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Fun Facts

How St. Tammany Parish Got Its Name
On December 22, 1810, St. Tammany Parish was created by proclamation. Governor Claiborne never explained why he named the new parish St. Tammany.

The name is generally thought to have come from Tamanend, a Delaware Indian Chief, who is reputed to have been a great friend to the white man in the early days of the colonization of the East Coast.

His name lived on in political society called the Sons of Tammany, which eventually gave its name to Tammany Hall in New York City.

The title of Saint was purely honorary, although Tamanend was renowned for his goodness.

Source: St. Tammany Parish, The American Colonial Period
By Frederick S. Ellis
Pelican Publishing, 1981

The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway is the longest bridge in the world.
The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway is the longest bridge in the world.

The World's Longest Bridge
The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway...the World's Longest Bridge.

The Causeway is the longest over water highway bridge in the world.
The northbound span extends 23.87 miles and the southbound 23.86 miles.

Components of the Causeway were precast and pre-stressed in steel forms at the Louisiana Bridge Company's prefabricated and assembling plant near Mandeville La. They were then assembled, loaded on barges and towed to construction points on the lake.

The first span was built in 1955 - 1956 and opened August 30, 1956. The bridge took 14 months to complete and cost $30,677,000.

The second span was built in 1967 - 1969 and opened May 10, 1969. This bridge took 20 months to complete and cost $29,887,174.

The twin spans are 80 feet apart and connected by seven crossovers which function as pullover bays for motoring emergencies.

Eight million vehicles traveled the Causeway in 1992.

Lake Pontchartrain is 610 square miles and was named for the Count de Pontchartrain, minister of the marine during the regime of France's "Sun King" for whom Louisiana was named. The bottom of the lake is thick with clam shells and its brackish water with shellfish, oysters and many species of skillet fish.

Lake Pontchartrain and its Causeway comprise one of America's most scenic attractions.

Louisiana Facts

Origin of Name:
Louisiana was named by Robert de LaSalle, early French Explorer, for Louis XIV, King of France.

Admitted to Union:
April 30, 1812

"Pelican State," because the Louisiana brown pelican is native to its shores.

50,820 Square Miles

4,219,973 (1990 actual figures); 4,477,836 (year 2000 projection)

Louisiana's Official Family:
Louisiana's government, like that of the United States, has three branches - legislative, executive and judicial. Louisiana's legislature is composed of a Senate with 39 members and a House of Representatives with 105 members; members of both houses are elected to four-year terms. The legislature meets in regular session in odd-numbered years, on the last Monday in March for not more than 60 legislative days. In even-numbered years, the legislature convenes fiscal sessions on the last Monday in April for 30 legislative days of 45 calendar days. The legislature may be convened at other times upon written petition of a majority of the elected members of each house.

Parliamentary procedure and committee organization resemble that used throughout the nation. Executive power is vested in the statewide elected officials: Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, Treasurer, Commissioner of Agriculture & Forestry, Commissioner of Insurance and Commissioner of Elections and Registration. All these officials are elected to four-year terms.

The present judicial system, originally established by the Louisiana Constitution of 1921, affords judicial power in a state supreme court, courts of appeal, district courts and other lesser tribunals as provided by law. The supreme court has general supervisory jurisdiction over all other courts. Courts of appeal have appellate jurisdiction over five circuits in the state. District courts have original jurisdiction over appeals from justices of the peace and certain minor courts. Judges in Louisiana are elected except when they are temporarily appointed to full vacancies.

State Capitol:
The new Louisiana State Capitol was completed on March, 1932 in a mere 14 months and stands on a 27-acre tract. As the tallest state capitol in the United States, the building is 450 feet high with 34 floors. Twenty-five hundred rail cars were needed to bring in the limestone for the exterior and the marble for the interior. The cost to complete the building was a modest $5 million.

The architects used symbolism throughout the design of the building. As the square tower rises, it cuts away to an octagon at the 22nd floor. Here, four allegorical winged figures guard the corners, representing Law, Science, Philosophy and Art.

In Louisiana, local government units, known elsewhere as counties, are called parishes. Originally they were church units set up by the Spanish provisional governor of Louisiana in 1669, in conjunction with 11 administrative districts. As Louisiana developed, it was found that the districts were too large and the smaller religious divisions were more suitable. As a consequence, when Louisiana became a state, the term "parish" was taken over with the name of the region to which it had applied under the Church. Today Louisiana has 64 parishes.

The weather is perfect for strolling along Mandeville's lakefront.
The weather is perfect for strolling along Mandeville's lakefront.

Climate Facts
Louisiana has a semi-tropical climate. Variations in daily temperature are determined by distances from the Gulf of Mexico and, to a lesser degree, by differences in elevation.

The average annual temperature for the state as a whole is 67.4. January is the coldest month (average 50.7), and July and August the warmest (average 82).

Snow is rare in southern Louisiana, but occasionally falls are recorded in the northern parts of the state. Average annual rainfall is 55.45 inches.

Geography Facts
One of the South Central states, Louisiana is bounded:

  • on the north by Arkansas and Mississippi

  • on the east by Mississippi and the Gulf of Mexico

  • on the south by the Gulf of Mexico

  • on the west by Texas

The Mississippi River flows along part of the eastern boundary, then enters the state and creates the rich Delta region, center of fertile agricultural lands. Coastal marshes, alluvial plains and rolling pine hills are a part of the varied topography.

Seafood, such as crawfish, is one of Louisiana's top industries.
Seafood, such as crawfish, is one of Louisiana's top industries.

Industry Facts
Louisiana's approximately 3,650 manufacturing units employ some 190,000 wage and salary workers whose annual earnings are $1.9 billion. The state annually produces nearly five billion dollars worth of products, including:

  • petroleum

  • chemicals

  • plastics

  • clothing

  • wood products

  • industrial alcohol

  • wallboard

  • cement

  • condiments

  • seafood

  • glass

  • medicine

  • and many others

Minerals Facts
Principal mineral products for the state of Louisiana are:

  • petroleum

  • natural gas

  • salt (largest salt mine located in Louisiana)

  • sulfur

  • carbon black

  • gravel

Louisiana ranks second in the nation in oil production!

Agriculture Facts
Louisiana is one of the nation's largest producers of:

  • cotton

  • sugarcane

  • rice

  • sweet potatoes

  • pecans

The state is also a major producer of soybeans and corn. The biggest land-based industry in the state is forestry, with an economic impact from paper-making and wood products greater than all other crops combined.

Poultry is the largest livestock industry, followed by dairy and beef cattle.
Louisiana is also the nation's largest producer of alligator hides and crawfish.

Learn More About Louisiana Agriculture
Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry
The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry is responsible for administering many of the programs and enforcing the regulations that impact every aspect of the state's agriculture and forestry. At the farm and forest level, these industries contribute $10 billion annually to the state's economy.

A Look at Louisiana Agriculture (.pdf)
Sponsored by the USDA Cooperative State Research, Education, Extension Service Agriculture in the Classroom Program, and Higher Education Programs and is managed through a cooperative agreement with Utah State University.

The Value of Louisiana's Agriculture
All across Louisiana, LSU Agricultural Center faculty accomplish the mission of "taking the university to the people" as Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service agents teach thousands of the state's citizens how to use the results of hundreds of Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station research projects. Its faculty members support today's multi-billion dollar agricultural industries and conduct research and educational programs designed to tap their unlimited growth potential.

You can read short stories about St. Tammany history and attractions on our blog, The Dish.

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