From the vault: Mardi Gras

26 Photos

Every year since the 1800’s, revelers have flocked to New Orleans to celebrate Mardi Gras. Many historians believe that the first American Mardi Gras took place on March 3, 1699 when French explorers landed in what is now Louisiana. They held a small celebration and dubbed the spot Point du Mardi Gras.

Parades with floats, marching bands and party-goers throwing beads, wearing masks and eating King Cake are all part of the ongoing tradition of Mardi Gras. Browse through archive photos dating back to the 1940s to see how the celebration has evolved.