The French established the first European settlement in the lower Mississippi valley in 1699 across the bay at Old Biloxi (now Ocean Springs). New Biloxi, founded in 1719, was the capital of French Louisiana until 1722, when New Orleans replaced it. Hurricane Camille wrecked the city's waterfront in 1969, and Katrina caused even greater devastation in 2005. Keesler Air Force Base and
Beauvoir (built 1852–54), the last home of Jefferson Davis , are here, as is Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art, designed by Frank Gehry . Off the coast are the western islands of Gulf Islands National Seashore, including Ship Island, a Union fort during the Civil War.
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