Port of New Orleans

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New-Orleans-Hippolyte Sebron - Bateaux A Vapeur Géants 1853.jpg

History[edit | edit source]

  • 1718- Jean Baptist Le Moyne, “Bienville,” founded New Orleans along the Mississippi River. This trade-friendly location later became the capitol of the French colony of Louisiana and shaped the future of the United States.
  • 1762- France gives Louisiana to Spain.
  • 1795-98 Spain signed a three year treaty granting Americans the right to freely navigate the Mississippi River and the right to deposit goods in the Port of New Orleans. After the treaty expired, Spain refused to allow American vessels to enter the Port of New Orleans.
  • 1798- Americans in the Ohio Basin claimed they couldn’t survive without the use of the Mississippi River. President Thomas Jefferson suggests purchasing New Orleans from Spain, which had secretly given Louisiana back to France.
  • 1803- The U.S. buys the entire colony of Louisiana from France for $15 million. The Louisiana Purchase doubled the U.S. in size, all due to the need for the Port of New Orleans.
  • 1862- One year after the American Civil War began, Union forces captured New Orleans and closed the port to the Confederate Army, cutting off a main source of supplies and money.
  • 1863-1879- Under Reconstruction, harbor and river maintenance was neglected and siltation at the mouth of the river hindered trade. A jetty system designed by James Eads cleared the silt-blocked channel of the Mississippi River.
  • 1896- The Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans was created by the Louisiana Legislature to administer to public wharfs and regulate trade and traffic.
  • 1903-1940 - Eighteen new wharves were built, the Public Grain Elevator began operation, and the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal that linked the Mississippi with Lake Pontchartrain was completed.
  • 1968 - The Port opened a trade exhibition center called The Rivergate, which helped bring conventions to New Orleans and served as a precursor to the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.
  • 1973 - the Port dedicated its first terminal designed specifically for handling containers, France Road Terminal, Berth #1.
  • 1984 - The 1984 World’s Fair was held in New Orleans. The Fair was located along the riverfront and led to the development of the Riverwalk Marketplace and the Port’s modern cruise facilities.
  • 1990- The Aquarium of the Americas and Woldenberg Park were opened on the former site of Bienville Street Wharf and other French Quarter area wharves.


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