Shreveport (shrēvˈpôrt) [key], city (1990 pop. 198,525), seat of Caddo parish, NW La., on the Red River near the Tex. and Ark. lines; inc. 1839. The third largest city in the state, it is a regional oil and natural gas center, with important metal, cotton, and lumber manufactures. Plastics, tools, telephones, pumps, buildings materials, and pharmaceuticals are also made. The city was founded after the Red River there was laboriously cleared (1833–36) of logs and driftwood, rendering it navigable. It became the Confederate capital of Louisiana in 1863. The discovery of oil in 1906 provided the greatest impetus for Shreveport's growth. It is the seat of Centenary College of Louisiana and two campuses of Louisiana State Univ. (the Health Sciences Center and LSU in Shreveport). Annual events include the Louisiana State Fair and an arts fair. Of interest are the Pioneer Heritage Center and the ruins of Confederate Fort Humbug, which was defended with fake cannons. Shreveport and neighboring Bossier City are home to several riverboat casinos (on the Red River). Barksdale Air Force Base is across the river. Nearby is Cross Lake, with recreational facilities.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.