Shreveport is named for Captain Henry Miller Shreve, a steamboat captain, who in the 1830's cleared the great log jam ("Great Raft") that stretched 165 miles along the Red River . This accomplishment opened the area to commerce, marking the beginning of growth and leading to the incorporation of the city of Shreveport in 1839 on property obtained from the Caddo Indians. Agriculture and the lumber industry were the mainstays of the economy until the 1900's when the oil boom served as the impetus for industrial and commercial expansion. Bossier City , Shreveport 's sister city across the Red River , was incorporated in 1907. The establishment of Barksdale Air Force Base in 1933 (currently employing 10,000 residents) triggered expansion and since that time Bossier City has been one of the fastest growing cities in the region.
Today, Shreveport-Bossier serves as the business and culture center of the 200 mile radius extending into Arkansas , Louisiana , and Texas known as the Ark-La-Tex. It is a regional medical center, with 15,000 medically-related employees at LSU Health Shreveport, Overton Brooks Veterans Administration Medical Center , Shriner's Hospital for Children, CHRISTUS Schumpert Health System, and Willis Knighton Health System.
Shreveport-Bossier City is located in Northwest Louisiana, 180 miles due east of Dallas, Texas, and is the commercial, educational and cultural focal point of the Ark-La-Tex, the geographic region formed by the junction of Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas. The Shreveport-Bossier metropolitan area has a population of 400,000, with a civilian labor force of 180,000, and the largest employer being Barksdale Air Force Base with 10,000 employees. The medical-related sector, including health care, research and education, employs 15,000 and nearly 9,000 are employed by the casino gaming sector.
Shreveport-Bossier offers a large variety of attractions, festivals, and cuisine. The mild climate, with a mean annual temperature of 65 degrees, offers ample opportunity for its citizens to take advantage of a broad array of outdoor recreational activities. Area lakes, bayous, rivers and forests offer outstanding fishing, swimming, and boating facilities. Tennis and golf are played year-round.
Day and weekend excursions to regional attractions include Louisiana Cajun country, scenic antebellum homes along the Cane River in Natchitoches, the Ouachita and Ozarks mountains and rivers of Arkansas, the Civil War battlefield park at Vicksburg, and the major regional cities of Jackson, Little Rock, Houston, Dallas, Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Shreveport is served by Delta, American, Northwest and Continental Airlines, connecting to six national and international hub airports: Houston , Dallas , Memphis , Atlanta , Cincinnati and Detroit . Federal Express, UPS, DHL, and other freight carriers handle eight million pounds of freight each year. In addition, Shreveport-Bossier is intersected by two US interstate highways, I-20 and I-49, and is served by a very active 2,000 acre water port on the Red River that connects the region to New Orleans and the world.