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Louisiana Fast Facts
Here are some facts about the state of Louisiana!
Origin of Name:
Louisiana was named by Robert de LaSalle, early French Explorer, for Louis XIV, King of France. How did St. Tammany get its name?
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.
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.