a house-by-house search Friday, 9 September, to find the remains of those killed by Hurricane Katrina.

Initial estimates from officials were that as many as 10,000 people may have died in New Orleans from the storm and flooding. But Colonel Terry Ebbert, the city's chief of emergency operations, says first recovery efforts have found fewer bodies than expected and give rise to hope that the death toll may not go that high. "There's some encouragement in what we've found in the initial sweeps that some of the catastrophic death that some people predicted may not in fact have occurred," he said.

Colonel Ebbert said the search would be conducted with dignity, and no media would be allowed to cover the recovery effort. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has already asked that there be no news photographs of bodies and it has barred reporters from accompanying rescue boats searching for storm victims.

Officials say most people have now been evacuated from New Orleans, and those who remain amid the filthy, now-toxic flood waters will be removed by force if needed.

Aid and assistance has been coming in from around the country and around the world to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina. NATO nations Friday approved the use of alliance ships and aircraft to rush European aid to U.S. regions hit by Hurricane Katrina.

President Bush noted that money came even from impoverished countries like Sri Lanka, which was itself devastated by last year's tsunami, and thanked contributing nations. "In all, more than a hundred countries have stepped forward with offers of assistance and additional pledges of support are coming in every day. To every nation and every province and every local community across the globe that is standing with the American people and those who hurt along the Gulf coast, our entire nation thanks you for your support," he said.

However, the U.S. government response to the disaster, led by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, has been criticized as tardy. The top management of FEMA, including director Michael Brown, has also come under fire for their relative lack of experience in disaster management.

On Friday, Mr. Brown was recalled to Washington from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, but he retains his post as head of FEMA. Vice-Admiral Thad Allen, chief of staff of the U.S. Coast Guard, was tapped to replace him as the direct day-to-day manager of Katrina relief operations.

In making the announcement, Director of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff expressed his satisfaction with Mr. Brown's work, and said Mr. Brown is needed back in Washington to oversee all of FEMA during the height of hurricane season. "I think Katrina will go down as the largest natural disaster in American history. Mike Brown has done everything he possibly could to coordinate the federal response to this unprecedented challenge. I appreciate his work, as does everyone here," he said.

Congress has already appropriated more than $62 billion in disaster aid. President Bush has not ruled out asking for more funds as the price tag for Katrina goes higher.

New Orleans troops and police
search for survivors and dead

New Orleans, 8 September 2005:
Slowly receding flood waters in New Orleans have begun to give up the dead from Hurricane Katrina. The death toll is relatively low now, but officials are bracing for a high body count as water is pumped out from the city's streets. Meanwhile, police and troops are trying to get the last holdouts to leave New Orleans. Troops and police patrolled the streets of New Orleans Thursday, looking for the living and the dead.

An estimated 5,000 to 10,000 residents are believed to remain in the flood-drenched city, refusing to leave despite deepening public health concerns about the now-toxic waters coursing through the city streets.

Speaking on NBC's Today Show, New Orleans Police Chief Edwin Compass said his force is concentrating on getting people out who want to get out. After that, he said, they will use force to get uncooperative residents to leave.

"My plan that I've put in place is to utilize our resources towards the voluntary evacuations," he said. "Once the voluntary evacuations are completed, then we will start the forced evacuations using the minimal amount of force for each individual case."

President Bush is asking Congress to allocate an additional $52 billion for Katrina relief on top of the $10.5 billion already earmarked for the effort.

The federal government's initial response to the disaster continues to spark criticism and political recrimination. Democratic Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts says the haunting images of Katrina's aftermath beamed across the world should give rise to critical self-examination.

"We have watched a national disaster turned into a national catastrophe by a botched and inadequate response, despite the bravery and sacrifice of relief workers, rescue workers, and hurricane survivors themselves," he said.

Mike Delaney, director of humanitarian response for the U.S. branch of the international aid group Oxfam, which is aiding hurricane relief, told VOA his group had mistakenly assumed the U.S. government had sufficient planning and resources to handle the emergency.

"Up until now, we have been completely focused on international emergency response," he said. "As a result of Katrina and the gaps we're seeing in this response, we felt compelled to get involved and redirect our resources, our human resources and our financial resources, to right here in the United States."

But Vice President Dick Cheney, who toured afflicted areas Thursday, praised governmental relief efforts, saying officials had done what he termed a "phenomenal job. I think the progress we're making is significant," he said. "I think the performance in general, at least in terms of the information that I've received from locals, is definitely very impressive."

Thursday marked the 105th anniversary of what up to now has been the most deadly hurricane to hit the United States. An estimated 6,000 people died when a hurricane struck the Gulf port town of Galveston, Texas without warning on September 8, 1900. No one knows what the final death toll will be from Katrina, but officials fear its death toll could surpass that of the Galveston storm. (Report by Gary Thomas, VOA)

New Orleans Mayor orders
forcible evacuation of city

New Orleans, 7 September 2005:
The mayor of New Orleans has ordered the forcible removal of all remaining civilians from his flood-ravaged city. Mayor Ray Nagin issued an emergency order late Tuesday (6 September), urging law enforcement officers and military personnel to use force, if necessary, to compel thousands of people who have refused to leave their homes to get out of the city.

He says there are severe health risks posed by fires and polluted waters.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta is urging people exposed to the floodwaters to be vaccinated for Hepatitis A.

Earlier Tuesday, Mr. Nagin said 60 per cent of the city remained underwater, compared to 80 percent at the height of the flooding.  Engineers started pumping out water Monday after repairing a massive break in a levee that allowed floodwaters to pour into the city.

Meanwhile, authorities are pulling bodies out of New Orleans and have set up a huge morgue.  Officials say thousands may have been killed, but so far the death toll stands at 71. Hurricane Katrina also destroyed vast areas in the nearby state of Mississippi.  The official death count there stands at about 150, but is expected to rise. (Report: VOA news)

“Bureaucracy has murdered people
and bureaucracy has to stand trial”

New Orleans, 6 September 2005:
"Bureaucracy has murdered people in the greater New Orleans area," said Aaron Broussard, president of Jefferson Parish just outside New Orleans when asked what effect Hurricane Katrina has had on his community. "And bureaucracy needs to stand trial before Congress today.  So I'm asking Congress, please investigate this now. Take whatever idiot they have at the top of whatever agency and give me a better idiot. Give me a caring idiot. Give me a sensitive idiot. Just don't give me the same idiot."

Meanwhile, Ray Nagin, Mayor of New Orleans, said workers had made significant progres toward draining floodwaters from the hurricane-ravaged city. Speaking at a news conference on 6 September, Mayor Nagin estimated that 60 per cent of the southern US city is underwater, down from 80 per cent a few days ago. The mayor vowed to rebuild New Orleans, but urged people holding out against evacuation to leave, citing the health risk posed by fires, the polluted water, and disease-bearing mosquitoes.

Rescue workers are continuing their efforts to get the remaining residents of New Orleans to leave their flooded city.  Meanwhile, President Bush and members of Congress have pledged to hold separate investigations into the governmental response to the tragedy.

Engineers began the slow process of pumping the filthy water from New Orleans Tuesday, even as officials urged remaining residents to leave their flooded city.

Water levels in some flooded areas were slowly receding as the breaks in the levees that were supposed to protect the city from flooding were closed. But, meeting with reporters, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin said mandatory evacuation remains in force because the city is not safe.

Authorities have set up a huge morgue north of the city for the decomposed bodies being found as floodwaters recede. Officials have said they believe Hurricane Katrina killed thousands of people in the city, though at last count the Louisiana state death toll stood at 71.

The US Army Corps of Engineers began pumping water out of New Orleans on Monday after repairing a key levee that broke during the storm and allowed the low-lying city to flood.

Officials say it may be three months before New Orleans is drained completely. Hurricane Katrina also destroyed vast areas in the nearby state of Mississippi. The official death count there stands at about 150, but is expected to rise. (Report by Gary Thomas, VOA)

US Secretary warns of grisly scenes
as receding waters reveal corpses

New Orleans, 5 September 2005:
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff is warning Americans to be prepared for what he calls an "ugly scene" in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The secretary's comments referred to the flooded city of New Orleans, where receding waters are revealing corpses of victims, which officials say could number in the thousands.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said there will be more grisly signs of Katrina's devastation in the days to come.

"I think we need to prepare the country for what's coming," Chertoff says. "What's going to happen when we de-water and remove the water from New Orleans is, we are going to uncover people who have died, maybe hiding in houses, got caught by the flood, people whose remains are going to be found in the streets. There is going to be pollution. It is going to be about as ugly a scene as you can imagine."

He spoke on "Fox News Sunday." His colleague, Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt, had no exact figures, but he told CNN he believes the death toll will at least be in the thousands.

"I don't have a number. No one has a number at this point," Mr. Leavitt says. "It's clear to me that this has been a sickeningly difficult and profoundly tragic circumstance. And our goal now has to be to mitigate it and to help those who have been affected in a way that will allow them to get their lives back and to prevent further tragedy."

Most of those who died were either killed by the storm or succumbed while waiting to be rescued. New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin Sunday said some people had actually committed suicide.

One of the luckier survivors was Bobby Lane. He and his family had tried to ride out the storm in a neighbor's attic.

"We looked out the ventilation of the attic, and we saw the water about a foot from the attic. Man, the women asked, what was going on? So, we had to lie to them and tell them something different. You know what I'm saying? We didn't want to get them upset. It was a horrible sight, I'll tell you that," Mr. Lane says.

This was the type of situation also described by Senator Mary Landrieu, a Democrat from Louisiana, who said she feared many more people drowned in their homes.

While touring some of the hardest-hit areas for the ABC television program "This Week," she emphasized the area's importance to the United States.

"We supply the seafood, we supply the oil, we supply their goods through our ports," she says. "We're proud of it, we are a proud people, and we're good people. But their infrastructure, our infrastructure, is devastated. Their lives are in shatters. The region is torn to pieces."

The last 300 evacuees left New Orleans Superdome Saturday night. The facility had housed some 20,000 hurricane survivors.

On Sunday, power companies planned to send trucks into the city to assess storm damage. National Guard troops would provide an escort.

The Bush administration has come under sharp criticism from New Orleans residents, among others, for not responding to the hurricane disaster more quickly.

Secretary Chertoff acknowledged that the federal government has learned lessons from its actions in the initial days following Hurricane Katrina. But he said the immediate emphasis is on recovery efforts.

"We're going to go back and look at the entirety of this experience, as unprecedented as it was, at the appropriate time," Chertoff says. "But as I've said earlier, we are in the middle of the experience. We are in the middle of the emergency. We've got a lot to do in the next hours, days, weeks and months. We're going to get focused forward because, if we don't, then we're going to start having problems in the future."

After nearly a week of chaos following last Monday's storm, Mr. Chertoff added that the federal government is now in control of New Orleans.

Top U.S. officials have gone to the region, including Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who called Hurricane Katrina a "natural disaster of historic proportions."

"The president has also pointed out, properly, that this is not something that is a one or two or five day arrangement, or weeks or months," Mr. Rumsfeld says. "It is something to cope with and deal with -- it will take many, many, many months and into years for this area to recover into the circumstance that it was in."

President Bush toured the region Friday, and is expected to return within days. On Sunday, he spoke from the headquarters of the American Red Cross.

"The world saw this tidal wave of disaster descend upon the Gulf Coast, and now they're going to see a tidal wave of compassion," Mr. Bush says.
He said this "tidal wave of compassion" included 5,000 Red Cross volunteers, who were working at shelters in 19 states that have accepted evacuees. (Report by Stephanie Ho, VOA)

President Bush approves emergency aid
after meeting New Orleans Mayor Nagin

New Orleans, 3 September 2005:
Five days after Hurricane Katrina devastated communities on the US Golf Coast, President Bush approved $10.5 billion of emergency spending to help those affected by the catastrophe. Mr. Bush signed the measure after touring storm damage in the states of Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. The President also met New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin who had earlier criticised state and federal officials for not having a clue about what is going on in the city.

President Bush says the more than $10 billion is just a small down payment on what will be needed to help rebuild from the storm. More than two million people are still without power in the worst hit areas, and Mr. Bush says recovery will require the nation's attention for a long time.

Responding to criticism from both Republicans and Democrats that the federal government has been slow to respond to the storm, which made land five days ago, President Bush conceded that results so far are not acceptable. "I am satisfied with the response," he said. "I am not satisfied with all the results."

President Bush singled out continuing insecurity in the city of New Orleans, where many gun shops were looted and some rescue workers have been shot at. During an aerial tour of the city, Mr. Bush saw several fires burning out of control.

"This is a huge task that we are dealing with, and our job as people in positions of responsibility is not to be satisfied until the job is done as good as it can possibly be done, and that is what I was referring to," said President Bush. "I'm certainly not denigrating the efforts of anybody. But the results can be better in New Orleans. And I intend to work with the folks to make it better."

The president is also facing criticism that the war in Iraq has made things worse because many local National Guard troops who would usually assist in such a large natural disaster are deployed overseas.

President Bush said there are enough National Guard members to meet the needs of those affected by Hurricane Katrina. He said the nation has more than enough resources to fight a war in Iraq and help Americans at home. (Report by Scott Stearns, VOA)

A furious New Orleans Mayor calls on
federal authorities to get off their asses

New Orleans, 2 September 2005:
In an interview with radio station WWL-AM, a furious New Orleans Mayor accused federal and Louisiana state authorities of playing politics while his city was drowning. When asked about his conversation with President Bush, Mayor Ray Nagin said: “I told him we had an incredible crisis here and that his flying over in Air Force One does not do it justice. And that I have been all around this city, and I am very frustrated because we are not able to marshal resources and we're outmanned in just about every respect.”

The Mayor continued: “You know the reason why the looters got out of control? Because we had most of our resources saving people, thousands of people that were stuck in attics, man, old ladies. ... You pull off the doggone ventilator vent and you look down there and they're standing in there in water up to their freaking necks. And they don't have a clue what's going on down here. They flew down here one time two days after the doggone event was over with TV cameras, AP reporters, all kind of goddamn -- excuse my French everybody in America, but I am pissed.”

The Mayor was asked by the WWL reporter whether he knew that the federal authorities could only step in with help unless requested by the proper people.

The Mayor replied: “Well, did the tsunami victims request? Did it go through a formal process to request? You know, did the Iraqi people request that we go in there? Did they ask us to go in there? What is more important? But we authorized $8 billion to go to Iraq. After 9/11, we gave the president unprecedented powers to take care of New York and other places.

Now, you mean to tell me that a place where most of your oil is coming through, a place that is so unique when you mention New Orleans anywhere around the world, everybody's eyes light up -- you mean to tell me that a place where you probably have thousands of people that have died and thousands more that are dying every day, that we can't figure out a way to authorize the resources that we need? Come on, man.

You know, I'm not one of those drug addicts. I am thinking very clearly.

And I don't know whose problem it is. I don't know whether it's the governor's problem. I don't know whether it's the president's problem, but somebody needs to get their ass on a plane and sit down, the two of them, and figure this out right now.”

More than 80 per cent of New Orleans was under water

Introducing New Orleans
New Orleans, Louisiana, is located on the Mississippi River about 110 miles upstream from the Gulf of Mexico on the southern shore of Lake Pontchartrain. The City was named Nouvelle Orleans (New Orleans) in honour of Philippe II, Duc d'Orleans, the regent of France under French King Louis XV.

1718 Jean Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville and John Law founded the City of New Orleans and named it. The French Quarter street plan was made by Adrien de Pauger.
1721 Population 470.
1722 New Orleans becomes the Capital of the Louisiana Colony.
1729 Indian massacre of the French at Natchez
1755 French Acadians began to arrive in New Orleans
1763 New Orleans becomes a Spanish colony by the signing of the Treaty of Paris
1767 New Orleans became Capital of Spanish Louisiana
1769 First Spanish Governor, Alexander O'Reilly takes control of Louisiana Colony, French rebellion resulted in execution of five French leaders
1788 In the French Quarter, over 850 structures are destroyed by fire including the cathedral.
1794 St. Louis Cathedral construction is completed. Another large fire destroys buildings in the French Quarter
1800 Louisiana secretly returned to France
1803 Louisiana Purchase, Napoleon I sells Louisana to the United States.
Population about 8,000
1812 Louisiana admitted to the Union as the 18th state.
1814-1815 General Andrew Jackson defeats the British ending the War of 1812.
1827 The first Mardi Gras celebration is held in New Orleans.
1835 The United States Mint is built in New Orleans.
1837 The first documented Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans.
1840 Port of New Orleans ranked fourth in World
1850 Population 116,375
1852 New Orleans third largest city in the United States
1853 Yellow Fever Epidemic (more than 8,000 died)
1857 First modern Mardi Gras parade sponsored by a Krewe
1861 Louisiana secedes from the Union
1862 New Orleans captured by Federal Troops under General David Farragut, placed under the command of Gen. Benjamin Butler
1865 Louisiana returns to the Union.
1900 Population 287,104
1910 The last coins are minted in New Orleans and the Mint is closed.
1911 Loyola University is established.
1916 Xavier College established.
1958 City Hall, 1300 Perdido Street opened
1967 The New Orleans Saints franchise awarded
1975 The Superdome is completed
1984 Louisiana World Exposition
2000 Population 484,674
2005 New Orleans devastated by Hurricane Katrina