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49 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Shreveport

Become a Shreveport trivia master with this list.

Lindsay Hilton

Contributor

12 articles, 0 comments

1. New Orleans isn’t the only place that celebrates Mardi Gras. The libidinous holiday is feted full throttle in Shreveport as well.

2. Shreveport became the capital of Louisiana for a brief spell during the Civil War, after Baton Rouge and Opelousas were succeeded under Union control.

3. The neon words “HOT HOT HOT” conjure up only one thing in the hearts of those from the 318: Southern Maid Donuts. The warm, succulent circles of sugary goodness are glazed with love. And lagniappe? Elvis sang the jingle for these delicious donuts’ commercial in the 1950s. It was the only commercial he ever did.

49 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Shreveport

Source: Southern Maid Donuts via Facebook

4. Shreveport is home to some spooky ghosts. The Hanging Tree is supposedly one such haunted site, located near Cross Lake. When standing underneath the tree, the temperature is rumored to drop 20 degrees and you can hear the moans of children.

5. And speaking of creepy, the Oakland Cemetery is also rumored to be haunted by a restless spirit. Several former mayors of Shreveport and the infamous Madame Annie McCune are buried here.

6. No monkeying around, Shreveport is home to Chimp Haven, a sanctuary for chimpanzees who have been retired from biomedical research and the entertainment industry.

7. Shreveport has the highest property taxes in the state of Louisiana. This has caused many people moving to the area to establish residency outside city limits.

8. Kenny Wayne Shepherd revisited his roots by recording “Goin Home” in Shreveport-based Blade Studios.

9. Alligator sightings are a common occurrence at Caddo Lake, which actually contains a wetland.

10. And speaking of sightings, Caddo Lake is also the site of hundreds of alleged Big Foot sightings. This was the topic of a 2006 Travel Channel documentary titled “Bigfoot.”

49 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Shreveport

Source: Flickr user kay hartness

11. At the Sci-Port Discovery Center you can raise a 500-lb motor with a giant lever or make a polymer, all in the name of physical science.

12. From 1948 to 1960, Shreveport was home to the hit radio show “Louisiana Hayride,” which has been credited with launching the careers of Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, and Hank Williams over its 10 plus-year run.

13. Shreveport is blooming with a whopping 20,000 rose bushes at the American Rose Center, which has been the headquarters of the American Rose Society for 40 years.

14. In Shreveport funeral directors are prohibited from giving away matchbooks.

15. Fans of swoon-worthy Jared Leto take note—those baby blues were made right here in Shreveport.

49 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Shreveport

Source: Jared Leto via Facebook

16. Shreveport is actually a shorter drive to Dallas than it is to New Orleans.

17. Shreveport is home to Fort Humbug, a “slight-of-hand” military site created to fool Federal spies into believing the area was heavily armed. It was stocked with fake cannons made out of felled trees and it actually worked.

18. Hockey in the South? Yes it actually happened here in Shreveport. The Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs were a professional ice hockey team that competed until 2011.

19. The R. W. Norton Art Foundation is home to the extremely rare double elephant folio of John James Audubon’s The Birds of America.

49 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Shreveport

Source: Flickr user Biodiversity Heritage Library

20. The much-loved Mudbugs played for a spell in the Hirsch Memorial Coliseum, a 10,300-seat multi-purpose arena that now hosts wrestling matches and concerts.

21. Many of the exterior scenes in the hit HBO series “True Blood” were filmed on a plantation near Shreveport.

22. Need a guide to the stars? There is an official movie guide that is decked out with all the what’s what and who’s who on Shreveport-filmed movies and TV shows available online.

23. The Twin City Knockers isn’t as devious as it sounds. It’s actually the name of the all-female roller derby team representing the Shreveport-Bossier City region.

49 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Shreveport

Source: Twin City Knockers via Facebook

24. Herby-K’s is the place to get a fried shrimp po-boy. They actually flatten the fried shrimp out on the bread and it is oh so yummy.

25. Shreveport was first settled in 1803 and it was originally named “Shreve Town.” It wasn’t until 1839 that the town was incorporated as “Shreveport.”

26. The world’s first ever Shriner’s Hospital was founded in Shreveport in 1922.

27. Caddo Lake is the site of the infamous Swanson’s Landing boating accident that occurred in 1869. A steamer caught fire, killing 69 passengers.

28. Shreveport was listed by Fast Company as an ideal starting place to foster tech startups and it is home to CoHabitat Foundation, which helps lure would-be startups to the area.

29. The Red River that flows through Shreveport wasn’t always a shipping hub. For a spell the river was filled with so much silt it was considered un-navigable, until an initiative in the 1990’s helped to reestablish it as a major thoroughfare.

30. One of the largest art murals in the U.S. is located in Shreveport. The “Once In A Millennium Moon Mega Mural” covers 25,000 sq. ft. on the side of an AT&T building.

49 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Shreveport

Source: Flickr user elaine

31. Even though it’s situated in the “Dirty South” with a humid climate, Shreveport averages one snowy day a year.

32. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, several programmers working at Softdisk in Shreveport, developed technology that would lead to the creation of Wolfenstein 3D and Doom.

33. The Touchstone Wildlife & Art Museum is a mecca of all things taxidermy. It is home to more than 1,000 stuffed and mounted animals from around the world posed in their natural settings.

34. Shreveport enjoys a solid reputation in the sports industry. It is home to some sports superstars, including Terry Bradshaw, Todd Walker, and Tommy Maddox.

35. Great Raft Brewery is the first brewery to open in Shreveport since Prohibition. They offer free tours on Saturdays, complete with tastings.

49 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Shreveport

Source: Flickr user Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau

36. Shreveport is located in Caddo Parish, named so for the Caddo Indians who once inhabited that area.

37. O.J. Simpson’s defense attorney, the late Jonnie Cockran, was born in Shreveport.

38. Shreveport-based Moonbot Studios is responsible for publishing the popular “Guardians of Childhood” books which were later adapted into an animated feature film by DreamWorks Animation.

39. Every June vibrant wild sunflowers bloom along the Boom or Bust Byway, making it ideal for a scenic Sunday drive.

49 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Shreveport

Source: Flickr user Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau

40. Riverboat gambling was introduced to Shreveport in the mid 1990s, helping to spur economic growth and revival of the downtown and cultural areas.

41. The Outlets at Louisiana Boardwalk is the largest shopping, dining, and entertainment complex in the state.

42. Taqueria La Micoacana is the place to get amazing $2 tamales.

43. The best jukebox in town can be played at the Lucky Liquor, one of Shreveport’s best dive bars. Lucky Liquor’s other claim to fame is that it is shown in the opening credits of “True Blood.”

49 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Shreveport

Source: Flickr user Robert Powers

44. The Municipal Auditorium, home of the Louisiana Hayride, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is designated as a National Historic Landmark.

45. Cedric Glover, the first African-American to be elected mayor in Shreveport, took office in 2006.

46. The largest children’s festival in the state is held in Shreveport. Artbreak features art, theater events, food, and a 5K race.

47. Shreveport has been named “All American City” three times—in 1953, 1979, and 1999.

48. The Long-Allen Bridge, which also goes by “Neon Bridge” and “Texas Street Bridge,” is truly a work of art in its own right. Constructed in 1933, the cantilever bridge is adorned with bright neon lights and extends across the Red River.
49 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Shreveport

Source: Flickr user Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau

49. The Barksdale Global Power Museum has a large collection of vintage military aircraft. It is home of the 2nd Bomb Wing, the 8th Air Force, and the new Air Force Global Strike Command.

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

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posted on: June 19, 2014
23,252 views, 4 comments

4 Comments

  1. Ken Mann

    Freddie Spencer world motorcycle gran prix champion. Hal Sutton PGA champion. Barksdale air field was (and is) the worlds largest in area. (before there was a Bossier LA.)

  2. Jack Allen

    In the early 70’s Downtown Shreveport at the corner of Texas Ave. and Marshall St. was the #1 street corner in the U.S. you could stand at to see beautiful women…according to Playboy Magazine!!

  3. David Batt

    Movie making is not new to Shreveport. John Wayne and William Holden filmed the “Horse Soldiers” in the area in 1959 and the world premier was held at the Strand theater, after a parade and elaborate garden party all featured on the nationally televised Ed Sullivan Show.

  4. robert mcguire

    #35 Red River Brewing Co (redriverbeer.com) is the first brewery to open in the Shreveport area since prohibition receiving its licence on October 9th, 2013.

 

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