Place d'Armes (Jackson Square)
What today is known as Jackson Square, at the heart of New Orleans' French Quarter, was known in the 19th century as the Place d'Armes -- the traditional town square where important ceremonies and parades were held. During the New Orleans campaign of the War of 1812, American Major General Andrw Jackson made use of the square that would later bear his name.
Jackson held several musterings on the square, including a large review of troops on December 18, 1814. New Orleans residents crowded the streets and buildings to watch a grand procession of 6,000 troops entering the square to the sound of beating drums and citizens' applause. Jackson read a speech, translated in by Edward Livingston, Aide-de-Camp to Jackson himself.
The oratory focused on the need to work together to fight a common foe: "with movies of division that might have operated on some minds, you ahve forgotten the differences of language and prejudice of national pride, and united with a cordiality that does honor to your understanding as well as your patriotism."
The speech and Jackson's leadership were a success. The Americans won the Battle of New Orleans, and Jackson became a local hero.
The square was known as the Place d'Armes through the middle of the 19th century, until 1851 when the current statue of Andrew Jackson was erected, and the name changed -- to Jackson Square.