This is a really cool map! It shows how the US came to be bit by bit, territory by territory. The brown area is the original 13 colonies and the territories that originally belonged to England. The white area – the Louisiana Purchase.
Part 1 - Trivia Question #1 – How much did the Louisiana Purchase cost the United States?
$2 $5 $10 $15 million
Trivia Question #2 – Which country did we buy it from?
Spain Portugal France England
Answer #1 – It cost $15 million. Answer #2 – We bought it from France.
And the story? Remember Thomas Jefferson from the Declaration of Independence? He was now president, from 1801 – 1809. In April of 1802, he wrote the following prediction to Pierre Samuel du Pont – that France taking Louisiana from Spain “… is the embryo of a tornado which will burst on the countries on both shores of the Atlantic and involve in its effects their highest destinies.” Huh? What did he say?
In other words – it would cause huge problems for our new-born country to have France controlling the Mississippi and the port of New Orleans. President Jefferson took action. He sent James Monroe (another founding father and future president) off to Paris. Monroe was to negotiate the real estate deal of the century! Florida and New Orleans for a cool $10 million.
But lucky for us, Napoleon Bonaparte came to power in 1799. He was short on cash so he decided to abandon the French colonies in the New World to shore up the finances at home. Napoleon asked for a cool $15 million, and in one real estate transaction, Monroe and Jefferson doubled the size of the US west of the Mississippi, for an additional $5 million. Thanks to the dynamic duo, our new country now owned 827,000 square miles of land west of the Mississippi.
Like anything else, if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Those lands actually belonged to the Native Americans, and it has been estimated the true cost for the Louisiana Purchase is closer to $2.6 billion. But in the long run, it was a real bargain for our new-born country.
Sources of Information
1. Source: Monticello.org | Date Updated: July 22, 20192.
3. Louisiana Purchase - Wikipedia
Here’s another map – of the state of Louisiana. Can you find the Mississippi and follow it down to the Gulf of Mexico? That’s where you’ll find the city of New Orleans and the subject of my next question.
Part 2 - Trivia Question #3 – What instrument did Louis Armstrong play?
trombone trumpet saxophone percussion
Trivia Question #4 – What kind of music did Louis play?
jazz classical pop all of these
Answer #1 – Trumpet Answer #2 – All of these, and more!
So how did Louis get started playing the trumpet? He was born and raised in New Orleans in a neighborhood called ‘The Battlefield,’ and yes, it was a pretty rough place. But it was the sounds of New Orleans that brought Louis to music.
Louis met the Karnoffsky family when he started school at age 6. He did odd jobs for them. They took Louis in, fed and nurtured him. They treated him like family. The Karnoffsky’s had a junk wagon, and Louis played a tin horn to bring in customers. Morris advanced Louis the money to buy his 1st trumpet from a pawn shop. I didn’t know that Louis always wore a Star of David pendant because of the Karnoffskys, and the treatment they received as Jews.
Louis learned music – by playing it. He’s in this photo from 1918. He was playing in Fate Marable’s band onboard the S.S. Sidney, traveling up and down the Mississippi. Fate’s on the piano, and Louis is to his left. He was 17.
Louis played everything – blues, big band, Latin American folksongs, classical symphonies, opera, Broadway showtunes, and rock. You name it, and he could play it! When I think of Louis, I think of these two songs . . .
This is a shot of Louis on the set of Hello Dolly with Barbara Streisand. If you want to listen in, google Hello Dolly, and scroll down until you see my screenshot. Then – enjoy!
To find What a Wonderful World, google the title. Then scroll down until you see this screenshot. I think it’s incredible to see how far music took Louis – from ‘The Battlefield in New Orleans to Hollywood movie sets.
Sources of Information:
1. More Info: en.wikipedia.org
Sorry, no map – yet! It would give away one of the answers. But don’t worry – it’s right after them!
Part 3 – Trivia Question #5 – What is a muffuletta?
bread salad sandwich pizza
Trivia Question #6 – Where did it come from?
New York New Orleans Indianapolis San Francisco
Here’s the map, and its title gave away where muffulettas came from. It’s written in French because it shows the French Quarter, the tourist part of New Orleans. Scroll down to the bottom to read its story.
This is the Central Grocery of New Orleans. The building is older than the sandwich. To find it on the map, start with the Mississippi River. Go straight up, and you’ll see the Moonwalk. Keep going, and you’ll find the Café Du Monde. It’s a BIG tourist destination! (We’ll stop back later.)
Now go up to the first street. Look left to find its name. It’s Decatur, but turn the other way, and travel down the street until you see the French Market. That’s where you’ll find the Central Grocery. Sorry! It’s not marked on the map so I’m not sure which side of the street it’s on, but it’s definitely on Decatur!
Go inside, and you’ll find everything in the photo. Start on the top left . . . that’s a muffuletta! It’s open so you can see its ingredients.
Go clockwise, and you can pick up sandwiches for takeout. Continue around, and there’s a jar of olives, the kind in the sandwich. Last but not least – there’s a round muffuletta bun.
Salvatore Lupo invented the 1st muffuletta in 1906. The area around his grocery was the Italian Sector, and muffuletta was Sicilian bread. His customers wanted Italian food so they’d buy the bread, plus the fixings. It was hard to eat in pieces, so Salvatore put the deli meat, olives, and cheese together in a sandwich. Its name – The Muffuletta, and it’s still going strong a century later!
Looking for sweets? Go back to Café Du Monde, and pick up a Beignet. It’s pastry - think doughnuts without the hole, but with lots of powdered sugar on top. LOTS! They’re served hot, and they’re the perfect New Orleans treat.
Sources of Information:
1. Source: New Orleans Historical | Date Updated: April 2, 2021 Central Grocery - Wikipedia
5. Beignet - Wikipedia
1. Central grocery – By No machine-readable author provided. Jan Kronsell assumed (based on copyright claims). - CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=127539
2. Muffuletta – By Perlow, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3191684
3. Begnet – By Flickr photographer hamron / harmon - https://www.flickr.com/photos/mookies/2452009929/, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4142967
4. Café Du Monde – By Jeremykemp - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=14881345
Tomorrow – I have a great book for My Reads . . . about muffuletta!
When I write, I can only have one voice in my head, mine. A little noise is fine. But too much, or worse yet, WORDS, and I must change rooms or pull out headphones. Then I can write on!