It was May 7, 1718 when Jean-Baptiste le Moyne de Bienville founded the wonderful city of New Orleans in the name of the French Mississippi Company. Bienville named the city La Nouvelle-Orléans after Philippe d’Orléans, the Duke of Orléans who was the Regent of France at the time. Although the city only remained under French control for 45 years, ending with the Treaty of Paris, which ceded the city to the Spanish Empire in 1763, the French influence of our founders remains an important part of our culture and our heritage. You only need to spend a few minutes wandering the French Quarter, glance at any of our street (or business) names, or sample our cuisine to find reminiscences of our French origins. Even the symbol of our city, the fleur de lis, comes from our French founders. Regardless of our origins, we’re looking pretty good for a 295-year-old!