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Louisiana Local Business Directory

French influences have made Louisiana a uniquely diverse cultural experience for residents and guests to this southern state. English, Spanish and French are the most common languages spoken in Louisiana; Creole and Cajun are the most popular dialects of French throughout the state. Mound Builders were among the earliest inhabitants of this region of the U.S., and the oldest known mound complex is located within the state of Louisiana. When the first European explorers arrived, the Caddo tribe was the dominant force in much of Louisiana.

Louisiana was named by a French explorer called Robert Cavelier de La Salle who christened the area in honor of King Louis XIV. An integral part of the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, Louisiana's route down the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico was vital to U.S. trade interests. Sugar, cotton and the slave trade were the primary elements of the area's economy during the years before and immediately after its induction into the U.S. as a state.

Today, seafood and tourism constitute a major percentage of Louisiana's employment opportunities. In 2005, New Orleans was devastated by Hurricane Katrina; the tropical storm flooded much of the city and left more than 1,500 dead in Louisiana. Rebuilding efforts have continued since the catastrophic hurricane. Many areas of the city, unfortunately, remain blighted and have undermined the tourism industry in New Orleans to a significant degree. However, the annual Mardi Gras parade and festival continue to attract large numbers of tourists. In 2013, an estimated one million visitors enjoyed Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

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