Interesting Facts About the Mississippi River
The Mississippi is the longest river in North America and fourth longest in the world, and plays a significant role in the economies surrounding the River.
- There are more then 175 bridges that cross the Mississippi River. The first was built in 1855.
- The Mississippi River is approx. 2,320 miles long, stretching from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico. At its widest point, the Mississippi River is just over 7 miles wide.
- The Mississippi is the fourth longest river in the world behind the Nile, Amazon and Yangtze rivers.
- In 1541 the River was discovered by Hernando De Soto.
- The main water source of the Mississippi River is lake Itasca, Minnesota.
- Long distance swimmer Martin Strel became the first person to swim the Mississippi in 2002. It took him 68 days to complete the feat.
- The Mississippi flows through ten different states (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Mississippi, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Iowa and Louisiana).
- The novel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, was heavily based around the setting of the River.
- Over 350 fish species call the Mississippi home.
- The largest roller dam in the world in the Quad Cities resides on the Mississippi.
- Mississippi River is 200-feet deep at its deepest point near Algiers Point, NO.
- The River drops 1,475 feet in elevation from its highest point in Minnesota to the Golf of Mexico.
- In 1922, Water Skiing was “invented” on Lake Pepin.
- The Mississippi River houses 29 locks and dams.
- The River played a significant role in the American Civil War. Both the north and the south fought for control over the Mississippi.
- Three sections make up the Mississippi, Upper, Middle and Lower.