The First New Orleans Mardi Gras
February 27, 1827 - It was Fat Tuesday, and a bunch of students decided to dress up and dance in the streets of the French Quarter. Thus began the Mardi Gras tradition in New Orleans.
Some claim that Mardi Gras was celebrated as early as 1699 in Louisiana, which is when French explorer, Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville first planted his feet in the territory. But the real party as its known today didn't get started until those crazy kids got it going in 1827.
Mardi Gras traces its origins way back to ancient Rome. Over the centuries it picked up steam as a wild meat-eating, wine-chugging last hurrah before the fasting and somber penitence of Lent.
Check out the home movies from Mardi Gras in the 50s and 60s below: