Little known republic in La. celebrates 200 years

Louisiana Secretary of State Jay Dardenne, hands foreground, and archivist Melanie Montaro look at the Constitution and related documents of the Republic of West Florida, a group of eight Louisiana Parishes that seceded from Spain in 1810, at the Louisiana Archives in Baton Rouge, La., Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2010. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

September 23, 2010 7:06:58 AM PDT
While Texans are fiercely proud their state was once its own republic, and California celebrates the same former status on its flag, relatively few Louisianans know that a group of their forebears overthrew Spanish rule to carve out a tiny, independent nation 200 years ago. With the bicentennial coming up Thursday, historians and descendants of the rebels are hoping to change that.