The devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005 left much of this classic American city in shambles. But the spirit of its people and the many who have stepped up to help rebuild New Orleans are making sure that its many unique charms and attractions will continue. Central in this city's rich heritage has been its diverse cultures, celebrated in language, food, music, festivals, and architecture, among others. Flowing through all aspects of New Orleans is its history, which dates back to the early 1700s when it was a French-Canadian outpost. The city's famed waterways are an integral part of the American fabric, and include the Mississippi River, Lake Pontchartrain, and the Gulf of Mexico. New Orleans' multicultural heritage has shaped its place in the world as a major influence on music, including its mark as the birthplace of jazz. But music is but a part of what makes New Orleans great. Festivals and celebrations have also fueled tourism here, and include Mardis Gras, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, and Carnival. Tourists come for many historical sites in this city as well, including the French Quarter, home to famed hotels and nightclubs. The area also is home to the St. Louis Cathedral, Jackson Square, the French Market, and Preservation Hall. Museums are also a key attraction in the city, and include the National World War II Museum and Confederate Memorial Hall. There are also art museums, gardens, and wetlands to enjoy.