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City Timeline

  • 1718 New Orleans founded by Bienville
  • 1754–1763 French and Indian War – war between France and England over territory in the New World. In this war France lost Canada to England so:
  • 1762 Treaty of Fontainebleau – a secret treaty wherein France gave Louisiana to Spain (so England wouldn’t take it). Spain got the land west of the Mississippi River and the Isle of Orleans (New Orleans) because it sits on the western bank of the river. England got control of areas east of the river.
  • 1788 Great Fire – burned down over 800 buildings in the French Quarter, Including St. Louis Cathedral, Cabildo and Presbytère.
  • 1794 Second Great Fire – burned down 200 buildings in the French Quarter, led to adoption of Spanish Fire Codes.
  • 1791-1804 Haitian Revolution – an uprising in French colony of San Domingue that led to the independent nation of Haiti. Many refugees would arrive in New Orleans in the coming years.
  • 1801 Third Treaty of San Ildefonso ceded Louisiana back to France. Napoleon Bonaparte now had control of the colony.
  • 1803 Louisiana Purchase – Napoleon sold Louisiana Territory to the United States for $15 million.
  • 1809 10,000 Haitian Refugees arrived in New Orleans – these Francophone refugees arrived in the city, and largely settled in the neighborhoods known as Treme and Marigny. This group of people kept New Orleans culturally French longer than it would have been without their presence.
  • 1812 Statehood
  • 1836 City of New Orleans divided into three separate municipalities, due to tensions between the Americans and Creoles. The French Quarter and Treme was known as Municipality Number 1, the area now referred to as Central Business District to the Lower Garden District was Municipality Number 2, and the Marigny area became Municipality Number 3.
  • 1852 Three municipalities reunited. It was realized that the 3 municipality system was wasting resources. City government moved from Cabildo to Gallier Hall and the City of Lafayette was annexed into New Orleans as Garden District and Irish Channel.
  • 1861-1865 Civil War
  • 1862 Occupation by Union Forces
  • 1896 Plessy vs. Ferguson – a landmark civil rights case that made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court and established that segregation (“Separate but Equal”) would be legal for public facilities in the United States such as schools, train cars, restaurants, and even drinking fountains.
  • 1954 Brown vs. Board of Ed – this Supreme Court case overturned Plessy vs. Ferguson and declared that segregated schools were unconstitutional. Ruby Bridges was the first African American student admitted to William Frantz Elementary School, an otherwise all white school.
  • 2005 Hurricane Katrina
  • 2010 Saints win the Super Bowl!