The 20th century ushered in the era of celebrations. Colonial times were long past, but the ties remained strong, and official recognition of the particular history of this region of the United States seemed justified. The Louisiana Historical Society, appointed to organize the Centenary of the Louisiana Purchase, invited no less than the President of the United States to New Orleans. In addition to these Louisiana celebrations, the city of Saint Louis organized an International Exposition on the theme of the Louisiana Purchase, in which France was to play an important role—which it did, rather half-heartedly. What has become clear over the course of the commemorations of the last hundred years is the prominent place that France holds in the hearts of Louisianans, and the fact that the French have responded to this rather negligently. The same was true during the Bicentennial of the city of Mobile, Alabama in 1911.
In 1917, Marc de Villiers du Terrage published his Histoire de la fondation de La Nouvelle Orléans [History of the Founding of New Orleans] with the Imprimerie Nationale in Paris. Since the Imprimerie was a state-run enterprise at the time, proof of the interest in the subject in official French circles. In 1982, the city of Paris and the Macdonald Stewart Foundation presented an exposition that celebrated the tercentennial of the naming of Louisiana by Cavelier de La Salle.
In 2002, the French Ministry of Culture decided that the
bicentennial of the Louisiana Purchase should be the subject of a national
celebration. This was particularly significant given the chosen means
of communicationthe Internet. The common cultural ties between Louisiana
and France were emphasized, ties due to their common past, but most of
all to the use of the French language. This bilingual web sitegiving
a basic history of French Louisiana as well as many useful sources of
written or graphic documentationseemed like the most current way
to present the rich collections devoted to this period in history, and
to create new ties between researchers and history enthusiasts from both