1699 Pierre Le Moyne, Sieur d’Iberville, rediscovers and secures the mouth of the Mississippi—on Mardi Gras day.
1718 The first governor of Louisiana, Iberville’s brother, Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville, founds New Orleans.
1723 New Orleans replaces Biloxi as the capital of Louisiana.
1752 Ursuline Convent completed.
1762 Louis XV secretly cedes New Orleans and all of Louisiana west of the Mississippi to Spain.
1768 French residents in New Orleans banish Spanish commissioner Don Antonio de Ulloa, proclaiming independence from Spain.
1769 The Spanish return.
1783 Treaty of Paris confirms Spanish possession.
1788–94 Fires destroy much of the city; new brick buildings replace wood.
1794 Planter Etienne de Boré granulates sugar from cane for the first time, spawning a boom in the industry.
1795 Treaty of Madrid opens port to Americans; trade thrives.
1800 Louisiana again becomes a French possession.
1803 France officially takes possession of the territory. United States then purchases it and takes possession.
1805 New Orleans incorporates as a city; first elections are held.
1812 The New Orleans, the first steam vessel to travel the Mississippi, arrives from Pittsburgh. Louisiana admitted as a U.S. state.
1815 Battle of New Orleans.
1831 The first (horse-drawn) railway west of the Alleghenies is completed, linking New Orleans and Milneburg.
1832–33 Yellow fever and cholera epidemic kills 10,000 people in 2 years.
1837 First newspaper coverage of Mardi Gras parade.
1840 Antoine Alciatore, founder of Antoine’s restaurant, arrives from Marseille. New Orleans is the fourth-largest city in the United States and is second only to New York as a port.
1850 Booming commerce totals $200 million; cotton accounts for 45% of total trade. City becomes largest slave market in the country.
1852 New Orleans annexes Lafayette.
1853–55 Yellow fever epidemic during the summer; 12% of the population killed in 1853 in roughly 2 months.
1861–62 Louisiana secedes from the Union; city captured by Admiral Farragut.
1865–77 Reconstruction; “carpetbaggers” swarm into the city, and tensions climax in clashes between the Crescent White League and government forces.
1884–85 Cotton Centennial Exposition (World’s Fair) held at the present site of Audubon Park.
1890 Jelly Roll Morton born.
1890 Creole of color Homer Plessy gets arrested riding a train recently segregated by Jim Crow laws. He sues the state, culminating in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision Plessy v. Ferguson.
1892 First electric streetcar operates along St. Charles Avenue.
1897 Sidney Bechet born. Storyville established.
1901 Louis Armstrong born.
1911 Razzy Dazzy Spasm Band performs in New York; another band takes its name, adjusting it to Razzy Dazzy Jazzy Band—first use of “jazz.”
1917 Original Dixieland Jazz Band attains height of popularity.
1921 Inner-Harbor Navigational Canal built, connecting Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi.
1928 Colorful Huey P. Long elected governor of Louisiana; 4 years later he is elected to U.S. Senate.
1935 Long is shot dead.
1938 Tennessee Williams arrives in New Orleans. Huey P. Long Bridge built over Mississippi River.
1939 French Quarter Residents Association formed as an agent for preservation.
1956 Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, world’s longest bridge, completed.
1960 The city’s public schools integrated.
1973 Parades banned in the Vieux Carré, changing the character of the city’s observance of Mardi Gras.
1975 Superdome opens.
1976 Anne Rice publishes best-selling Interview with the Vampire, set in New Orleans.
1977 Ernest N. “Dutch” Morial becomes first African-American mayor.
1984 Louisiana World Expo draws disappointing crowds but spurs redevelopment of the riverside area.
1988 Anne Rice moves back to New Orleans, spawning a frenzy of fans flocking to her Garden District home.
1999 Harrah’s opens new casino.
2000 The National World War II Museum opens. Mardi Gras 2000 draws record crowds.
2005 City floods when levees fail following Hurricane Katrina.
2010 “Who Dat” frenzy: underdog Saints win NFL Super Bowl championship for first time in the team’s 43-year history. HBO’s Tremé TV series debuts. Worst offshore spill in U.S. history—
BP Deepwater Horizon despoils Gulf of Mexico.
2012 Census shows city has reached 75% of its pre-Katrina population.
2015 Bicentennial of Battle of New Orleans victory.
2018 City of New Orleans’ 300th anniversary. Four prominent monuments to Confederacy are removed.