The Louisiana State Capitol building, located in Baton Rouge, is the tallest capitol building in the United States. It stands at 450 feet tall and has 34 floors.
Lafayette Parish, located in southwestern Louisiana, has a rich and diverse history that dates back thousands of years. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes such as the Attakapas and Choctaw, who relied on the abundant natural resources of the region. European exploration and colonization began in the 18th century when French and Spanish settlers established settlements in the area.

In the late 18th century, the Acadians, or "Cajuns," displaced from their homeland in present-day Nova Scotia, Canada, arrived in the region. They brought with them a unique culture and language, which still strongly influences Lafayette Parish today. The Acadians settled in the prairies and bayous of the area, becoming farmers and fishermen.

During the antebellum period, Lafayette Parish experienced significant economic growth and development as cotton plantations flourished. The labor needs of these plantations were largely met by enslaved African Americans. The Civil War and Reconstruction after the war brought significant changes to the area, as Lafayette Parish was occupied by Union troops and experienced the challenges of rebuilding after the conflict.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the discovery of oil in the region sparked an economic boom, transforming Lafayette Parish into a center for the petrochemical industry. The oil and gas industry continues to play a significant role in the local economy today. Throughout the 20th century, Lafayette Parish has experienced demographic shifts and cultural exchanges, resulting in a vibrant mix of Cajun, Creole, and other cultural influences that make it a unique and culturally rich area.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Lafayette Parish, Louisiana.

  • 1823 - Lafayette Parish is established on March 27.
  • 1824 - The city of Lafayette is founded as Vermilionville.
  • 1836 - Vermilionville is renamed Lafayette in honor of General Lafayette.
  • 1884 - The University of Southwest Louisiana (now University of Louisiana at Lafayette) is founded.
  • 1910 - The Boustany Bridge, connecting Lafayette and Broussard, is completed.
  • 1942 - Camp F-1 (now Camp Hearne) is established as a prisoner-of-war camp during World War II.
  • 1955 - The Lafayette Municipal Auditorium is completed.
  • 1960 - Lafayette General Hospital opens its doors.
  • 1997 - Lafayette Regional Airport undergoes a major expansion.
  • 2005 - Hurricane Katrina causes significant damage to Lafayette Parish.
  • 2015 - Lafayette Parish celebrates its bicentennial.