kids encyclopedia robot

Shreveport, Louisiana facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Shreveport, Louisiana
City of Shreveport
From top, left to right: Downtown, the Lewis House, Caddo Parish Courthouse, Long-Allen Bridge, Gardens of the American Rose Center monument, Shreveport Riverfront Fountain
From top, left to right: Downtown, the Lewis House, Caddo Parish Courthouse, Long-Allen Bridge, Gardens of the American Rose Center monument, Shreveport Riverfront Fountain
Flag of Shreveport, Louisiana
Flag
Official seal of Shreveport, Louisiana
Seal
Coat of arms of Shreveport, Louisiana
Coat of arms
Location within Caddo Parish
Location within Caddo Parish
Shreveport, Louisiana is located in Louisiana
Shreveport, Louisiana
Shreveport, Louisiana
Location in Louisiana
Shreveport, Louisiana is located in the United States
Shreveport, Louisiana
Shreveport, Louisiana
Location in the United States
Country  United States
State  Louisiana
Parishes Caddo, Bossier
Founded 1836
Incorporated March 20, 1839
Named for Captain Henry Miller Shreve
Area
 • City 123.84 sq mi (320.74 km2)
 • Land 108.14 sq mi (280.10 km2)
 • Water 15.69 sq mi (40.65 km2)
 • Metro
2,698 sq mi (6,987.8 km2)
Elevation
154 to 253 ft (46 to 77.1 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • City 187,593
 • Rank 1st in Caddo Parish
3rd in Louisiana
137th in United States
 • Density 1,734.64/sq mi (669.75/km2)
 • Urban
298,317 (US: 126th)
 • Metro
393,406 (US: 140th)
Demonym(s) Shreveporter
Time zone UTC−6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
711xx
Area code(s) 318
FIPS code 22-70000
Primary airport Shreveport Regional Airport
Interstates I-20.svg I-49.svg I-220.svg
Waterways Red River, Cross Bayou
Website shreveportla.gov

Shreveport ( SHREEV-port) is a city in the U.S. state of Louisiana. It is the third most populous city in Louisiana after New Orleans and Baton Rouge, respectively. The Shreveport–Bossier City metropolitan area, with a population of 393,406 in 2020, is the fourth largest in Louisiana. The bulk of Shreveport is in Caddo Parish, of which it is the parish seat. It extends along the west bank of the Red River (most notably at Wright Island, the Charles and Marie Hamel Memorial Park, and Bagley Island) into neighboring Bossier Parish. Its population was 199,311 at the 2010 U.S. census. The United States Census Bureau's 2020 census for the city's population decreased to 187,593.

Shreveport was founded in 1836 by the Shreve Town Company, a corporation established to develop a town at the juncture of the newly navigable Red River and the Texas Trail, an overland route into the newly independent Republic of Texas. Prior to Texas becoming independent, this trail entered Mexico. It grew throughout the 20th century and, after the discovery of oil in Louisiana, became a national center for the oil industry. Standard Oil of Louisiana (absorbed by Standard Oil of New Jersey and now part of ExxonMobil) and United Gas Corporation (now part of Pennzoil) were headquartered here until the 1960s and 1980s. After the loss of jobs in the oil industry, the close of Shreveport Operations (a General Motors vehicle factory), and other economic problems it struggled with a declining population, poverty and violent crime. However, the city continues in its efforts to revitalize its infrastructure, revive the economy through diversification, and lower crime. Despite these efforts, the city witnessed the largest number of homicides in its recorded history in 2021, eclipsing the previous record set in 1993.

Shreveport is the educational, commercial and cultural center of the Ark-La-Tex region, where Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas meet. It is the location of Centenary College of Louisiana, Louisiana State University Shreveport, Louisiana Tech University Shreveport, Southern University at Shreveport, and Louisiana Baptist University. Its neighboring suburb, Bossier City, is the location of Bossier Parish Community College. It forms part of the I-20 Cyber Corridor linking Shreveport, Bossier City, Ruston, Grambling, and Monroe to Dallas and Tyler, Texas, and Atlanta, Georgia. Companies with significant operations or headquarters in Shreveport are Amazon, Regions Financial Corporation, JPMorgan Chase, Sam's Town Hotel and Gambling Hall, AT&T Mobility, United Parcel Service, Walmart, Chick-fil-A, Waffle House, SWEPCO, General Electric, UOP LLC, Calumet Specialty Products Partners, and APS Payroll.

History

Early settlers

Shreveport was established to launch 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 led the United States Army Corps of Engineers effort to clear the Red River. A 180-mile-long (290 km) natural log jam, the Great Raft, had previously obstructed passage to shipping. Shreve used a specially modified riverboat, the Heliopolis, to remove the log jam. The company and the village of Shreve Town were named in Shreve's honor.

Shreve Town was originally contained within the boundaries of a section of land sold to the company by the indigenous Caddo Indians in 1835. In 1838 Caddo Parish was created from the large Natchitoches Parish, and Shreve Town became its parish seat. 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. Steamboats plied the Red River, and stevedores loaded and unloaded cargo. By 1860, Shreveport had a population of 2,200 free people and 1,300 slaves within the city limits.

Civil War

Oakland Cemetery and Regions Bank, Shreveport IMG 3435
"The Old and the New": Tall monument in Shreveport's historic Oakland Cemetery, which dates to 1847, is seen with the distant Regions Bank Tower, the city's tallest building, behind it.

During the American Civil War, Shreveport was the capital of Louisiana from 1863 to 1865, having succeeded Baton Rouge and Opelousas after each fell under Union control. The city was a Confederate stronghold throughout the war and was the site of the headquarters of the Trans-Mississippi Department of the Confederate Army. Fort Albert Sidney Johnston was built on a ridge northwest of the city. Because of limited development in that area, the site is relatively undisturbed.

Shreve1920
Map of Shreveport in 1920
Justin V. Gras of Shreveport, LA
Justin Vincent Gras
Shreve1953
Skyline of Shreveport in 1953
Shreveport September 2015 102 (Shreveport Municipal Auditorium)
Shreveport Municipal Memorial Auditorium, home to the "Louisiana Hayride" from 1948 to 1960.

Isolated from events in the east, the Civil War continued in the Trans-Mississippi theater for several weeks after Robert E. Lee's surrender in April 1865, and the Trans-Mississippi was the last Confederate command to surrender, on May 26, 1865. Confederate President Jefferson Davis tried to flee to Shreveport, intending to go down the Mississippi, when he left Richmond but was captured en route in Irwinville, Georgia.

Throughout the war, women in Shreveport did much to assist the soldiers fighting mostly far to the east. Historian John D. Winters writes of them in The Civil War in Louisiana:

"The women of Shreveport and vicinity labored long hours over their sewing machines to provide their men with adequate underclothing and uniforms. After the excitement of Fort Sumter, there was a great rush to get the volunteer companies ready and off to New Orleans...Forming a Military Aid Society, the ladies of Shreveport requested donations of wool and cotton yarn for knitting socks. Joined by others, the Society collected blankets for the wounded and gave concerts and tableaux to raise funds. Tickets were sold for a diamond ring given by the mercantile house of Hyams and Brothers...

A Confederate minstrel show gave two performances to raise money for the war effort in Shreveport in December 1862. The Shreveport Ladies Aid Society announced a grand dress ball for April 6, 1863. That same month students at the Mansfield Female College in Mansfield in De Soto Parish presented a vocal and instrumental concert to support the war.

The Red River, which had been opened by Shreve in the 1830s, remained navigable throughout the Civil War. Water levels got so low at one point that Union Admiral David Dixon Porter was trapped with his gunboats north of Alexandria. His engineers quickly constructed a temporary dam to raise the water level and free his fleet.

By 1914, neglect and lack of use due to diversion of freight traffic to railroad lines resulted in the Red River becoming unnavigable. In 1994, the United States Army Corps of Engineers restored navigability by completion of a series of lock-and-dam structures and a navigation channel. Today, Shreveport-Bossier City is being re-developed as a port and shipping center.

Twentieth century

In 1895, Justin Vincent Gras (1868–1959), a native of France, opened the largest grocery and liquor store in Shreveport. "What is good for Shreveport is good for me" became his motto. Gras turned to real estate and by the 1920s was the largest landholder in Caddo Parish. Gras and his wife, Eugenie, donated $2.3 million to establish the Community Foundation of North Louisiana. During World War I, Gras rebuilt the home church of his native village in the Pyrenees. He is interred at St. Joseph Cemetery in Shreveport.

By the 1910s, Huddie William Ledbetter—also known as "Lead Belly", a blues singer and guitarist who eventually achieved worldwide fame—was performing for Shreveport audiences in St. Paul's Bottoms. Ledbetter began to develop his own style of music after exposure to a variety of musical influences on Shreveport's Fannin Street, a row of saloons and dance halls in the Bottoms. Bluesmen Jesse Thomas, Dave Alexander, and Kenny Wayne Shepherd and the early jazz and ragtime composer Bill Wray and composer Willian Christopher O'Hare were all from Shreveport.

Shreveport was home to the Louisiana Hayride radio program, broadcast weekly from the Shreveport Municipal Auditorium. During its heyday from 1948 to 1960, this program stimulated the careers of some of the greatest figures in American music. The Hayride featured musicians such as Hank Williams and Elvis Presley, who made his broadcasting debut at this venue.

In 1963, headlines across the country reported that musician Sam Cooke was arrested after his band tried to register at a "whites-only" Holiday Inn in Shreveport. Public facilities in Louisiana were still segregated, an example of the kinds of injustices that the Civil Rights Movement was working to change. In the months following, Cooke recorded the civil rights era song, "A Change Is Gonna Come." In 1964 Congress passed the Civil Rights Act to end segregation of public facilities.

In the mid-1990s, the coming of riverboat gambling to Shreveport attracted numerous new patrons to the downtown and spurred a revitalization of the adjacent downtown and riverfront areas. Many downtown streets were given a facelift through the "Streetscape" project, where brick sidewalks and crosswalks were built, and statues, sculptures, and mosaics were added. The O.K. Allen Bridge, commonly known as the Texas Street bridge, was lit with neon lights that were met with a variety of opinions among residents.

Shreveport was named an All-American City in 1953, 1979, and 1999.

Geography

Forest Park Cemetery entrance, Shreveport, LA IMG 1394
Shreveport has several cemeteries, with Forest Park, on St. Vincent Avenue, being one of the largest in the state.

Landscape

Shreveport sits on a low elevation overlooking the Red River. Pine forests, cotton fields, wetlands, and waterways mark the outskirts of the city. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 120.8 sq mi (312.9 km2), of which 105.4 sq mi (272.9 km2) is land and 15.4 sq mi (40.0 km2), or 12.79%, is water.

Climate

Shreveport has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa). Rainfall is abundant, with the normal annual precipitation averaging over 51 inches (1.3 m), with monthly averages ranging from less than 3 inches (76 mm) in August to more than 5 inches (130 mm) in June. Severe thunderstorms with heavy rain, hail, damaging winds and tornadoes occur in the area during the spring and summer months. The winter months are normally mild, with an average of 35 days of freezing or below-freezing temperatures per year, with ice and sleet storms possible. Summer months are hot and humid, with maximum temperatures exceeding 90 °F (32 °C) an average of 91 days per year, with high to very high relative average humidity, sometimes exceeding the 90 percent level.

The extreme temperatures range from −5 °F (−21 °C) on February 12, 1899, to 110 °F (43 °C) on August 18, 1909.

Shreveport is also home to a branch of the National Weather Service which provides forecasts and warnings for the greater Ark-La-Tex Region.

Climate data for Shreveport, Louisiana (Shreveport Regional Airport), 1981–2010 normals
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 85
(29.4)
89
(31.7)
92
(33.3)
94
(34.4)
102
(38.9)
104
(40)
107
(41.7)
110
(43.3)
109
(42.8)
103
(39.4)
94
(34.4)
88
(31.1)
110
(43.3)
Average high °F (°C) 57.3
(14.06)
61.5
(16.39)
69.5
(20.83)
76.9
(24.94)
83.8
(28.78)
90.1
(32.28)
93.4
(34.11)
94.1
(34.5)
88.2
(31.22)
78.2
(25.67)
67.5
(19.72)
58.5
(14.72)
76.58
(24.769)
Average low °F (°C) 36.2
(2.33)
39.7
(4.28)
46.3
(7.94)
53.6
(12)
62.7
(17.06)
69.5
(20.83)
72.7
(22.61)
72.1
(22.28)
65.6
(18.67)
54.6
(12.56)
45.2
(7.33)
37.7
(3.17)
54.66
(12.588)
Record low °F (°C) −2
(-18.9)
−5
(-20.6)
11
(-11.7)
25
(-3.9)
38
(3.3)
52
(11.1)
58
(14.4)
53
(11.7)
42
(5.6)
28
(-2.2)
16
(-8.9)
5
(-15)
−5
(-20.6)
Precipitation inches (mm) 4.20
(106.7)
4.75
(120.7)
4.14
(105.2)
4.19
(106.4)
4.93
(125.2)
5.40
(137.2)
3.64
(92.5)
2.73
(69.3)
3.16
(80.3)
4.96
(126)
4.53
(115.1)
4.76
(120.9)
51.38
(1,305.1)
Snowfall inches (cm) 0.6
(1.5)
0.5
(1.3)
Trace 0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.3
(0.8)
1.4
(3.6)
Humidity 72.6 69.7 67.7 69.6 73.2 73.3 72.4 71.7 73.6 71.7 73.7 74.4 72.0
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 9.0 9.1 9.2 7.6 9.5 9.2 8.1 6.4 6.9 8.0 8.7 9.6 101.2
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 0.3 0.3 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.1 0.8
Sunshine hours 158.3 172.8 213.1 231.2 267.1 297.9 317.9 300.7 249.8 235.8 176.8 158.4 2,779.8
Source: NOAA (sun and relative humidity 1961–1990) The Weather Channel (records)

Neighborhoods

Pine Wold house, Shreveport, LA IMG 4951
Pine Wold house (Fairfield Avenue at Kirby Street) was designed by Edward F. Neild, who created some of the designs for the interior of the White House in the Truman administration as well as the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum. Pine Wold was constructed in 1903 by lumberman T. J. Jones and expanded in 1919 by oilman J. P. Evans. For a time the Mighty Haag Circus wintered on the grounds, and the circus elephant Trilby is buried there.

Shreveport encompasses many different neighborhoods and districts. Below is a list of the various areas in the Greater Shreveport area of Caddo Parish:

  • Acadiana Place
  • Allendale
  • Allendale-Lakeside, interloop of neighborhoods
  • Anderson Island
  • Azalea Gardens
  • Blanchard
  • Braemar Estates
  • Broadmoor
  • Broadmoor Terrace
  • Brunswick Place
  • Caddo Heights
  • Cedar Grove
  • Centenary Area
  • Chapel Creek
  • Cherokee Park
  • Cooper Road
  • Crescent Wood
  • Cross Lake, some not in city
  • Dixie Gardens
  • Eden Gardens
  • Ellerbe Road Estates
  • Ellerbe Woods
  • Evangeline Oaks
  • Fairfield Heights
  • Forbing
  • Fox Crossing
  • Garden Valley
  • Glen Iris
  • Greenwood
  • Greenbrook
  • The Haven
  • Hidden Trace
  • Highlands
  • Hollywood
  • Hollywood Heights
  • Huntington
  • Ingleside
  • Jackson Square
  • Jewella-South Park
  • Hyde Park
  • Keithville
  • Lakeside
  • Lakeside Acres
  • Ledbetter Heights or The Bottoms
  • Long Lake Estates
  • Lynbrook
  • Madison Park
  • Mooretown
  • Norris Ferry Crossing
  • Norris Ferry Estates
  • Norris Ferry Landing
  • North Highlands
  • Parkside
  • Pines Road
  • Pierremont
  • Pierremont Place
  • Pierremont Ridge
  • Provenance
  • Queensborough
  • St. Charles Place
  • Shreve Island
  • Shreve Lake Estates
  • South Broadmoor
  • South Highlands
  • Southern Hills
  • Southern Trace
  • Spring Lake
  • Stoner Hill
  • Sunset Acres
  • Towne South
  • Twelve Oaks
  • Shadow Pines Estates
  • Steeple Chase
  • Stoner Hill
  • University Terrace
  • Waterside
  • West End
  • Western Hills
  • Wright Island
  • Yarborough

In the Highland section, along Fairfield Avenue, more than a half dozen homes have been designated as historic. These include residences once occupied by Lieutenant Governor Thomas Charles Barret, who served early in the 20th century; a Broadway director, Joshua Logan; a former governor, Ruffin Pleasant, and wife; a physician and developer, George W. Robinson; a Coca-Cola bottler, Zehntner Biedenharn; the first mayor of Bossier City, Ewald Max Hoyer, who took office in 1907; and a major real estate owner, John B. Slattery, whose home is one of five remaining structures in Shreveport designed by the noted architect N. S. Allen.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 1,728
1860 2,190 26.7%
1870 4,607 110.4%
1880 8,009 73.8%
1890 11,979 49.6%
1900 16,013 33.7%
1910 28,015 75.0%
1920 43,874 56.6%
1930 76,655 74.7%
1940 98,167 28.1%
1950 127,206 29.6%
1960 164,372 29.2%
1970 182,064 10.8%
1980 206,989 13.7%
1990 198,525 −4.1%
2000 200,145 0.8%
2010 199,311 −0.4%
2020 187,593 −5.9%
U.S. Decennial Census
2018 Estimate
Shreveport racial composition as of 2020
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 66,138 35.26%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 104,612 55.77%
Native American 573 0.31%
Asian 3,031 1.62%
Pacific Islander 102 0.05%
Other/Mixed 6,479 3.45%
Hispanic or Latino 6,658 3.55%

According to the 2020 United States census, there were 187,593 people, 73,114 households, and 42,775 families residing in the city. At the 2019 American Community Survey, there were 73,114 households and 42,775 families residing in the city. Shreveport had an average household size of 2.49 and average family size of 3.31. Of the households, 16,551 were households with children under 18 years of age, and 57.5% were owner-occupied; 42.5% of households were renter-occupied units. At the 2010 U.S. census, there were 91,501 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 from 2014 to 2018 was $36,338, and the mean income was $55,582. The per capita income was $25,022. From 2014 to 2018, the median value of an owner-occupied housing unit was $144,800. The median monthly cost with a mortgage was $1,178 and the median monthly cost without a mortgage was $364; the city of Shreveport had a median gross rent of $810. Approximately 25.4% of the city's inhabitants lived at or below the poverty line.

Race and ethnicity

Race and ethnicity 2010- Shreveport (5560435458)
Map of racial distribution in Shreveport, 2010 U.S. Census. Each dot is 25 people: White, Black, Asian, Hispanic or other (yellow)

In 2019, the racial and ethnic makeup of Shreveport was 56.9% Black and African American, 36.8% non-Hispanic white, 0.4% American Indian and Alaska Native, 1.7% Asian, 0.1% Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander, 0.1% some other race, 1.5% two or more races, and 2.6% Hispanic and Latin American of any race. The racial makeup of Shreveport in 2018 was 56.3% Black or African American, 37.3% non-Hispanic white, 0.6% American Indian or Alaska Native, 1.9% Asian American, 1.6% from two or more races, and 2.2% Hispanic or Latino of any race. At the 2010 U.S. census, the racial and ethnic composition of the population was 54.70% Black or African American, 41.16% White, 1.0% Native American, 2.0% Asian, 1.2% from some other race and 1.5% from two or more races. In 2010, about 6.5% of the population was Hispanic or Latin American of any race.

Reflecting the decline in North Louisiana's population, the city of Shreveport's racial and ethnic makeup among Hispanic and Latin Americans declined from 2010 yet rebounded from 2019's census estimates. At the 2020 census, Shreveport remained a predominantly Black and African American city, with 57.77% of the population identifying as such; non-Hispanic whites slightly declined to 35.26% and multiracial or Americans of another race increased to 3.45% of the population. Data from the 2020 United States census reflected growing trends of Hispanic and Latino, and Asian American population growth nationwide.

Religion

Christianity is the city and metropolitan area's dominant religion, being part of the Bible Belt. Its residents were predominantly Protestant through the nineteenth century. Today, Baptists form the majority of Christians in Shreveport, followed by Methodists and Catholics. Many Baptist and Methodist churches are affiliated with Evangelical Protestant denominations, though several are also affiliated with Mainline Protestantism; among Baptists, the Southern Baptist Convention, National Baptist Convention (USA), National Baptist Convention of America, and Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship are the largest Evangelical Protestant Baptist denominations in the city. The Progressive National Baptist Convention is the largest Progressive Baptist group in the area. Methodists are mainly affiliates of the African Methodist Episcopal Church or Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, though some are also members of the mainline United Methodist Church. The Catholic community is primarily served by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Shreveport.

A large First Baptist Church was once pastored by Monroe E. Dodd, an early radio minister and founder of the former Dodd College for Girls. Former Governor Jimmie Davis, also a Shreveport city commissioner, taught history for a year under Dodd's tutelage. Other historic large Baptist congregations include Galilee Missionary Baptist, Calvary Baptist, Broadmoor Baptist, Summer Grove Baptist, and Mount Canaan Missionary Baptist Church. Summer Grove Baptist Church was previously pastored by Wayne L. DuBose, a Baptist denominational officer. Mount Canaan was previously pastored by Civil Rights icon Dr. Harry Blake.

At the head of Texas Street is the large First United Methodist Church, established at that site in 1884. The current sanctuary dates to 1913. Among its former pastors were D. L. Dykes, Jr., and John E. Fellers. During a severe thunderstorm in 2009, the fiberglass steeple of the church toppled and fell onto a passing car. It has since been replaced.

A second Methodist congregation is named for J. S. Noel, Jr. The church was begun as a mission in 1906. Methodist layman James Noel and his wife, Fannie, provided financially for the church in its early years. The congregation decided to name the church for the Noel's late son. Like First United Methodist, it opened in the current sanctuary in 1913 and grew rapidly. A fire gutted the building in 1925, and only a portion of the loss was covered by insurance. The members expanded their ranks and rebuilt at the 500 Herndon location.

St. Mark's Cathedral, Shreveport, LA IMG 2361
St. Mark's Cathedral, an Episcopal church

The large Holy Trinity Catholic Church, located downtown, was founded in 1858; it served Irish and German immigrants as well as native-born residents. Five priests died of yellow fever in the 1873 epidemic. The current sanctuary in Romanesque revival style architecture dates to 1896. Particularly striking in size and architecture is St. Mark's Cathedral, an Episcopal Church congregation at 908 Rutherford Street in the Highland area of Shreveport. St. Mark's dates its establishment to the first religious service held in Shreveport in 1839. It became the see of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Louisiana in 1990.

Shreveport is home to Shreveport Community Church, an Evangelical church affiliated with Assemblies of God. The church owns and operates Evangel Christian Academy, a pre‑K through 12th grade private school that has produced an average of 1 million dollars of scholastic scholarships for its graduating seniors every year. The church has produced a biblical musical, Songs of the Season, during the Christmas holidays for over 20 years. Westview Christian Church is an independent Christian church that serves members from diverse denominational backgrounds.

The Eastern Orthodox Church has maintained a presence in Shreveport since the early 1900s. The oldest Orthodox church in the city is St. George Greek Orthodox Church of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, followed by St. Nicholas Orthodox Church (Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America), and the Holy Nativity of the Lord Church of the Orthodox Church in America.

Shreveport September 2015 085 (B'Nai Zion Temple)
Original B'nai Zion Temple, designated a National Historic Place

The Jewish community of Shreveport dates to the organization of Congregation Har El in 1859, made up primarily of German Jewish immigrants in its early years. It developed as B'nai Zion Temple, today the city's Reform congregation, which built the city's largest synagogue. Agudath Achim, founded in 1905 as an Orthodox congregation of immigrants from Eastern Europe, is today a traditional Jewish synagogue. Shreveport, historically, has had a large and civic-minded Jewish community and has elected three Jewish mayors.

The Islamic community in Shreveport-Bossier constitutes approximately 14% of Louisiana's total Muslim population. The majority of Shreveporter Muslims are Sunni, followed by the Nation of Islam and non-denominational Islam.

Religion

St. Mark's Cathedral, Shreveport, LA IMG 1403
Episcopal St. Mark's Cathedral on Rutherford Street
First United Methodist Church in Shreveport, LA IMG 1332
First United Methodist Church on Texas Street in downtown Shreveport. The sanctuary dates to 1913.
Noel Methodist Church in Shreveport IMG 1574
Sanctuary of J. S. Noel, Jr. Memorial United Methodist Church in the Highland sections of Shreveport dates to 1913.
First Presbyterian Church, Shreveport, LA IMG 4957
First Presbyterian Church is located at 900 Jordan Street in Shreveport near the large State Office Building.

Shreveport has churches of many denominations and sizes. At the head of Texas Street is the large First United Methodist Church, established at that site in 1884. The current sanctuary dates to 1913. The church is pastored by Pat Day. Among its former pastors were D. L. Dykes, Jr., and John E. Fellers. The fiberglass steeple of the church fell onto a passing car during a severe thunderstorm in 2009. It has since been replaced.

A second Methodist congregation is named for J. S. Noel, Jr. The church was begun as a mission in 1906. Methodist layman James Noel and his wife, Fannie, provided financially for the church in its early years. The congregation decided to name the church for the Noel's late son. Like First United Methodist, it opened in the current sanctuary in 1913 and grew rapidly. A fire gutted the building in 1925, and only a portion of the loss was covered by insurance. The members expanded their ranks and rebuilt at the 500 Herndon location. The current Noel Memorial pastor is Flint Shea.

Shreveport September 2015 058 (Holy Trinity Catholic Church)
Holy Trinity Catholic Church, built in Romanesque revival style

The large Holy Trinity Catholic Church located downtown was founded in 1858. Five priests died of yellow fever in 1873. The current sanctuary in Romanesque revival style architecture dates to 1896.

A large First Baptist Church was once pastored by Monroe E. Dodd, an early radio minister and founder of the former Dodd College for Girls. Former Governor Jimmie Davis, a Shreveport city commissioner too, taught history for a year under Dodd's tutelage. Other large Baptist congregations include Calvary Baptist, Broadmoor Baptist, and Summer Grove Baptist. The last was previously pastored by Wayne L. DuBose, now a Baptist denominational officer. Westview Christian Church is an independent Christian church that serves the area as well with members from diverse denominational backgrounds.

Shreveport is home to Shreveport Community Church, an inter-denominational church belonging to the Assemblies of God. The congregation has experienced exponential growth from the 100 members in 1950 to the more than 6,000 it claims now. It is pastored by Denny Duron, who succeeded his father, Rodney Duron, after 45 years at the pulpit. The church has an education program in Evangel Christian Academy, a pre‑K through 12th grade private school that has produced an average of 1 million dollars of scholastic scholarships for its graduating seniors every year. The church has produced a biblical musical, "Songs of the Season", during the Christmas holidays for the past 20 years at the Historic Strand Theater in downtown Shreveport.

Particularly striking in size and architecture is St. Mark's Cathedral, an Episcopal congregation at 908 Rutherford Street in the Highland section of Shreveport. St. Mark's dates its establishment to the first religious service held in Shreveport in 1839.

The Jewish community dates to the organization of Congregation Har El in 1859, which later became B'nai Zion Temple, today the city's Reform congregation and largest synagogue. Agudath Achim, founded in 1905 as an Orthodox congregation, is today a traditional Jewish synagogue. Foster E. Kawaler, the current rabbi, is focused on rebuilding the congregation, which dwindled in size during the second half of the twentieth century. Shreveport, historically, has had a large and civic-minded Jewish community and has elected three Jewish mayors.

Visual and performing arts

Shreveport is home to several theatres, museums, and performing arts groups, including:

  • Artspace Shreveport
  • Barnwell Memorial Garden and Art Center
  • Hayride Diner/Soundstage 516
  • Louisiana State Exhibit Museum
  • Louisiana Dance Theatre
  • Marjorie Lyons Playhouse on the Centenary College Campus
  • Meadows Museum of Art – Centenary College
  • Multicultural Center of the South
  • Peter Pan Players, which closed its doors May 7, 2012, after thirty-nine years of theater.
  • Power and Grace School of Performing Arts
  • R. W. Norton Art Gallery
  • River City Repertory Theatre, the professional theatre for Shreveport-Bossier
  • RiverView Theatre
  • Robinson Film Center
  • Shreveport House Concerts www.shreveporthouseconcerts.org
  • Shreveport Little Theatre www.shreveportlittletheatre.com
  • Shreveport Metropolitan Ballet
  • Shreveport Municipal Auditorium
  • Shreveport Opera
  • Shreveport Symphony Orchestra
  • Southern University Museum of Art
  • Spring Street Museum
  • StageCenter Performing Arts
  • The Strand Theatre
  • Theatre of the Performing Arts of Shreveport

Events and tourism

Shreveport September 2015 017 (Louisiana State Fair Grounds)
Louisiana State Fair Grounds in 2015
  • ArtBreak Festival, largest annual student arts festival in the South since 1984
  • Barksdale Air Force Base Air Show, held annually since 1933
  • Cinco De Mayo Fiesta, held annually since 1998
  • Highland Jazz & Blues Festival, held annually the second Saturday of November since 2003
  • Holiday in Dixie, annual springtime festival, began 1949
  • Independence Bowl, held annually close to New Year's since 1976
  • Independence Day Festival, held annually on the 4th of July since 2009
  • Let the Good Times Roll Festival, annual Juneteenth festival since 1986
  • Louisiana Film Prize, short film competition and film festival.
  • Mardi Gras Parades
  • Mudbug Madness, annual celebration of crawfish, held each May since 1984
  • Red River Revel, annual autumn arts festival which began in 1976, largest outdoor festival in northern Louisiana
  • The State Fair of Louisiana, held annually each autumn since 1906

Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras celebrations in Shreveport date to the mid‑19th century when krewes and parades were organized along the lines of those of New Orleans. Mardi Gras in Shreveport did not survive the cancellations caused by World War I. Attempts to revive it in the 1920s were unsuccessful, and the last Carnival celebrations in Shreveport for decades were held in 1927. Mardi Gras in Shreveport was revived beginning in 1984 with the organization of the Krewe of Apollo. The Krewes of Gemini, Centaur, Aesclepius, Highland, Sobek, Harambee, and others, followed during the next decade and a half. The first krewe revive parading was Gemini in 1989. Today, Mardi Gras is again an important part of the cultural life of the Shreveport metropolitan area.

Recreation and attractions

  • Barksdale Global Power Museum, Barksdale Air Force Base, Bossier City
  • Chimp Haven, chimpanzee sanctuary, Keithville, LA (Shreveport suburb)
  • Clyde Fant Park, along the Red River, named for Mayor Clyde Fant
  • Cross Lake
  • Ford Park on Cross Lake
  • Gators and Friends, alligator and exotic animal park, Greenwood, LA (Shreveport suburb)
  • The Gardens of the American Rose Center
  • Hirsch Memorial Coliseum at Louisiana State Fairgrounds
  • J. Bennett Johnston, Jr. Waterway Regional Visitor Center – History of Red River
  • Mall St. Vincent
  • Louisiana Boardwalk – Bossier City, opposite the Shreveport Central Business District
  • Splash Kingdom Water Park
  • Louisiana State Exhibit Museum, located in a landmark building at the State Fair Grounds
  • Meadows Museum of Art
  • Marlene Yu Museum
  • Multicultural Center of the South
  • Pioneer Heritage Center at Louisiana State University in Shreveport campus
  • R. W. Norton Art Gallery and adjacent azalea park
  • Riverwalk Park
  • Sci-Port – hands-on science center with IMAX Theater
  • Shreveport Municipal Auditorium and Louisiana Hayride Museum
  • Shreveport Water Works Museum
  • Spirit of the Red River, river cruise boat
  • Spring Street Historical Museum
  • Touchstone Wildlife & Art Museum, Haughton in Bossier Parish
  • Yogie and Friends Exotic Cat Sanctuary, Frierson, LA (Shreveport suburb)

Military installations

Barksdale Air Force Base is located in Bossier Parish across the river from Shreveport, which donated the land for its construction in the 1920s. Named for pioneer army aviator Lt. Eugene Hoy Barksdale and originally called Barksdale Army Air Field, it opened in 1933 and became Barksdale Air Force Base in 1947. Headquartered here are the Air Force Global Strike Command, 8th Air Force, 2d Bomb Wing, and 307th Wing. The primary aircraft housed here is the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress. In earlier years, the base was the home to other famous aircraft, including the B-47 Stratojet.

Shreveport is home to the two 108th Cavalry Squadron, the reconnaissance element of the 256th Infantry Brigade. Three of the squadron's four cavalry troops are located at 400 East Stoner Avenue in a historic armory known as "Fort Humbug". This was named due to the Confederate Army burning logs to look like cannons and placing them along the Red River. This caused Union ironclad ships sailing north on the Red River to be tricked into turning back south.

Infrastructure

Transportation

Highways and roads

Shreveport September 2015 071 (Texas Street)
Texas Street
Shreveport September 2015 087 (Texas Avenue)
Texas Avenue

Shreveport's past reflects the need for mass transit and public roads. As far back as the 1870s, residents used mule-drawn street cars that were converted to electric-motorized cars by 1890. Commuter rail systems in Shreveport flourished for many decades, and rail car lines extended out to rural areas. In 1930 trolleys and rail cars began to be replaced by buses, although motor buses did not finally replace all trolley service until the 1960s. In the 1960s, the Interstate Highway System came to the area with the construction of Interstate 20.

The local public transportation provider, SporTran, provides moderately extensive bus service throughout Shreveport and Bossier City. Sportran operates seven days a week on seventeen bus routes (five night routes) from 6:00 a.m. to 1:00 am, with no night service on Sunday. The highway system has a cross-hair and loop freeway structure similar 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 Highway 3132, on the south, forming approximately an 8-mile-diameter (13 km) semi-loop around downtown. Another loop is formed by the Bert Kouns Industrial Loop (Louisiana Highway 526) and circles further south bisecting Interstate 49. I-49 now extends north to Interstate 30 in Arkansas, though there is a gap in I-49 within Shreveport.

Shreveport lies along the route of the proposed Interstate 69 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) superhighway that will link Canada, the U.S. industrial Midwest, Texas, and Mexico.

Airports

Shreveport is served by two airports. The larger is Shreveport Regional Airport (SHV), established in 1952, and is served by Allegiant Air (to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Daytona Beach (Starting June 2nd, 2022), Destin/Fort Walton Beach (Starting May 27th, 2022) and Orlando), American Airlines (to Dallas/Ft. Worth and Charlotte), Delta Air Lines (to Atlanta), and United Airlines (as United Express) (to Houston and Denver). The smaller airport, Shreveport Downtown Airport (DTN), was built in 1931 and is located north of the Downtown Business District along the Red River. It is currently a general aviation and reliever airport, but was originally Shreveport's commercial airport.

Railroads

The Shreveport Waterworks Museum contains the Shreveport Railroad Museum, commemorating area railroad history.

The city had been served until the 1960s by several passenger railroads, at different stations.

  • Central Station at Louisiana Avenue and Lake Street had the Illinois Central (the Southwestern Limited / Northeastern Limited -Shreveport-Meridian, MS), Kansas City Southern Railway (the Southern Belle -Kansas City-New Orleans), St. Louis Southwestern Railway (the Lone Star -Dallas-Memphis) and the Southern Pacific.
  • Texas & Pacific Station at 104 Market Street served the Texas and Pacific Railway. Its last trains were unnamed successors to the Louisiana Eagle (Fort Worth-New Orleans) and the Louisiana Daylight. (El Paso-New Orleans)

Military installations

Barksdale entrance IMG 1370
Entrance to Barksdale AFB

Barksdale Air Force Base is located in Bossier Parish across the river from Shreveport, which annexed and donated the land for its construction in the 1920s. Named for pioneer army aviator Lt. Eugene Hoy Barksdale and originally called Barksdale Army Air Field, it opened in 1933 and became Barksdale Air Force Base in 1947. Headquartered here are the Air Force Global Strike Command, 8th Air Force, 2d Bomb Wing, and 307th Wing. The primary aircraft housed here is the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress. In earlier years, the base was the home to other famous aircraft, including the B-47 Stratojet.

Shreveport is home to the two 108th Cavalry Squadrons, the reconnaissance element of the 256th Infantry Brigade. Three of the squadron's four cavalry troops are located at 400 East Stoner Avenue in a historic armory known as "Fort Humbug". It got the name due to the Confederate Army burning logs to look like cannons and placing them along the Red River. This caused Union ironclad ships sailing north on the Red River to be tricked into turning back south.

Economy

Shreveport September 2015 026 (Regions Tower)
Regions Tower, the tallest building in downtown Shreveport
Schumpert Hospital, Shreveport, LA IMG 1576
Health care is a major industry in Shreveport; Christus Schumpert Medical Center is the secondary leading cancer-treatment facility in the South, behind Willis Knighton.
Shreveport September 2015 050 (Shreveport Convention Center)
The Shreveport Convention Center

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. Beginning in 1930, United Gas Corporation, the nation's busiest pipeline operator and massive integrated oil company, was headquartered in Shreveport. Pennzoil performed a hostile takeover in 1968, and forced a merger. In the 1980s, the oil and gas industry suffered a large economic downturn. This affected all of the regional economy, and many companies cut back jobs or went out of business, including a large retail shopping mall (South Park Mall) which closed in the late 1990s. Its major facilities were adapted for use by Summer Grove Baptist Church. Shreveport suffered severely from this recession, and many residents left the area.

Since that time, Shreveport has largely transitioned to a service economy. In particular, there has been rapid growth in the gaming industry. The city hosts various riverboat gambling casinos, and, before Hurricane Katrina in 2005, was second only to New Orleans in Louisiana tourism. Nearby Bossier City is home to one of the three horse racetracks in the state, Louisiana Downs. Casinos in Shreveport-Bossier include Sam's Town, Bally's, Horseshoe, Boomtown, and Margaritaville. Diamond Jacks Casino (formerly Isle of Capri) closed in 2020. The Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau is the official tourism information agency for the region. The bureau maintains a comprehensive database of restaurants, accommodations, attractions, and events.

In May 2005, the Louisiana Boardwalk, a 550,000-square-foot (51,000 m2) shopping and entertainment complex, opened in Bossier City across from Shreveport's downtown. It features outlet shopping, several restaurants, a 14‑screen movie theater, a bowling complex, and Bass Pro Shops.

A 350,000-square-foot (33,000 m2) convention center was completed in the Shreveport Downtown Riverfront. Managed by SMG, it includes an 800-space parking garage. An adjoining Hilton Hotel opened in June 2007. It was constructed by and owned by the city, which has been a controversial issue, and the subject of discussions about use of public funds.

Shreveport is a major medical center of the region and state. The Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Shreveport operates at expanded facilities once used by the former Confederate Memorial Medical Center. Major hospitals include Christus Highland Medical Center, Willis Knighton, and the Shriners Hospital for Children.

As of November 2008, excitement had centered around development of the Haynesville Shale, with many new jobs in the natural gas industry expected to be created over the next few years. Residents in the region have been given large bonuses for signing mineral rights leases up to $25,000 per acre. However, economic downturn had resulted in a lower market price for natural gas and slower-than-expected drilling activity. The city expected to generate revenue by leasing the mineral rights on public lands in the near future as neighboring municipalities had already done.

Shreveport was home to Shreveport Operations, a General Motors plant that closed in August 2012. The plant produced the Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, Hummer H3 series, and the Isuzu i-Series. In January 2013, the plant was leased from Caddo Parish by Elio Motors. In addition to GM, other notable large companies that have had or still have Shreveport manufacturing/assembly or production facilities or operations include: General Electric (electric transformer production), Western Electric (payphone manufacturing, approximately 7,500 employees at its peak, changed ownership through the years but closed in 2001) Honeywell UOP, Libbey-Owens-Ford, Beaird-Poulan (the originator of and, for decades, the only manufacturer of the single-operator chainsaw in the world), Calumet Specialty Products Partners (originally United Gas Corporation's Atlas Processing Unit and then Pennzoil), and Frymaster, LLC (a subsidiary of The Manitowoc Company). In 2017, manufacturing and other goods-producing (e.g. petrochemical refining) jobs accounted for about 5% of Shreveport occupations, compared to 8% for the nationwide percentage of the workforce involved in manufacturing.

Outside of the manufacturing, gambling and hotel industries in Shreveport, JPMorgan Chase, Capital One, and Regions Financial Corporation have regional offices in Shreveport's downtown and surrounding districts and neighborhoods. Dallas–Fort Worth and Metro Atlanta-based AT&T, and New York-based Verizon Communications are also prevalent in the city. AT&T's regional headquarters is located in Downtown Shreveport. Walmart, Lamar Advertising Company, Target and Best Buy, and United Parcel Service also have facilities throughout Shreveport. Amazon and Governor Edwards announced plans to open a fulfillment center in 2021. Amazon began construction on the $200 million fulfillment center in 2021 with completion expected in 2022. The fulfillment center is expected to create 1,000 direct jobs.

In 2014, the city government pumped $16.5 million into Mall St. Vincent. In 2015 Fortune magazine ranked Shreveport the "#1 place to start a business". In 2017, Gymboree and Grimaldi's Pizzeria closed their Mall St. Vincent operations; Sears is now closed as well as of 2018. In 2020, Advanced Aero Services planned to open a facility at Shreveport Regional Airport. On July 31, 2020 the Shreveport Economic Recovery Task Force released a revitalization plan with a primary focus on the downtown area.

Film industry

Tax incentives offered by the state government have given Louisiana the third largest film industry in the country, behind California and New York. Louisiana is sometimes called "Hollywood South". A number of films have been made in Shreveport. Facilities include sound stages, prop rental facilities, the Fairgrounds Complex, and the Louisiana Wave Studio, a computer-controlled outdoor wave pool.

Selected films shot in Shreveport include:

Several television series have been shot in Shreveport and the surrounding area, including The Gates (2010), and Salem (2014). The Louisiana Film Prize has spurred the creation of over 200 short films shot in Shreveport and Northwest Louisiana by filmmakers from around the world since its inception in 2012.

Sports

Shreveport September 2015 012 (Independence Stadium)
Independence Stadium, 2015

Dating back to 1911, the state fairgrounds (and later Independence Stadium, formerly State Fair Stadium) has traditionally hosted a college football game or two during the State Fair of Louisiana, an event currently dubbed the Red River State Fair Classic. Since 1976, Independence Stadium has served as host of college football's annual Independence Bowl. Also, the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs football team occasionally hosts games at Independence Stadium. Shreveport was also home to a few now defunct football teams. The Houston franchise of the professional World Football League relocated to Shreveport rebranded as the Shreveport Steamer midway through the 1974 season, but the franchise along with the WFL folded midway through the 1975 season.

Another franchise named the Shreveport Steamers played as a member of the American Football Association from 1979 until folding in 1981. Shreveport's Independence Stadium was also home to the Shreveport Pirates, an unsuccessful professional Canadian Football League franchise that opened play in 1994 but folded after the 1995 season.Baseball in Shreveport has an extensive past. The city had affiliated Minor League Baseball teams from 1968 to 2002. The most memorable team was the Shreveport Captains of the Texas League. Baseball teams in Shreveport have gone through eight different name changes and seven different leagues all since 1895. Shreveport's most recent independent minor league baseball team, the Shreveport-Bossier Captains, ceased operations in 2011 and moved to Laredo, Texas.

The city also has an extensive history in basketball and soccer. The Shreveport Crawdads and Shreveport Storm operated in 1994 and 1995 as members of the Continental Basketball Association. The Shreveport-Bossier Mavericks of the American Basketball Association played from 2013 to 2015 before relocating to Owensboro, Kentucky. The Shreveport/Bossier Lions played in 1998 as affiliates of the United Soccer League. NPSL-affiliate Shreveport Rafters FC operated from 2016 to 2018. Their expansion team for the Women's Premier Soccer League operated for one season in 2017. Shreveport almost had a USL expansion team in 2020 before its rejection by the city council.

Currently, Shreveport is home to a few amateur sports clubs and college teams. The city was once considered as location for an NBA G League-affiliate of the New Orleans Pelicans. The city council unanimously rejected the proposal. The Shreveport Mudbugs are a Tier II junior ice hockey team that has competed in the North American Hockey League since 2016. The Centenary Gentlemen and Ladies compete in NCAA Division III as a member of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference. The LSU–Shreveport Pilots compete in the NAIA as a member of the Red River Athletic Conference. The Shreveport Mavericks of The Basketball League have been operating in the city since 2021. USL League Two announced the establishment of Blue Goose SC in 2022.

Education

Byrd High School from Kings Highway IMG 1382
C. E. Byrd High School
Centenary College sign IMG 1375
Centenary College of Louisiana

Caddo Public Schools is a school district based in Shreveport. 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 on Line Avenue at the intersection with East Kings Highway, bears his name. There are a number of private schools in the city as well, including Loyola College Prep, a coeducational high school founded in 1902 as the all-male St. John's High School.

Colleges and universities

Shreveport has several colleges, including the Methodist-affiliated Centenary College (founded at Jackson, Louisiana, in 1825; relocated to Shreveport in 1908) and Louisiana State University in Shreveport, which opened as a two-year institution in 1967. It became four-year in 1976. Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Shreveport, the only medical school in Northern Louisiana, opened in 1969. Shreveport also has one of the largest nursing schools in northern Louisiana, the Northwestern State University College of Nursing.

Louisiana Tech University at Shreveport-Bossier City was launched in 2012 offering their Executive MBA and main campus undergraduate and graduate degree programs at the university's Shreveport Center. Southern University at Shreveport (SUSLA) offers a two-year associate's degree program. Founded in 1973, Louisiana Baptist University and Theological Seminary is also located in Shreveport, at 6301 Westport Avenue.

Ayers Career College is a Shreveport-based college that offers career training in the medical and HVAC fields. Since July 2007, Shreveport is home to a local Remington College campus. This location offers both diploma and degree programs, and is active in the Shreveport community. Virginia College opened in 2012. Located in Shreveport-Bossier City, it offers career training in areas such as business and office, health and medical, and medical billing.

Notable people

Images for kids

Black History Month on Kiddle
African-American Women in Medicine:
May Edward Chinn
Rebecca Cole
Alexa Canady
Dorothy Lavinia Brown
kids search engine
Shreveport, Louisiana Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.