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On This Day in History: The first American Mardi Gras celebrations break out

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On February 27, 1827 students in New Orleans organized an impromptu party to celebrate the French Catholic holiday of Mardi Gras. The traditions of the festival had been brought to the New World by French settlers in the 17th century, but Spanish governors banned the celebrations. After the Louisiana Purchase, New Orleans residents put their own American spin on Mardi Gras, which has grown into the massive annual celebration we see today.

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