In 1803, the United States brokered one of history’s biggest real-estate bargains: the purchase of 828,000 square miles of land from France — for a mere 4 cents an acre. This territorial acquisition nearly doubled the fledgling country’s size and opened up the western half of the continent for exploration. Known today as the Louisiana Purchase, the landmark land deal celebrates its 200th anniversary in 2003. Trek to New Orleans this summer for these heritage-heavy events:
• Jefferson’s America, Napoleon’s France: An Exhibition for the Louisiana Purchase Bicentennial Celebration <www.noma.org>: Through period art, explore the lives and legacies of the leaders who engineered the famous land deal. Through Aug. 31, 2003, this exhibit at the New Orleans Museum of Art examines the cultural exchange between France and the United States that led up to the Louisiana Purchase. You’ll see paintings, sculptures, prints, furniture and other artistic artifacts. Admission is $12 for adults, $11 for senior citizens and $6 for children. Call (504) 488-2631 for details.