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33 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Baton Rouge

There’s so much more to know about Baton Rouge than architecture, LSU and haunted houses. Although those facts might just surprise you too.

Pierre Roustan

5 articles, 0 comments

1. Louisiana governor Huey P. Long had the H.P. Long Bridge in Baton Rouge built too low to the water on purpose, so ships would have to dock and unload in the city instead of passing through, making Baton Rouge a crucial port city. Sneaky.
Baton Rouge Facts

Source: Wikipedia user Christopherlin

2. The Senate of the State Capitol—as well as the entire historic building—harbors a lot of interesting stories. For instance: There’s a pencil stuck up in the ceiling of one of the rooms, from when a bomb apparently went off in 1970. Thankfully, no one was injured—except the ceiling.

3. Baton Rouge was the only site of a battle in the American Revolution that was waged outside the original 13 colonies.

4. Baton Rouge might love “American Idol” more than anyone else. Why? Probably because judge Randy Jackson grew up there.
Baton Rouge Facts

Source: Wikipedia user Gage

5. Baton Rouge’s Cottage Plantation has to be among the freakiest plantations ever— Civil War prisoner Angus Holt haunts the place every night.

6. Although it probably doesn’t hold a candle to Spanish Moon, the former morgue widely known as one of the most haunted sites not only in the state, but the entire country.

Source: Youtube user kswige1

7. Back in 1958, LSU athletes couldn’t drink Gatorade (since that was seven years before the drink was invented). Instead the team used what “Bengal Punch,” which is believed to be the first sports drink ever made.

8. Historic Catfish Town got its name because residents were able to catch catfish from their front porches during floods.
Baton Rouge Facts

Source: Flickr user Alexander Lavrov

9. There must be something in the Baton Rouge water that inspires athleticism, considering that nine current NFL players, five MLB players and five NBA players (including a couple players called Shaquille O’Neal and Pete Maravich) all started out here.

10. Football games at LSU can get so loud that in 1988, a home game’s final pass charged the crowd of 80K to cheer so loud that a seismograph in the LSU campus about 1K feet away from the actual stadium registered it as an earthquake.
Baton Rouge Facts

Source: LSU Facebook

11. And there has to be something about Baton Rouge that movie and TV show directors just seem to love too. “True Blood,” “Battleship,” “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” “Pitch Perfect,” “JFK,” “Battle: Los Angeles,” “Oblivion,” and “Ray” were all completely or partially filmed in the city.

12. Speaking of history – a lot of towns have historic buildings, but LSU itself is so historic that 57 of the principal buildings in the university are actually listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Baton Rouge Facts

Source: LSU Facebook

13. The LSU “Hey, Fighting Tigers” fight song was actually adapted from the Broadway show tune “Hey, Look Me Over.”

14. LSU contributed the most soldiers to World War II (after graduation) of any university – except for military academies.
Baton Rouge Facts

Source: LSU Facebook

15. Author Mark Twain adored Baton Rouge, but not the Old State Capitol, which he called a “whitewashed castle, with turrets and things.” He thought the building had no place in the city, as stated in his work “Life on the Mississippi.”

16. The state capitol building in Baton Rouge also happens to be the tallest in the entire nation, at 450 feet.
Baton Rouge Facts

Source: Wikipedia user Chrismiceli

17. One of Mary Todd Lincoln’s half-brothers was killed in the Battle of Baton Rouge during the Civil War.

18. Everyone talks about Rosa Parks refusing to get up from her seat on the bus, but Baton Rouge was actually the first city with a bus boycott against segregation. It lasted eight days in 1953, motivating the more famous Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955.

19. Baton Rouge is home to the only naval ship to still have its World War II appearance and wartime paint: the U.S.S. Kidd.
Baton Rouge Facts

Source: Wikipedia user Christopherlin

20. The battleship’s also a pretty ripe site for hauntings as well. Many have reported seeing dead sailors in World War II uniforms, probably the lost souls of those 38 men killed onboard.

21. Did you know that LSU is the only university in the nation to actually have a live tiger as the mascot? It’s Mike the Tiger.

22. Mike is actually kept in a special habitat in the back of the stadium. Before the home games, Mike’s placed in a cage near the visiting team’s locker room for intimidation purposes.
Baton Rouge Facts

Source: LSU Facebook

23. It’s actually a legend that for every roar Mike let out during a game, the team would score another touchdown.

24. Three LSU’s Presidents were actually military generals, spanning an entire century: General William Tecumseh Sherman, 1860 to 1861, Major General Campbell Hodges, 1941 to 1944, and Lt. General Troy Middleton, 1951 to 1961.

25. The LSU lakes were actually formed from swampland, but not naturally. In the 1930s they began as a public works project.
Baton Rouge Facts

Source: Flickr User Dylan Stark

26. It was estimated back in 2005 that approximately 200,000 displaced Hurricane Katrina evacuees from New Orleans were actually relocated to Baton Rouge.

27. The LSU Press is the only university press to not only win a Pulitzer for fiction, but also poetry.

28. LSU’s Forensic Anthropology and Computer Enhanced Services Laboratory director Mary Manheim has managed over 1,000 forensic cases, has been called by countless U.S. law enforcement agencies, and even Scotland Yard overseas.

29. In honor of Louisiana culture, LSU happens to be one of the only universities in the nation offering not only a minor in French, but a minor in French with emphasis on Cajun French.

30. Coach Les Miles had a nickname: “The Mad Hatter.” He earned that nickname due to the white hat he always wears.
Baton Rouge Facts

Source: Wikimedia user Justdog

31. He was so weird that he’d even taste grass at every visiting stadium. That all started when he was caught on tape chewing cud during a last-year home win over Alabama.

32. Baton Rouge actually is French for “red stick,” a name given after a bloody pole that held the heads of dead animals. It marked the boundary between two tribal hunting grounds back in the day. Seems legit.

33. The LSU football team is the only team to wear white football jerseys for both home and away games—the official rule is that home teams must dress in color while the visiting team dresses in white. The team has never been reprimanded, believe it or not.
Baton Rouge Facts

Source: LSU Facebook

What’s your favorite fun Baton Rouge fun fact? Tell us in the comments below!

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posted on: July 7, 2014
117,573 views, 10 comments

10 Comments

  1. K. W.M.

    This article is not only complete foolishness its also bias. Where is the fun yet interesting facts about Southern University?

  2. Troy Hayes

    Mark Twain didn’t like the OSC, the New cap building is the tallest, the name red stick info is correct. The first bus boycott info is true, only battle outside 13 colonies took place here. Pics of occupied BR exist.

  3. Debbie

    No building in Baton Rouge can be taller than the state capitol building.

  4. Sara

    I love this list. However, number 21 is incorrect. LSU is not the only University with a live tiger for a mascot. The University of Memphis has had a live tiger as it’s mascot since 1972. Unlike Mike, Tom does not live on campus.

  5. WF

    Good list. However, number 3 is incorrect. The battle refers to Galvez’s seige at Baton Rouge. Before the Battle of Baton Rouge (1779), Galvez fought at the Battle of Ft. Bute (south of Baton Rouge). Later, he would fight the Battle of Mobile (Alabama) and then Battle of Pensacola (Florida), all during the Revolution.

  6. Ash

    Southern University is a historically black college and university (HBCU) that is located on the Bluff of the Mississippi River.

  7. Adrien

    Learn what the word “actually” means. Reading this was painful.

  8. Mike

    I don’t think you could fit the “actually” in this list any more if you tried. The writer sounds 14 years old.

  9. Robert Gremllion

    It is only an unwritten rule. I verified this with “Ask the Advocate” last year. There are no limits.

  10. madison

    funny

 

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