Shreveport, Louisiana

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Shreveport, Louisiana
Skyline of Shreveport, Louisiana
Official flag of Shreveport, Louisiana
Official seal of Shreveport, Louisiana
Nickname: ""Port City", "Ratchet City"(a reference to the city's wildly popular hip-hop dance), River City"
Motto: City of Shreveport 1836
Location in the state of Louisiana.
Location in the state of Louisiana.
Coordinates: 32°28′5″N, 93°46′16″W
Parish Caddo
Mayor Cedric Glover (D)
City Council Chairperson: R.M. "Monty" Walford (D)

District A: Calvin B. Lester, Jr. (D)
District B: R. "Monty" Walford (D)
District C: Michael D. Long (R)
District D: Bryan K. Wooley (R)
District E: Ron Webb (R)
District F: Joe Shyne (D)

District G: Joyce Bowman (D)
 - City 305.1 km²  (117.8 sq mi)
 - Land 267.1 km²  (103.1 sq mi)
 - Water 37.9 km² (14.6 sq mi)
Elevation 57 m
Population (2004)
 - City 198,675
 - Density 749.2/km²
 - Metro 378,331
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)

Shreveport, Louisiana, is the third largest city and the third largest metropolitan area in the U.S. state of Louisiana and the 99th largest city in the United States.[1] It is the seat of Caddo Parish. Bossier City lies across the Red River in Bossier Parish and the Shreveport-Bossier City Metropolitan Area population exceeds 375,000. [2]

Shreveport is the commercial and cultural center of the Ark-La-Tex, the area where Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas meet. Some call it the "Gateway to East Texas;" others claim that Shreveport sits on the border between the South and the West. The city exercises a great pull over this region. A good example of this is that people in East Texas watch and donate money to the Louisiana Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) because no PBS station exists in northeast Texas. Many people in the community refer to the two cities of Shreveport and Bossier City, which are separated only by the Red River, as "Shreveport-Bossier".




Main article: History of Shreveport

[Early settlers

The town was founded in 1836 by the Shreve Town Company, a development corporation established to start a town at the meeting point of the Red River and the Texas Trail. The Red River was cleared and made newly navigable by Captain Henry Miller Shreve, who commanded the United States Army Corps of Engineers. A 180-mile (289 km) long natural logjam, the Great Raft, had previously obstructed passage to shipping. Shreve used his specially-modified riverboat the Heliopolis to remove the logjam. The company and the village of Shreve Town were named in Shreve's honor. [3]

Shreve Town was originally contained within the boundaries of a section of land sold to the company by the indigenous Caddo Indians in the year of 1835. In 1838, Caddo Parish was created from the large Natchitoches Parish (pronounced "NACK-a-dish") and Shreve Town became the parish seat. Shreveport remains the parish seat of Caddo Parish today. On March 20, 1839, the town was incorporated as "Shreveport". Originally, the town consisted of 64 city blocks, created by eight streets running west from the Red River and eight streets running south from Cross Bayou, one of its tributaries.

Shreveport soon became a center of steamboat commerce, mostly cotton and agricultural crops. Shreveport also had a slave market, though slave trading was not as widespread as in other parts of the state. Both slaves and freedmen worked on the river steamboats which plied the Red River, and as stevedores loading and unloading cargo. By 1860, Shreveport had a free population of 2,200 and 1,300 slaves within the city limits.

During the American Civil War, Shreveport was a Confederate stronghold and the headquarters of the Trans-Mississippi Department of the Confederate Army. Isolated from events in the east, the Civil War continued in the Trans-Mississippi theater for several months after Robert E. Lee's surrender in April 1865, and Shreveport briefly became the Confederate capital. Confederate President Jefferson Davis attempted to flee to Shreveport when he left Richmond.

The Red River, opened by Shreve in the 1830s, remained navigable until 1914 when disuse, owing to the rise of the railroad as the preferred means of transporting goods and people, allowed it to begin silting up. Not until the 1990s was navigation of the river again possible to Shreveport. Today the port of Shreveport-Bossier City is being developed once again as a shipping center.

Twentieth century

Downtown Shreveport at night.
Downtown Shreveport at night.
Downtown Shreveport at Daylight.
Downtown Shreveport at Daylight.

Shreveport was also home to the Louisiana Hayride, a radio broadcast from the city's Municipal Auditorium that, during its heyday from 1948 to 1960, spawned the careers of the some of the greatest names in American music. The Hayride boasted names such as Hank Williams, Sr., and Elvis Presley (who got his start at this venue).

The coming of riverboat gambling in the mid 1990s spurred a revitalization of the downtown and riverfront areas. Many downtown streets were given a facelift through the "Streetscape" project, where brick sidewalks and crosswalks were built and various artistic statues, sculptures, and mosaics were added. Also, the Texas Street Bridge was lit up with controversial neon lights, originally accompanied by a green laser beam which was eventually abandoned.


Shreveport is located at 32°28′5″N, 93°46′16″W (32.468003, -93.771115)GR1. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 305.1 km² (117.8 mi²). 267.1 km² (103.1 mi²) of it is land and 37.9 km² (14.6 mi²) of it (12.44%) is water.


Shreveport's diverse landscape varies from the piney woods of the west to the lowlands and river beds to the east.


The climate of Shreveport is transitional between the subtropical/humid conditions prevalent in the deep south and the continental climates of the Great Plains and Middle West. Rainfall is abundant with the normal annual rain just over 51 inches, with monthly averages ranging less than 3 inches in August to more than 5 inches in May and June. The winter months are normally mild with an average of 39 days of freezing or below-freezing temperatures per year, though ice and sleet storms do occur. Summer months are very warm and humid, with maximum temperatures exceeding 95 degrees about 32 days per year, with high to very high relative average humidity sometimes exceeding the 90 percent level.

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 56 (13) 61 (16) 69 (20) 77 (25) 83 (28) 90 (32) 93 (33) 93 (33) 88 (31) 79 (26) 67 (19) 59 (15) 76 (24)
Average low °F (°C) 36 (2) 39 (3) 46 (7) 54 (12) 62 (16) 70 (21) 73 (22) 72 (22) 66 (18) 55 (12) 45 (7) 38 (3) 55 (12)
Average precipitation:
inches (cm)
4.1 (10) 4.0 (10) 3.7 (9) 4.6 (11) 5.1 (12) 4.1 (10) 3.6 (9) 2.5 (6) 3.1 (7) 3.7 (9) 4.1 (10) 4.2 (10) 46.9 (119)

Source: Weatherbase [4]


Shreveport has many different neighborhoods and districts, below is a list of the various areas of Greater Shreveport.

Texas Street Bridge over the Red River
Texas Street Bridge over the Red River


As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there were 200,145 people, 78,662 households, and 50,422 families residing in the city limits. The population density was 749.2/km² (1,940.5/mi²). There were 86,802 housing units at an average density of 324.9/km² (841.6/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 50.80% African American, 46.66% White, 0.79% Asian, 0.31% Native American, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.45% from other races, and 0.95% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.55% of the population. From 1990 to 2000, the city's white non-Hispanic population declined from 53.6% to 45.9%, a -7.7% decline. By 2004, among all groups, Shreveport lost 0.8% of its 2000 census population.

Shreveport-Bossier City MSA
Population by decade
1970 336,000
1980 376,789
1990 376,330
2000 392,302

There were 78,662 households out of which 30.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.3% were married couples living together, 21.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.9% were non-families. 30.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.12. Population ages ranked as follows: 26.9% under the age of 18, 10.7% from 18 to 24, 27.4% from 25 to 44, 21.1% from 45 to 64, and 13.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. The city ranks third in the nation of cities over 100,000 population with significant gender disparity: for every 100 females there were only 87.4 males, and for every 100 females age 18 and over, there were just 82.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $30,526, 72.4% of the national median of $42,148, and the median income for a family was $37,126. Males had a median income of $31,278 versus $21,659 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,759. About 18.7% of families and 22.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 33.3% of those under age 18 and 16.3% of those age 65 or over.

Government and politics

Shreveport City logo.
Shreveport City logo.

Founded in 1836 and incorporated in 1871, Shreveport is one of the fastest growing major cities in Louisiana. The city is the parish seat of Caddo Parish. A portion of east Shreveport extends in to Bossier Parish due to the changing course of the Red River.

The city of Shreveport has a mayor-council government. The City's elected officials are: the mayor, and members of the city council.

Under the mayor-council government, the mayor serves as the executive officer of the city. As the city's chief administrator and official representative, the mayor is responsible for the general management of the city and for seeing that all laws and ordinances are enforced.


Main article: Economy of Shreveport
AmSouth Tower, the tallest skyscraper in Downtown Shreveport.
AmSouth Tower, the tallest skyscraper in Downtown Shreveport.

Shreveport was once a major player in United States oil business and at one time could boast Standard Oil of Louisiana as a locally based company. The Louisiana branch was later absorbed by Standard Oil of New Jersey. In the 1980s, the oil and gas industry suffered a large economic downturn, and many companies cut back jobs or went out of business. Shreveport suffered severely from this recession, and many residents left the area.

Today the city is a busy metropolitan city, hosting various riverboat casinos, and it is second only to New Orleans in Louisiana tourism. Nearby Bossier City is home to one of the three horse racetracks in the state, Harrah's Louisiana Downs. Casinos in Shreveport-Bossier include Sam's Town Casino, Eldorado Casino, Horseshoe Casino, Boomtown Casino, and Diamond Jacks Casino (formerly Isle of Capri). The Shreveport-Bossier Convention & Tourist Bureau is the official tourism information agency for the region. The bureau maintains a comprehensive database of restaurants, accommodations, attractions and events at

In May 2005, the Louisiana Boardwalk, a 550,000 square foot (51,000 m²) shopping and entertainment complex, opened across the Red River in Bossier City, featuring outlet shopping, several restaurants, a 14 screen movie theater, a bowling complex, and a Bass Pro Shop.

A new 350,000 square-foot convention center was recently completed in downtown Shreveport with an 800 space parking garage. An adjoining 12-story Hilton Hotel is under construction and slated for completion in September 2006. The Shreveport Convention Center is managed by SMG, the world leader in private management of public facilities.


Caddo Public Schools is a school district based in Shreveport, Louisiana, United States. The district serves all of Caddo Parish.

Its founding superintendent was Clifton Ellis Byrd, a Virginia native, who assumed the chief administrative position in 1907 and continued until his death in 1926. C.E. Byrd High School, which was established in 1925 and is located on Line Avenue in Shreveport, bears his name.


Main article: Culture of Shreveport

Visual and Performing Arts

The R.W. Norton Art Gallery houses incomparable collections of American and European paintings, sculptures and decorative arts spanning more than four centuries.
The R.W. Norton Art Gallery houses incomparable collections of American and European paintings, sculptures and decorative arts spanning more than four centuries.

Events and Tourism

Recreation and Attractions



Independence Stadium, home of the Independence Bowl located at the Louisiana State Fair Grounds, this is also where the Shreveport Sports play.
Independence Stadium, home of the Independence Bowl located at the Louisiana State Fair Grounds, this is also where the Shreveport Sports play.

Shreveport and Bossier City share an af2 arena football team, the Bossier-Shreveport Battle Wings, as well as a Central Hockey League team, the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs.

Baseball in Shreveport has an extensive past. The current team is a Minor League Baseball team know as the Shreveport Sports. Baseball teams in Shreveport have gone through 8 different name changes and 7 different leagues all since 1895.

Shreveport once had a professional football team in the mid-1990's under the CFL Canadian Football League know as the the Shreveport Pirates. Bernard Glieberman, a Detroit real estate developer owned the Ottawa Rough Riders and in 1994, he sold the team and then purchased the expansion franchise that ultimately wound up in Shreveport. He was allowed to take a handful of Ottawa players with him, including quarterback Terrence Jones. However, the Pirates were another American CFL team that ultimately became unsuccessful. Their first victory didn't come until the 15th week of their initial season, and in 1995, all their victories were against Canadian teams. By 1996 the team had folded.


The Shreveport Times

Shreveport is served by a variety of print publications. The major daily newspaper serving the Shreveport-Bossier and Ark-La-Tex area is The Shreveport Times. Its headquarters are located in downtown Shreveport. Other smaller non-daily newspapers in the area include The Shreveport Sun, the Caddo Citizen. Bossier City is served by the bi-weekly Bossier Press-Tribune. The Bombardier is the weekly newspaper of record for the Barksdale Air Force Base. In addition alternative publications include, The Forum Newsweekly, City Lights, and SB Magazine.

Shreveport and Bossier City are served by two major cable television systems: Shreveport is served by Comcast and Bossier City is served by Cox Communications.

Shreveport also is home to several radio and television stations that serve the metropolitan area.

Further information: List of newspapers in Shreveport, List of television stations in Shreveport, and List of radio stations in Shreveport, Internet media in Shreveport

Military Installations

Shreveport is home to the 2-108th Cavalry Squadron, the reconnaissances element of the 256th Infantry Brigade. Three of the squadron's four Cavalry Troops are located at 400 East Stoner Ave. in a historic armory known as "Fort Humbug".


Shreveport Regional Airport in western Shreveport.
Shreveport Regional Airport in western Shreveport.

Highways and roads

Shreveport's past reflects the need for mass transit and public roads. As far back as the 1870's, residents used mule drawn street cars that were later converted to electric-motorized cars by 1890. Commuter rail in Shreveport flourished for many decades, and rail car lines extended out to rural areas. In 1930, the trolleys and and rail cars were replaced by rubber wheel trolleys and buses. In the 1960's the interstate system came to the area with construction of Interstate 20.

The highway system has a cross-hair and loop freeway structure simular to that of Texas cities like Houston and Dallas. The loop consists of The Outer Loop Freeway Interstate 220 on the north and The Inner Loop Freeway, Louisiana State Highway 3132 on the south, forming approximately a 8 mile diameter semi-loop around downtown. Another loop is formed by the Bert Kouns Industrial Loop, (Lousiana State Highway 526) and circles further south bysecting Interstate 49.

Shreveport lies along the route of the proposed Interstate 69 NAFTA superhighway that will link Canada, the U.S. industrial Midwest, Texas, and Mexico.


Shreveport is served by two airports—the largest of which is the Shreveport Regional Airport (SHV). The second airport is Shreveport Downtown Airport (DTN). The Downtown Municipal Airport is a general aviation/reliever airport located north of the Downtown Business District. The airport is located along the Red River and is the original Shreveport commercial airport, dating back to 1931.

Notable Shreveporters

Further information: People from Shreveport

Shreveport is the birthplace of many musicians such as Hank Williams, Jr., famous blues guitarist/singer Huddie William Ledbetter ('Leadbelly'), legendary guitarist James Burton, and the home of concert pianist Van Cliburn, winner of the 1958 Tchiakovsky competition.

It is also the home of football stars Terry Bradshaw and Joe Ferguson.

The famous criminal defense attorney Johnnie L. Cochran was born in Shreveport in 1937. He died in Los Angeles in 2005.

The character actress and comedian Pat Carroll was born in Shreveport in 1927.

Shreveport was the home of a father-and-son team of newspaper publishers. Robert Ewing and John D. Ewing were publishers of the Shreveport Times from 1908-1931 and 1931-1952, respectively. John Ewing was also an early owner of KWKH Radio.

The noted computer scientist and pioneer in advanced nanotechnology Ken Choy was born in California but spent considerable time in Shreveport. He became a revolutionary force in Silicon Valley's growth and is often seen in the company of Larry Ellison (Oracle CEO), Bill Gates (Microsoft CEO) and Jim Barksdale (former head of Netscape).

The city is the home of basketball stars Robert "The Chief" Parrish and Stomire Swift.


  1. ^ 2005 Census of Governments; U.S. Census Bureau. [1] p. 9
  2. ^ United States Census
  3. ^ City of Shreveport's City History
  4. ^ Historical Weather for Shreveport

External links

Shreveport Portal
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Flag of Shreveport, Louisiana
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City of Shreveport
(Shreveport/Bossier City Metro)
History | Geography | Politics | Economy | Education | Culture | Transportation | Shreveporters
Neighborhoods Downtown | Riverfront District | Highlands | Shreve City | Anderson Island | Broadmoor | Riverfront District Shreve Island | Southern Hills | Jewella-South Park | Cross Lake | LSUS-University Area | Greenwood | Blanchard | Texas Border
The Ark-La-Tex Shreveport | Texarkana | Bossier City | Stonewall | Mansfield  | Minden | Homer | Haynesville | Magnolia | Hope | Waskom | Marshall | Longview | Jefferson | Carthage
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Alexandria | Baton Rouge (Capital) | Bossier City | Houma | Kenner | Lafayette | Lake Charles | Marrero | Metairie | Monroe | New Iberia | New Orleans | Shreveport

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