Baton Rouge 1817-2017

Although there may not be much fan fare, the City of Baton Rouge will mark its 200th birthday this month. Gov. Jacques Villere signed the Act of Incorporation on Jan. 17, 1817. The city, which serves as Louisiana’s capital, has a population of 229,426 (2013), while an estimated 830,480 people live in the greater Baton Rouge area.

In addition to being the political capital of Louisiana, Baton Rouge is a petrochemical center, the site of the 2nd largest oil refinery in the U.S.

It is a university town, the home of LSU (31,527), Southern University (6,489), and Baton Rouge Community College (8,500).

The combined tonnage of the ports of Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and South Louisiana make it the largest port in the U.S.

Baton Rouge became part of the United States in 1810, as a result of the courage of the people of Spanish West Florida who fought against and overthrew Spain and established the independent Republic of West Florida. The area was later annexed to the United States by President James Madison.

Baton Rouge was the scene of three important battles in 1779 when Spain defeated Britain here, in 1810, and in 1862 during the Civil War.

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