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French President Emmanuel Macron will arrive in New Orleans on December 2 as part of his state visit to the United States, becoming the first French leader to visit the city since 1976.

This is the third visit by a French president to the former French colony, in which a Paris consulate is located.

A general view of the city of New Orleans

newspaper reported Le Figaro French Daily that the visit aims to showcase France’s cultural and social footprint in the United States.

Macron plans to announce a fund to fund French language education, as well as talk about climate issues with the governor, John Bel Edwards.

He also plans to tour the French Quarter and discuss culture and music, the newspaper reported.

The last French president to visit Louisiana was Valéry Giscard d’Estaing nearly half a century ago, and was preceded by Charles de Gaulle in 1941.

Why are the French interested in New Orleans?

When it was founded in 1718, the city was called La Nouvelle-Orléans, after the Duke of Orleans, and from the beginning it considered itself a city separate from other New World settlements, according to the site New Orleans dot com.

The city is proud of its French origins even after France severed relations and sold Louisiana to America, and maintains a large number of French-influenced cultural and gastronomic traditions.

The city maintains a rich French heritage that extends from restaurants to the celebration of “Fat Tuesday” or (Mardi Gras), which is the time when consuming food in large quantities before the fasting period is tolerated according to the Catholic religion, given that the city’s French founders are Catholics.

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Louisiana was claimed for France in 1682.

Two French architects designed the neighborhood now known as the French Quarter.

Even during the 40 years of Spanish rule, New Orleans remained French, as schools taught lessons in French, newspapers were published in French, and New Orleans residents always took news of culture and fashion from France.

In 1803, when New Orleans moved permanently to government, many street names remained French, such as the streets of Bienville and Iberville, as the state celebrates Bastille Day.