This is the anniversary of the one of the greatest real estate deals in history — one that doubled the size of the U.S. and put the nation in position to become a world power. The year was 1803, and the deal was the Louisiana Purchase. The young U.S. under President Thomas Jefferson bought nearly 830,000 square miles from France at the cost of four cents an acre. The land stretched from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains and from the Gulf of Mexico to the Canadian border. Thirteen states are made up of the land involved. Appropriately enough, Louisiana became a state on this date in 1812. At the time, just 77,000 people lived there. Now, Louisiana is home to over 4.6 million. You can find more facts about America’s people, places and economy, from the American Community Survey, at <www.census.gov>.