Saturday, April 30th. This is the 219th anniversary of perhaps the greatest real estate deal in American history — one that doubled the size of the nation, putting it in position to become a world power.
The year was 1803, and the deal was the Louisiana Purchase. The young United States bought nearly 830,000 square miles from France at the cost of four cents an acre. The land stretched from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains and from the Gulf of Mexico to the Canadian border. The sale encompassed all or parts of 14 of today’s states.
Appropriately enough, Louisiana became a state on this date in 1812. At the time, just 77,000 people lived there. Now, Louisiana is home to nearly 4.66 million.
Profile America is completing 25 years as a public service of the U.S. Census Bureau.