Mississippi River Facts

Mississippi River Facts
The Mississippi River is the world's tenth largest river and the world's fourth longest river. It flows from Lake Itasca in Minnesota through nine additional states for a total of 2350 miles, before reaching the Gulf of Mexico. The Mississippi River's watershed (land drained by the river) includes a total of 31 states and 2 provinces in Canada. The Mississippi River basin was originally settled by Native Americans, and evidence of plant cultivation dates back to the 4th millennium BCE. Indigenous people continued to reap the benefits of the river and its surrounding land, until European explorers arrived in the 1500s and life began to slowly change. Slowly America was settled by Europeans and the Mississippi River became important as a mode of transportation and for water supply.
Interesting Mississippi River Facts:
Hernando de Soto, a Spanish explorer, was the first European to record reaching the Mississippi River. He arrived on May 8th, 1541.
Hernando de Soto named the river Rio del Espiritu Santo, which means 'river of the Holy Spirit'.
In the 1600s Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet further explored the Mississippi River, guided by Ne Tongo, a Sioux Indian.
The name Mississippi is derived from the Ojibwe word 'misi-ziibi' which means 'great river'.
The Mississippi River became the Spanish/British border in 1763 as per the Treaty of Paris.
Life on the Mississippi is a book written by Mark Twain in reference to the steamboat era between 1830 and 1870. Most of Mark Twain's work involved the Mississippi River in some way, either as the setting or part of the story.
Steamboats were used until approximately 1910, for transporting people and goods.
The Mississippi River flows through Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana.
The Mississippi River's main tributaries include the St. Croix River, Wisconsin Rover, Rock River, Illinois River, Kaskaskia River, Ohio River, Minnesota River, Des Moines River, Missouri River, White River, Arkansas River, and the Red River.
Major cities that the Mississippi Rover passes through include Minneapolis, St. Paul, La Crosse, Quad Cities, St. Louis, Memphis, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans.
A drop of rain that lands at the mouth of the Mississippi River will take 90 days to reach the basin.
There are more than 360 fish species, 325 bird species, 50 mammal species, and 145 amphibian species living in and around the Mississippi River. More than 25% of North America's fish species can be found in the Mississippi River. The river corridor is extremely important to migratory birds as well.
The Mississippi River's deepest spot is located in New Orleans near Algiers Point. The river is approximately 200 feet deep there.
The first bridge built to cross the Mississippi River was constructed in 1855. The next year the first railroad bridge crossing the river was built.
The average flow rate at the Mississippi River's mouth is 6 cubic feet per second, while the average flow rate at the basin is 600,000 cubic feet per second.
In 2002 Martin Strel swam the entire length of the Mississippi River. It took him 68 days.

Related Links:
Rivers Facts
Animals Facts
Mississippi Facts
Trail of Tears Facts
Iowa Facts
Rivers Facts
Hernando de Soto Timeline
Rivers Facts for Kids
Tennessee Facts
Hernando de Soto Facts
Louisiana Facts