On high ground, 100 miles froom the mouth of the Mississippi River, in 1718, Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville founded New Orleans. in 1722, a hurricane destroyed the original City which was centered around the Place d’Armes, which is now Jackson Square. It is after these events that the City was rebuit and laid out in a grid pattern to which we now call the French Quarter. Before the The French regained control of the colony in 1803, and shortly thereafter sold it to the United States in the Louisiana Purchase, the French had ruled over the city until 1763 and then they ceded the territory to the Spanish. As the birthplace of early jazz in the 1900s, the twentieth century brought on a new era, notably in music. New Orleans became a cultural beacon throughout the United States as jazz music swept the nation in the next few decades. After World War II, the city became a tourist destination and remains so to this day, drawing millions for events such as Mardi Gras and the Jazz and Heritage Festival.