Mardi Gras Facts

1969 – A French exploring party led by Pierre LeMoyne lands 60 miles below New Orleans on Fat Tuesday. He names the spot Pointe du Mardi Gras and the group celebrated.

1743 – The first Carnival ball is held. Masking is forbidden by the Spanish governor.

1781 – The newspaper reports that masking is again flourishing during Mardi Gras.

1838 – The first parade organization, the Mistick Krewe of Comus, forms and stages a night parade.

1857 – Rex, the premier Carnival organization, forms and stages a daytime parade.

1872 – Les Mysteriouses, the first major female krewe, forms, holds a masked ball and disbands.

1896 – The African-American Zulu organization holds it’s first parade, parodying Rex.

1909 – Krewes form on the Westbank, beginning the expansion of Mardi Gras to suburban areas.

1930s – Louis Armstrong returns to New Orleans to ride as King Zulu. He is the first celebrity monarch.

1949 – The Duke and Duchess of Windsor visit Mardi Gras and bow to courts of Rex and Comus.

1950 – The first gay krewe, Yuga, has its Carnival ball raided by police.

1958 – Bacchus, the first superkrewe, forms with more riders, bigger floats and Mardi Gras begins its transformation into a tourist attraction.

1969 – The city passes an ordinance requiring krewes to integrate their memberships in order to get parade permits. Several old-line krewes stop parading.

1992 – Harry Connick, Jr., helps form the Krewe of Orpheus, a new superkrewe with integrated membership and a musical orientation.

1996 – Le Krewe D’Etat forms to bring back satirical style parades. Other satire krewes follow.

2000 – The Krewe of Muses, a large new women’s krewe, forms.

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