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1. May 17 marks the anniversary of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, when the United States acquired over 800,000 square miles of land from France, including much of Louisiana. This purchase doubled the size of the United States and paved the way for the expansion of the country.

2. The Louisiana State Capitol, located in Baton Rouge, was dedicated on May 17, 1932. The Capitol building is the tallest capitol building in the United States and has an art deco design that is unique among state capitols.

3. On May 17, 1875, the first Kentucky Derby was held in Louisville, Kentucky. Although this event did not take place in Louisiana, it has a strong connection to the state's history, as many Louisianians have bred and trained thoroughbred horses that have competed in the prestigious race.

4. May 17 is also the anniversary of the founding of the Friends of the Cabildo, an organization that works to preserve the historic buildings and artifacts of the Louisiana State Museum. The Friends of the Cabildo was founded in 1956 and has since played a key role in preserving the cultural heritage of the state.

5. In 1699, French explorer Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville landed at what is now known as New Orleans on May 17. This event marked the beginning of French colonization in Louisiana and the eventual settlement of New Orleans, which would become one of the most important cities in the United States.

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