Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Baton Rouge
City of Baton Rouge
From top clockwise: the Horace Wilkinson Bridge spanning across the Mississippi River, Tiger Stadium during an LSU football game, the Shaw Center for the Arts on Lafayette Street, an aerial view of Louisiana State University, the Huey P. Long Memorial in the State Capitol Gardens, the Varsity Theatre near LSU, and the Louisiana State Capitol in downtown Baton Rouge.
From top clockwise: the Horace Wilkinson Bridge spanning across the Mississippi River, Tiger Stadium during an LSU football game, the Shaw Center for the Arts on Lafayette Street, an aerial view of Louisiana State University, the Huey P. Long Memorial in the State Capitol Gardens, the Varsity Theatre near LSU, and the Louisiana State Capitol in downtown Baton Rouge.
Flag of Baton Rouge
Official seal of Baton Rouge
Red Stick, The Capital City, B.R.
Location of Baton Rouge in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana.
Location of Baton Rouge in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana.
Baton Rouge is located in Louisiana
Baton Rouge
Baton Rouge
Location in Louisiana
Baton Rouge is located in the US
Baton Rouge
Baton Rouge
Baton Rouge (the US)
Baton Rouge is located in North America
Baton Rouge
Baton Rouge
Baton Rouge (North America)
Coordinates: 30°26′51″N 91°10′43″W / 30°26′51″N 91°10′43″W / 30.44750; -91.17861

Baton Rouge (ʒ/ ROOZH; from French bâton rouge [bɑtɔ̃ ʁuʒ] (About this soundlisten), meaning 'red stick') is the capital of the U.S. state of Louisiana and its second-largest city. Located on the eastern bank of the Mississippi River, it is the parish seat of East Baton Rouge Parish.

As its capital city, Baton Rouge is the political hub of Louisiana.[6] It is the second-largest city in the state, with an estimated population of 227,715 in 2016.[7] The metropolitan area surrounding the city, known as Greater Baton Rouge, is also the second-largest in Louisiana, with a population of 830,480 people as of 2015.[8] The urban area has around 594,309 inhabitants.

Baton Rouge is a major industrial, petrochemical, medical, research, motion picture,[9] and growing technology[10] center of the American South. It is the location of Louisiana State University, the LSU System's flagship university and the largest institution of higher education in the state.[11] It is also the location of Southern University, the flagship institution of the Southern University System, the only historically black college system in the nation. The Port of Greater Baton Rouge is the 10th-largest in the United States in terms of tonnage shipped, and is the farthest upstream Mississippi River port capable of handling Panamax ships.[12][13]

The Baton Rouge area owes its historical importance to its strategic site upon the Istrouma Bluff, the first natural bluff upriver from the Mississippi River Delta. This allowed development of a business quarter safe from seasonal flooding. In addition, the city built a levee system stretching from the bluff southward to protect the riverfront and low-lying agricultural areas. The city is a culturally rich center, with settlement by immigrants from numerous European nations and African peoples brought to North America as slaves or indentured servants. It was ruled by seven different governments: French, British, and Spanish in the colonial era, West Floridian, United States territory and state, Confederate, and United States again.



Human habitation in the Baton Rouge area has been dated to 12000 – 6500 BC, based on evidence found along the Mississippi, Comite, and Amite Rivers.[14][15] Earthwork mounds were built by hunter-gatherer societies in the Middle Archaic period, from roughly the fourth millennium BC.[16] The Proto-Muskogean language divided into its descendant languages by about 1000 BC; a cultural boundary between either side of Mobile Bay and the Black Warrior River began to appear between about 1200 BC and 500 BC, a period called the Middle "Gulf Formational Stage". The Eastern Muskogean language began to diversify internally in the first half of the first millennium AD.[17]

The early Muskogean societies were the bearers of the Mississippian culture, which formed around AD 800 and extended in a vast network across the Mississippi and Ohio valleys, with numerous chiefdoms in the Southeast, as well. By the time the Spanish made their first forays inland from the shores of the Gulf of Mexico in the early 16th century, by some evidence many political centers of the Mississippians were already in decline, or abandoned. At the time, the region appeared to be occupied by a collection of moderately sized native chiefdoms interspersed with autonomous villages and tribal groups.[18] However, some evidence indicates these societies were thriving at the time of the first Spanish contact, and later Spanish expeditions encountered the aftermath of the diseases spread unknowingly by the first expedition.

Colonial period

Pierre Le Moyne, Sieur d'Iberville, named Baton Rouge and lakes Pontchartrain and Maurepas in the early French colonial era.

French explorer Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville led an exploration party up the Mississippi River in 1699. The explorers saw a red pole marking the boundary between the Houma and Bayogoula tribal hunting grounds. The French name le bâton rouge ("the red stick") is the translation of a native term rendered as Istrouma, possibly a corruption of the Choctaw iti humma ("red pole");[19] André-Joseph Pénicaut, a carpenter traveling with d'Iberville, published the first full-length account of the expedition in 1723. According to Pénicaut,

From there [Manchacq] we went five leagues higher and found very high banks called écorts in that region, and in savage called Istrouma which means red stick [bâton rouge], as at this place there is a post painted red that the savages have sunk there to mark the land line between the two nations, namely: the land of the Bayagoulas which they were leaving and the land of another nation—thirty leagues upstream from the baton rouge—named the Oumas.

See also Red Sticks for the ceremonial use of red sticks among the Muscogee.

The location of the red pole was presumably at Scott's Bluff, on what is now the campus of Southern University.[20] It was reportedly a 30-foot-high (9.1 m) painted pole adorned with fish bones.[21]

The settlement of Baton Rouge by Europeans began in 1721 when a military post was established by French colonists. Since European settlement, Baton Rouge has been governed by France, Britain, Spain, Louisiana, the Republic of West Florida, the Confederate States, and the United States. In 1755, when French-speaking settlers of Acadia in Canada's Maritime provinces were driven into exile by British forces, many took up residence in rural Louisiana. Popularly known as Cajuns, the descendants of the Acadians maintained a separate culture. During the first half of the 19th century, the city grew steadily as the result of steamboat trade and transportation.

Modern history

Baton Rouge was incorporated in 1817. In 1822, the Pentagon Barracks complex of buildings was completed. The site has been used by the Spanish, French, British, Confederate States Army, and United States Army and was part of the short-lived Republic of West Florida.[22] In 1951, ownership of the barracks was transferred to the State of Louisiana, and in 1976 it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.[23]

In 1846, the state legislature designated Baton Rouge as Louisiana's new capital to replace "sinful" New Orleans. The architect James Dakin was hired to design the capitol building in Baton Rouge, with construction beginning in late 1847.[20] Rather than mimic the United States Capitol, as many other states had done, he designed a capitol in Neo-Gothic, complete with turrets and crenellations, and stained glass, which overlooks the Mississippi. It has been described as the "most distinguished example of Gothic Revival" architecture in the state and has been designated as a National Historic Landmark.[24]

Map of Baton Rouge in 1863

By the outbreak of the Civil War, the population of Baton Rouge was nearly 5,500. The war nearly halted economic progress, except for businesses associated with supplying the Union Army occupation of the city beginning in the spring of 1862. The Confederates at first consolidated their forces elsewhere, during which time the state government was moved to Opelousas and later Shreveport.[20] In the summer of 1862, about 2,600 Confederate troops under generals John C. Breckinridge (the former Vice President of the United States) and Daniel Ruggles tried in vain to recapture Baton Rouge.

After the war, New Orleans served as the seat of the Reconstruction Era state government. When the Bourbon Democrats regained power in 1882, they returned the state government to Baton Rouge, where it has since remained. In his 1893 guidebook, Karl Baedeker described Baton Rouge as "the Capital of Louisiana, a quaint old place with 10,378 inhabitants, on a bluff above the Mississippi".[25]

In the 1950s and 1960s, Baton Rouge experienced a boom in the petrochemical industry, which resulted in the city expanding beyond its original center. The changing market in the oil business has produced fluctuations in the industry, affecting employment in the city and area.

A building boom began in the city in the 1990s and continued into the 2000s, during which Baton Rouge was one of the fastest-growing cities in the South in terms of technology.[26] Metropolitan Baton Rouge was ranked as one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the U.S. (with a population under 1 million), with 602,894 in 2000 and 802,484 people as of the 2010 census.[27] After the extensive damage in New Orleans and along the coast from Hurricane Katrina (2005), this city accepted as many as 200,000 displaced residents.

The Baton Rouge Metropolitan area was affected by the 2016 Louisiana floods in August.

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Baton Rouge
አማርኛ: ባተን ሩዥ
asturianu: Baton Rouge
azərbaycanca: Baton Ruj (Luiziana)
Bân-lâm-gú: Baton Rouge
беларуская: Батан-Руж
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Батон-Руж
български: Батън Руж
brezhoneg: Baton Rouge
català: Baton Rouge
Cebuano: Baton Rouge
čeština: Baton Rouge
Deutsch: Baton Rouge
Diné bizaad: Łichííʼ Sitání
Ελληνικά: Μπατόν Ρουζ
emiliàn e rumagnòl: Baton Rouge
español: Baton Rouge
euskara: Baton Rouge
føroyskt: Baton Rouge
français: Baton Rouge
한국어: 배턴루지
հայերեն: Բաթոն Ռուժ
हिन्दी: बेटन रूज
Bahasa Indonesia: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Interlingue: Baton Rouge
italiano: Baton Rouge
עברית: באטון רוז'
Kreyòl ayisyen: Baton Rouge, Lwizyana
kurdî: Baton Rouge
Кыргызча: Батон-Руж
Latina: Rubribaculum
latviešu: Batonrūža
lietuvių: Baton Ružas
Ligure: Baton Rouge
magyar: Baton Rouge
македонски: Батон Руж
मराठी: बॅटन रूज
Bahasa Melayu: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Mirandés: Baton Rouge
Nederlands: Baton Rouge
norsk nynorsk: Baton Rouge
Novial: Baton Rouge
occitan: Baton Rouge
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Baton-ruj
पालि: बेटन रु
پنجابی: باٹن روگ
Piemontèis: Baton Rouge
polski: Baton Rouge
português: Baton Rouge
русский: Батон-Руж
संस्कृतम्: बेटन रूज
sicilianu: Baton Rouge
Simple English: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
slovenčina: Baton Rouge
ślůnski: Baton Rouge
Sranantongo: Baton Rouge
српски / srpski: Батон Руж
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
svenska: Baton Rouge
Tagalog: Baton Rouge
татарча/tatarça: Бәтен-Руж
Türkçe: Baton Rouge
українська: Батон-Руж
vèneto: Baton Rouge
Tiếng Việt: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Volapük: Baton Rouge
Yorùbá: Baton Rouge
粵語: 巴頓魯治
žemaitėška: Baton Ružos
中文: 巴吞鲁日