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Historical Background

Survey of Historic Sites and Buildings

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Survey of Historic Sites and Buildings

National Historic Landmark JACKSON SQUARE

Location: Orleans Parish, Vieux Carré, New Orleans.

Ownership and Administration. City of New Orleans.

Significance. On December 20, 1803, in this square in the heart of the French capital of Louisiana, the U.S. flag was raised for the first time over the newly purchased Louisiana Territory—the greatest single accession of territory in the history of the Nation. Twice in 3 weeks during late 1803 the allegiance of the inhabitants of New Orleans was shifted, from Spain to France to the United States. At noon on November 30, when the square was known as the Place d'Armes, a crowd gathered to listen to the announcement from the balcony of the Cabildo that Louisiana had passed from Spanish into French possession. On December 20, they heard that their allegiance again had been changed; the flag of France was hauled down and replaced by the Stars and Stripes.

Present Appearance. Jackson Square, a public park, is still the hub of the French Quarter, as it has been throughout the years. It offers a fine view of the Cabildo, St. Louis Cathedral, and other historic buildings. In the center of the square, dominating the park, are the statue of Andrew Jackson and the flagpole marking the site of the symbolic transfer of sovereignty to the United States. [24]

NHL Designation: 10/09/60

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Last Updated: 22-Mar-2005