Today – December 20

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Today’s Memorable U. S. Event

December 20, 1803  – Louisiana Purchase

Transfer of Louisiana by Ford P. Kaiser for th...
Transfer of Louisiana by Ford P. Kaiser for the Louisiana Purchase Exposition (1904) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Louisiana Purchase (French: Vente de la Louisiane “Sale of Louisiana”) was the acquisition by the United States of America of 828,800 square miles (2,147,000 km2) of the French territory Louisiana in 1803.

The U.S. paid 60 million francs ($11,250,000) plus cancellation of debts worth 18 million francs ($3,750,000), a total cost of 15 million dollars for the Louisiana territory.

 

Map of the states and territories of the Unite...
Map of the states and territories of the United States as it was from July 1805 to 1809. On July 4 1805, the District of Louisiana was organized as Louisiana Territory. On March 1 1809, Illinois Territory was split from Indiana Territory. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On April 30, 1803, the Louisiana Purchase Treaty, called by some “the letter that bought a continent”, was signed by Robert Livingston, James Monroe, and Barbé Marbois in Paris. Jefferson announced the treaty to the American people on July 4. After the signing of the Louisiana Purchase agreement in 1803, Livingston made this famous statement, “We have lived long, but this is the noblest work of our whole lives…From this day the United States take their place among the powers of the first rank.” The United States Senate ratified the treaty with a vote of twenty-four to seven on October 20; on the following day, it authorized President Jefferson to take possession of the territory and establish a temporary military government. In legislation enacted on October 31, Congress made temporary provisions for local civil government to continue as it had under French and Spanish rule and authorized the President to use military forces to maintain order. Plans were also set forth for several missions to explore and chart the territory, the most famous being the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

France turned New Orleans over on December 20, 1803 at The Cabildo. On March 10, 1804, a formal ceremony was conducted in St. Louis to transfer ownership of the territory from France to the United States.

Wikipedia – The Free Encyclopedia

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