In 1900, the Magnolia flower became Louisiana's Official State Flower because of its beauty, fragrance and abundance throughout the state. Its large, creamy white bloom comes from the magnolia tree, an unusual evergreen with shiny petallike leaves.
Louisiana's State Bird, the Brown Pelican, nests from South Carolina to Brazil. It depends almost entirely on fish for its food, and relies on its famous large, pouched bill to capture fish for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The bird scoops up quantities of water into his pouch as he seizes prey from the salt water. Then, elevating his bill, the water dribbles out and the pouch contracts, allowing him to swallow his meal.
Louisiana didn't have an Official State Tree until 1963 when the Bald Cypress was chosen because it grows in so many areas of the state, particularly in swampy areas. Since 40 percent of Louisiana's land is alluvial or swamp land, the Bald Cypress is an ideal symbol for the State Tree.
The early settlers of Louisiana chose the pelican as its state symbol because of its devotion to its young. It was believed that when food was scarce, the mother bird would stab her breast with her beak to feed her blood to her offspring. This act of unselfish nurturing is what is shown on the state flag.
He was born on the 4th of July 1900. It was the dawn of a new century and the birth of a naturally gifted man whose musical creativity would "split the convention at the seams." As a young boy, Armstrong followed the music as he watched, listened and learned from the Jazz musicians on the streets of New Orleans. As a teen he played trumpet in marching bands and on Mississippi riverboats. But his real break came when he was 22 years old and his hero, King Oliver, sent for him to play trumpet in his band in Chicago. The musical convention at the time was a three-piece ensemble of clarinet-trumpet-trombone, where each instrument was subordinated to the ensemble. No one instrument had an opportunity to shine on its own. Armstrong's Hot Five and Hot Seven ensembles, allowed virtuoso soloists to take center stage and push the music beyond a mere blend. Armstrong's unique talent in bringing out a beautiful tone, range, and variation to his instrument made audiences go wild. Scat vocalists like Ella Fitzgerald and Al Jarreau owe a tip of the hat to Armstrong who created the genre of singing wordless syllables as though the voice itself was an instrument.