Directions: Individually or with a partner, your job will be to teach the class about a topic that focuses on the history and highlights of New Orleans. You will create a visual aide and prepare a brief lecture to help your peers learn more about the setting of the novel. You will also create a wiki page that will include relevant information and images about your topic. Be creative and have fun.

1. Location-New Orleans
Situated on a bend of the Mississippi River 100 miles from its mouth, New Orleans has been the chief city of Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico's busiest northern port since the early 1700s. Founded by the French, ruled for 40 years by the Spanish and bought by the United States in the 1803 Louisiana Purchase, New Orleans is known for its distinct Creole culture and vibrant history. Significant battles of the War of 1812 and the Civil War were fought over the city. In its last hundred years the key struggles of New Orleans have been social (poverty, racial strife) and natural (hurricanes, floods and slowly sinking land).
2. France and the Founding of New Orleans
The first known residents of the New Orleans area were the Native Americans of the Woodland and Mississippian cultures. The expeditions of De Soto (1542) and La Salle (1682) passed through the area, but there were few permanent white settlers before 1718, when the governor of French Louisiana, Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville, founded the city of Nouvelle-Orléans on the first crescent of high ground above the Mississippi's mouth. In 1722 he transferred Louisiana's capital from Biloxi. The same year a hurricane destroyed most of the new city, which was rebuilt in the grid pattern of today's French Quarter.
3. New Orleans in the 1800s
During the first half of the 19th century, New Orleans became the United States' wealthiest and third-largest city. Its port shipped the produce of much of the nation's interior to the Caribbean, South America and Europe. Thousands of slaves were sold in its markets, but its free black community thrived. Until 1830, the majority of its residents still spoke French. At the start of the Civil War, New Orleans was the largest city in the Confederacy, but it was only a year until Union troops, having captured its downriver defenses, took the city unopposed. During the Reconstruction era race became a potent political force, as emancipated slaves and free people of color were brought into the political process and, with the 1870s rise of the White League and the Ku Klux Klan, forced back out of it. Although the rise of railroads made shipping on the Mississippi less essential than it had been, New Orleans remained a powerful and influential port.
4. New Orleans in the 20th Century
By 1900, the city's streetcars were electrified, and New Orleans jazz was born in its clubs and dance halls. The city grew. New pump technology drove the ambitious draining of the low-lying swampland located between the city's riverside crescent and Lake Pontchartrain. New levees and drainage canals meant that many residents could live below sea level. Hurricanes in 1909, 1915, 1947 and 1965 damaged the city, but never catastrophically. After World War II, suburbanization and conflicts over school integration drew many white residents out of the city, leaving a core that was increasingly African-American and impoverished. Despite these social changes, the city grew as a tourist attraction, with hundreds of thousands of annual visitors drawn to its Mardi Gras festivities and to the culture that had inspired playwright Tennessee Williams, trumpeter Louis Armstrong and chef Jean Galatoire.
5. French Quarter
The French Quarter or Vieux Carre was the site of original city of New Orleans. It is now known for its role as the city's entertainment district and for many historical structures within its boundaries. Its boundaries are Canal Street, Rampart Street, Esplanade Avenue and the Mississippi River. Because of its rich history beginning with the origin of New Orleansto its place in jazz music history, the entire French Quarter has been declared a historic landmark. Of all New Orleans landmarks, this is the area that draws more tourists than any other and is one of the most popular landmarks in the country.
6. Bourbon Street
One of the most famous streets in the world, Bourbon Street is the nucleus for nightlife and unbridled entertainment in the French Quarter of New Orleans. With a variety of restaurants, nightclubs, music halls, gift shops, hotels, and other establishments, Bourbon Street draws thousands of visitors onto the narrow street that becomes pedestrian-only at night and during Mardi Gras season and other special events.
7. Superdome
Recognized worldwide as the granddaddy of all domed stadiums, the Superdome became an instant landmark when it opened in 1975. Despite the infamy it received as a place of refuge during Hurricane Katrina, the renovated home of the New Orleans Saints continues to be a popular landmark in the city of New Orleans.
8. Jackson Square
A city park that is the central gathering place in the French Quarter, Jackson Square began as Place d' Armes. Renamed in 1814 after Andrew Jackson following the Battle of New Orleans, the square has a statue of the famed general who later became president. A focal point of Jackson Square is the St. Louis Cathedral, which is flanked by the Cabildo, the old city hall and the Presbytere, which once housed Catholic priests. The Cabildo and the Presbytere are now both museums. Jackson Square sits just across Decatur Street from the Mississippi River although the levee blocks the view of the river. Yet, Jackson Square remains one of the most popular and most photographed landmarks in New Orleans.
9. St. Louis **Cathedral**
Situated across from Jackson Square, is the St. Louis Cathedral, a Roman Catholic Church that is a popular and much photographed landmark in New Orleans. It was constructed in 1789 but mostly rebuilt in 1850. Symbolic of the Catholic heritage in New Orleans, it is the oldest continuously operating cathedral in the USA. When famous landmarks in New Orleans are discussed, St. Louis Cathedral is always near the top of the list.
10. Café du Monde
Just up the street from Jackson Square is the Café du Monde, a New Orleans institution and famous landmark. It is known for its beignets, a square doughnut coated with powdered sugar and for its café au lait coffee. The coffee shop is open 24 hours a day and is popular among tourists. Located on Decatur Street near the French Market in the French Quarter, Café du Monde has been a New Orleans institution since 1862. It is still one of the most famous landmarks in New Orleans.
11. New Orleans **Streetcars**
While many cities made the transition from street cars to buses almost 50 years ago, New Orleans continued to operate several of its street car lines. Today, the streetcar is a famous site in the city and popular among tourists. The streetcar line along St. Charles Avenue, which has historic landmark status, is often filled with regular commuters and tourists riding the streetcars from downtown to the Garden District. Two other lines, Canal Street and Riverfront, also operate in the downtown area.
12. Canal Street
Once considered as one of the widest streets in the United States, Canal Street runs through downtown New Orleans separating the French Quarter from the other portions of the central business district. The street is a popular route for the city's Mardi Gras parades. With multiple lanes in the middle for streetcars and buses, it was once the main shopping corridor in New Orleans. Today, the street still is a popular with pedestrians patronizing the businesses, hotels, and casinos flanking the venerable street.
13. Garden District and Uptown
Known for the stately mansions and historic homes within the district, the Garden District and Uptown neighborhoods in New Orleans represents the wealth and importance of the original residents of the district. Consisting of neighborhoods mainly along St. Charles Avenue, these neighborhoods contain a large collection of southern mansions that date back to the early 1800's. The campuses of Tulane and Loyola universities are found in the Garden District and Uptown sections of New Orleans. These areas are very popular landmark areas in the city.
14. Audubon Park and Zoo
This large city park located near the Garden District of New Orleans was originally a plantation. It served as a staging area for armies during the Civil War. Purchased to be used as a city park, it was designed by famous park designer John Charles Olmsted. Today the Audubon Park, which is accessed from St. Charles Avenue, houses the Audubon Zoo, a golf course, jogging trail, sports fields, and picnic areas. It is one of the most popular parks in the city and is frequented by locals and tourists alike.