Shreveport's identity is a bit of a puzzle. It's a Louisiana town cut from the largely Baptist fabric of the deep Bible Belt, which, by dint of proximity and economy, feels like an outgrowth of East Texas. It's a city that extends its cultural roots into socially conservative soil, yet its main industry is a crop of Vegas-sized casinos, which give folks from ruby red America a place to crank the sin-pressure relief valve via gambling.
Captain Henry Shreve cleared a 165-mile logjam on the Red River and founded this river-port town – now the third-largest city in the state – in 1839. The city boomed with oil discoveries in the early 1900s, declined after WWII, and saw some revitalization via the casinos and a riverfront entertainment complex. Today, Shreveport's main non-gambling attractions are the cultural ephemera – a few museums and gardens – built during its periods of economic boom.