Lafayette

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Lafayette

(lä'fēĕt`, lăf'ēĕt`). 1 City (1990 pop. 23,501), Contra Costa co., NW Calif., a residential suburb in the San Francisco–Oakland area; settled 1848, inc. 1968. The city is a horse raising and agricultural trading center, especially for walnuts; there is also light manufacturing.

2 City (1990 pop. 43,764), seat of Tippecanoe co., W central Ind., on the Wabash River; inc. 1853. A manufacturing city in a grain, livestock, and dairy area, it has food processing and automobile assembly plants. Other products include building materials; electrical, transportation, and heating equipment; metal, paper, and rubber products; wire; chemicals; animal feeds; and pharmaceuticals. The nearby site of the battle of TippecanoeTippecanoe
, river, c.170 mi (270 km) long, rising in the lake district of NE Ind. and flowing SW to the Wabash River, near Lafayette. U.S. Gen. William Henry Harrison fought the Shawnees in the battle of Tippecanoe, Nov. 7, 1811, on the site of Battle Ground, Ind.
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 (Nov., 1811) is a state memorial. Of interest is the rebuilt blockhouse of Fort Ouiatenon (1717).

3 City (1990 pop. 94,440), seat of Lafayette parish, S central La., on the Vermilion River (which is linked to the Intracoastal WaterwayIntracoastal Waterway,
c.3,000 mi (4,827 km) long, partly natural, partly artificial, providing sheltered passage for commercial and leisure boats along the U.S. Atlantic coast from Boston, Mass. to Key West, S Fla., and along the Gulf of Mexico coast from Apalachee Bay, NW Fla.
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); settled 1770s by exiled Acadians, inc. 1836. Known as the hub of Cajun Country (see AcadiaAcadia
, Fr. Acadie, region and former French colony, E Canada, encompassing modern Nova Scotia but also New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and coastal areas of E Maine. After an abortive 1604 settlement of St.
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), it is a commercial, shipping, and medical center for an area producing sugarcane, rice, cotton, dairy cattle, livestock, and petroleum. Manufactures include apparel, jewelry, and building materials. The area's oil and natural gas boom contributed to a large population increase and an influx of new businesses to the city in the 1980s and 90s. The Heymann Oil Center is headquarters for several oil companies. Of interest are St. John's Cathedral (1916), a Carmelite monastery, a planetarium, natural history and children's museums, and the Cajun Dome stadium. The Univ. of Louisiana at Lafayette is there, and the city is the scene of an annual Mardi GrasMardi Gras
, last day before the fasting season of Lent. It is the French name for Shrove Tuesday. Literally translated, the term means "fat Tuesday" and was so called because it represented the last opportunity for merrymaking and excessive indulgence in food and drink before
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 and the Festival Acadiens. Evangeline Downs racetrack and casino and the Cypress Island Preserve are nearby.

Lafayette

, La Fayette
1. Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier , Marquis de Lafayette. 1757--1834, French general and statesman. He fought on the side of the colonists in the War of American Independence and, as commander of the National Guard (1789--91; 1830), he played a leading part in the French Revolution and the revolution of 1830
2. Marie-Madeleine , Comtesse de Lafayette. 1634--93, French novelist, noted for her historical romance La Princesse de Cl?ves (1678)