The AAOS is preparing to return to New Orleans for the 2010 Annual Meeting. New Orleans is ready to welcome the Academy for the seventh time (1976, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2003), but are you ready to “laissez les bon temps rouler”?
As you explore New Orleans, keep in mind the following fun facts about the Crescent City, so-called because it sits on a curve in the Mississippi River.
Established by the French in 1717, New Orleans is named in honor of Philippe II of France, the Duke of Orleans.
Originally built in 1718, the St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans is the oldest cathedral in the United States. The present structure, the third one on the site, dates from 1789.
New Orleans became the capital of the Louisiana Territory in 1723. The United States purchased the territory from France in 1803, paying approximately $15 million. The purchase doubled the size of the country, adding nearly 800,000 square miles of land.
The formal transfer of the Louisiana Purchase was made at the Cabildo building in New Orleans on December 20, 1803.
The term Uncle Sam was coined on the wharves of New Orleans before Louisiana was a U.S. territory. Goods labeled “U.S.” were from “Uncle Sam.” The wharves were also the birthplace of the game of “craps,” which was invented in New Orleans in 1813.
First, oldest, longest, largest—New Orleans holds claim to the following records:
- The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway is the longest over-water bridge in the world—a record 23.87 miles long.
- The first theater established in the United States was established in New Orleans, and the city was the first in North America to have a permanent opera company.
- New Orleans is the largest port on the Gulf of Mexico, the second largest in the United States, and the third largest in the world in volume of cargo handled.
- New Orleans is the No. 1 port in trade with Latin America.
- Antoine’s in New Orleans, established in 1840, is the state’s oldest continuously operating restaurant.
- The first Mardi Gras parade took place on Shrove Tuesday in 1838 in New Orleans.
- The Fair Grounds in New Orleans was the first race track to introduce a mechanical starting gate and the first to glass enclose and steam heat the grandstand, in 1924.
- New Orleans is the home of the oldest pharmacy in America. It’s located at 514 Chartres Street in the French Quarter.
Mark your calendars
The 2010 AAOS Annual Meeting kicks off on March 10, but plan to come earlier to participate in the playground build, attend the practice management symposium, or just enjoy the city. Keep reading AAOS Now for more information to heighten your enjoyment of New Orleans. You don’t want to miss the best in orthopaedic education at the 2010 AAOS Annual Meeting!