Shreveport, Louisiana is the third largest metropolitan city in the state of Louisiana, USA. It is located in Caddo Parish, and as of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 200,145. Bossier City lies across the Red River in Bossier Parish and the Shreveport-Bossier City Metropolitan Area population exceeds 390,000. 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. Shreveport 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 because there is not a PBS station in northeast Texas.
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Shreveport is located at 32°28'5" North, 93°46'16" West (32.468003, -93.771115)1.
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 is water. The total area is 12.44% water.
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 200,145 people, 78,662 households, and 50,422 families residing in the city. The population density is 749.2/km² (1,940.5/mi²). There are 86,802 housing units at an average density of 324.9/km² (841.6/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 46.66% White, 50.80% African American, 0.31% Native American, 0.79% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.45% from other races, and 0.95% from two or more races. 1.55% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 78,662 households out of which 30.1% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.3% are married couples living together, 21.5% have a female householder with no husband present, and 35.9% are non-families. 30.8% of all households are made up of individuals and 10.9% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.48 and the average family size is 3.12.
In the city the population is spread out with 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 are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 34 years. For every 100 females there are 87.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 82.1 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $30,526, and the median income for a family is $37,126. Males have a median income of $31,278 versus $21,659 for females. The per capita income for the city is $17,759. 22.8% of the population and 18.7% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 33.3% of those under the age of 18 and 16.3% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
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. An 180-mile long raft of debris had previously clogged passage by Shreve's riverboat, the Heliopolis, that was specially designed to remove river debris. In his honor the company and the village of Shreve Town were named. On March 20, 1839 the town was incorporated as "Shreveport." In 1871, it became a city.
Shreveport 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 made out of Natchitoches (pronounced "NACK-a-dish") Parish and Shreve Town became the parish seat. Shreveport remains the parish seat of Caddo Parish today.
Originally the town was as large as 64 city blocks divided by eight streets running west from the Red River, and eight streets running South from Cross Bayou, one of its tributaries. Today the 64 block area is the city's central business district and is a National Register of Historic Places listed area.
Shreveport and Bossier City have six historic districts and a plethora of NR listed landmarks. In fact, Shreveport is second only to New Orleans among Louisiana cities with many historic landmarks. In particular, the McNeill Street Pumping Station, an 1887 waterworks that is still in use, is a unique example of its type. Also located near Shreveport is Barksdale Air Force Base, opened in 1944 as Barksdale Army Air Field. It came into national attention recently when President George W. Bush was taken there during the September 11th attacks. It also came into national attention when B-52 bombers based from there participated in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Their attacks on fixed hard targets and the famed Iraqi Republican Guard Medina Division using state of the art JDAMs and other munitions marked a new era in U.S. air power where precision guided munitions were used more than "dumb" bombs with devastating effect. See Shock and Awe.
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.
Shreveport was 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.
Shreveport today is a very busy metro city, host to various riverboat casinos and second in Louisiana tourism only to New Orleans. Nearby Bossier City also is home to one of the only three horse racetracks in the state, Harrah's Louisiana Downs. The city boasts the world's largest rose garden, appropriately enough called The National Rose Garden. The Red River Revel is a yearly event featuring local music, food and entertainers and draws in hundreds of thousands of individuals from across the tri-state area. Other annual festivals include Mudbug Madness, a celebration of the crawfish, Holiday in Dixie, and the Louisiana State Fair. In May, 2005, the Louisiana Boardwalk, a 550,000 square foot (51,000 m²) shopping and entertainment complex, will open across the Red River in Bossier City, and will feature outlet shopping, several restaurants and nightclubs, a 14 screen movie theater, a bowling complex, two hotels, and a marina. A new convention center is also under construction in downtown Shreveport.
C. E. Byrd High School
C. E. Byrd High School is the largest high school in Shreveport/Bossier and boasts the Yellow Jacket as its mascot. Byrd was the first public high school in Shreveport. Byrd is also recognized as having the largest alumni association of any high school in the nation.
In 1892 Clifton Ellis Byrd came to Shreveport as the principal of the first public high school here, two rented rooms in the YMCA building, at a salary of $70 per month. By 1893 enrollment swelled to 70 students and in 1898 the school was moved to the Soady building on Crockett for one year. In 1899 it moved to the new Hope Street school, a large three story red brick building. The elementary students occupied the first floor, intermediate on the second and high school on the third. In 1899, when the new Hope Street Shreveport High School was built he became the City Superintendent of schools. He remained in this position until 1908 when he was named Parish Superintendent of schools, a post he held until his death. In 1910 Shreveport High School was built adjacent to Hope Street and the high school moved into this building. Though Prof. Byrd left Shreveport High, it remained his "baby". He stayed close to it, setting the standards for the school's curriculum, insisting that to be truly educated one must be familiar with history, math, English and Latin. While serving as Superintendent, he taught geometry, algebra, physics and chemistry classes at the school. He also worked hard to establish a library at the school.
"In 1924 work began on the new high school for the eastern part of town. During construction, it was decided to name the school in Byrd's honor since it represented the fulfillment of his dream. ...On September 17, 1925, the school was dedicated with Prof. Byrd delivering the dedicatory address. He said it was the proudest day of his life."
Five months later, February 26, 1926, Clifton Ellis Byrd died. His body lay in state in the foyer of the school that bears his name. From there he was buried in Forest Park Cemetery next to his wife of 32 years, Mattie McAfee Byrd.
During the twenties, Shreveport's economy was booming. Construction projects abounded, the Slattery Building, Caddo Parish Courthouse, Market Street Viaduct, Kings Highway Christian Church, St. John's Cathedral, the Strand and the Municipal Auditorium were all built at this time.
Concerned about overcrowding at SHS, the Caddo Parish School Board decided to build two new high schools. On February 23, 1923, the site on which Byrd was constructed was purchased from Justin Gras for $110,000. It is approximately 20 acres (80,000 m²). At the same time, the School Board passed a resolution to purchase four additional lots in Bon Air Subdivision, adjacent to the Gras property, from F.R. Chadick for $9,500. On March 19, 1924, Stewart-McGee was the lowest bidder and was awarded the building contract for $772,133. On October 3, 1924, with full Masonic ceremonies, Professor Byrd laid the cornerstone for the new million-dollar high school. Sealed in the cornerstone were a letter from C. E. Byrd; a boll weevil, symbolizing problems of the farmer; a bottle of oil, symbolic of the oil business; an ear of corn, representing agriculture; coins, representing the financial situation, and a Bible.
The following year, the School Board authorized Superintendent Byrd to furnish and equip the building. The Board approved $40,000 for the furnishings. The building was accepted from the contractor on June 27, 1925.
Because the furniture had not yet arrived, the opening of the school was delayed until October.
When Shreveport High School students moved into the new building in October, 1925, they transferred all the traditions, curriculum requirements, clubs, organizations, academic and social activities intact Shreveport High Principal, since 1919, Grover C. Koffman and E. L. Albertson, Assistant Principal, moved to Byrd at this time.
On the opening day of classes, students gathered in the auditorium and Mr. Koffman welcomed them and alphabetically assigned them to rooms, where they picked up their schedules. Only 9 – 11 grades came to Byrd, eighth graders stayed behind. (references: Glimpses of the City of Byrd, by Ann McLaurin; Byrd Archives. Author, Barbara Hodges)
The Shreveport Hi Life, the student newspaper, came to Byrd (it later became the Byrd High Life) as did the Gusher, the yearbook. Featured in the Gusher were the Mardi Gras Courts, clubs, school plays and all the athletic teams. The prophesies of the Senior Class were also dominate in the early yearbooks.
The Yellow Jacket mascot was continued from SHS as were the purple and gold colors. The early Byrd Yellow Jackets were Byrd's golden era for athletics, as they dominated football and baseball in the state. (ref. Byrd archives, Glimpses of the City of Byrd by Ann McLaurin, Byrd Gushers. Author Barbara Hodges)
Byrd thrives today under the nickname "The City", because there is so much there it is like a city in itself for the students. After attending Byrd you bleed purple and gold, and there is always a special place in your heart for your Alma Mater.
Evangel Christian Academy
Evangel Christian Academy is a private, coeducational kindergarten to 12th grade Christian school located on two campuses in West Shreveport.
Known all around as the Soaring Eagles, Evangel has been a football superpower since its birth in 1980. They've won eight state championships in the past decade and have been the national champions. With such amazing coaches as Denny Duron ( Also senior pastor for Shreveport's First Assembly of God), Dennis Dunn (former coach of Evangel College), Johnny Booty, Phillip Deas (former quarterback for Evangel who set two national passing records for most touchdowns in career and most passing yards in a season and won two state championships), and Rick Berlin the boys have thrived in the Christian atmosphere and leadership once envisioned by the school's founder Francis Duron, affectionately known to the locals as "Sister" Francis.
Since the school's inception in 1980, Christ-centered, excellent academics have been the rule. With Christ at the center of Evangel, God's blessings are evident: first place sweepstake honors at the regional literary rally, with two overall state literary rally winners. Six students have won the statewide literary rally over the past two years. On the Iowa standardized tests Evangel students scored 10 to 20% above the statewide public school norm, with many students working one to two years above grade level in reading and math. Graduates from the last few classes have consistently qualified for over $1.5 million in academic, arts, and athletic scholarships to major universities, pursuing law, politics, languages, business, communications, Christian service, scientific research, medicine, and more. Evangel combines a winning spirit with excellent academics and Christian values.
Captain Shreve High School
Captain Shreve High School is one of the largest high school in Shreveport and boasts Al E. Gator as its mascot. The school is a three-story circular building built in the round. The school is somewhat infamous for temporarily having been the school of actress Valerie Bertinelli. Other famous people to have passed through its halls include guitarist and singer Kenny Wayne Shepard and guitarist Ross Githens of the Christian Rock group Jolly Napier.
Caddo Parish Magnet High School
Also, Shreveport is home to Caddo Parish Magnet High School, whose mascot is the Mustang. Caddo Magnet receives high honors and national recognition yearly for its excellence inside and outside the classroom. Recently, Caddo Magnet's Quiz Bowl team, under coaches Thad Pardue and Cathy Sledge, won both state Quiz Bowl Championships. Also, their Academic Decathlon teams have won the state title for the past 22 years. Magnet has 17 merit scholars and is ranked in the top of percentile of the nation. Actress Lee Eddy attended the school, where she competed in forensic tournaments performing material from The Kathy and Mo Show, which she would go on to perform professionally. Several notable musicians attended CMH. The most well known are the renowned blues musician Kenny Wayne Shepherd and the turntablist and hip-hop producer, Quickie Mart.
Loyola College Prep
Loyola College Prep is Shreveport's Catholic high school for boys and girls. Founded as a school for boys in 1902 by the Rev. John F. O'Connor, S.J., from the New Orleans Province of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), the school's original location was on Texas Avenue and its name was St. John's College. The school relocated to its present location on Jordan Street in 1938. During World War II, the school was a military academy. In 1960 the school's name was changed to Jesuit High School. In 1972 the Board of Trustees hired the first lay principal. In 1982, the Jesuits relinquished control of the school to the Catholic Diocese of Shreveport and the school took on its present name in honor of Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits. In 1987 the school admitted girls for the first time, following the closure of St. Vincent's Academy, a Catholic high school for girls.
The school has won Louisiana state championships in baseball (1964 and 1974) and football (1967 and 1976) and girls softball (1996). Boys athletic teams are known as the Blue Flyers, girls teams are the Lady Flyers, and the mascot is Charles Schulz's character Snoopy from the Peanuts comic strip. Loyola is the only school that Schulz gave permission to use Snoopy as its mascot. Recently the school built Messmer football stadium at an athletic complex on Clyde Fant Parkway. Additional facilities to be constructed there will be a baseball field, soccer field and tennis courts.
The academic campus on Jordan Street consists of a three level classrrom building constructed in 1938 (including a cafeteria), a four level classroom building formerly serving as a residence for priests, a gymnasium including boys' dressing rooms, and the newest building on campus, a girls' dressing room adjacent to the gymnasium. There is also an alumni office/development center located in a converted doctor's office to the east of the main classroom building.
Regular student publications are the newspaper, The Flyer, and the annual yearbook, Flight.
Caddo Parish Magnet Middle School
Caddo Parish Middle Magnet School is commonly known as Caddo Middle Magnet (CMM). Caddo Middle Magnet, home of the Stallions, ranks first among public middle schools in Louisiana on state standardized test scores for 2003–2004. Caddo Middle Magnet is a performing arts magnet school. Located in Shreveport, Louisiana, Caddo Middle Magnet serves students from across Caddo Parish. Caddo Middle Magnet includes sixth through eighth grades. Annual festivals include Colonial Days, Oktoberfest, Mardi Gras, and the Renaissance Festival.
Shreveport is home to three colleges: Louisiana State University at Shreveport, Centenary College, and Southern University at Shreveport. Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Shreveport is a medical school.