The Mighty Mississippi: It’s a Mighty Big River…
No wonder they call it, “The Mighty Mississippi.” The Mississippi River is America’s largest river by far. It’s about 2,320 miles long. It passes by 10 states. And, water from 31 states drains into it.
It is also one of the world’s most important commercial (business) waterways in the world and one of North America’s great migration routes for both birds and fish.
The Mississippi River begins at Lake Itasca, a small lake in Minnesota. From there, the river gathers more and more water as it flows south toward the Gulf of Mexico. Along the way, big rivers, small rivers, and streams flow into the Mississippi, adding more and more water. By the time all that water reaches New Orleans, Louisiana, over 4 millions gallons are flowing past the city every second! That’s why the Mississippi is America’s mightiest river.
Quotes by Mark Twain, Riverboat Captain
“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not the absence of fear.”
“Kindness is the language the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”
“Give every day the chance to be the most beautiful day of your life.”
“Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection.”
“Courage is the foundation of integrity.”
About the Mississippi River
It’s a Fact: The name Mississippi comes from the Ojibway Indian tribe. Mississippi means “big river” in their language.
It’s a Fact: 10 states border the Mississippi River. They are: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana.
It’s a Fact: The Mississippi River flows through several major cities, including Minneapolis, St. Paul, St. Louis, Memphis, and New Orleans.
It’s a Fact: A single drop of water takes about 90 days to flow from Lake Itasca, where the Mississippi River begins, to the Gulf of Mexico, where the river ends.
It’s a Fact: The famous American author Mark Twain (1835-1910) was a Mississippi riverboat pilot before he became a writer.
Fun Fact: The Great River Road National Scenic Byway follows the course of the Mississippi River for 3,000 miles from northern Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico. The scenic route passes through 10 states and hundreds of river towns.
Fun Fact: At its widest point, the Mississippi River is about 7 miles wide.
Fun Fact: At its deepest point, the Mississippi River is about 200 feet deep.
Fun Fact: More than 170 bridges (automobile, foot, and railroad) span the Mississippi River. The first bridge that crossed the river was built in 1855. The first railroad bridge was completed a year later in 1856.
Fun Fact: It takes about three months (90 days) for water that leaves Lake Itasca, the river’s source, to reach the Gulf of Mexico. For most of that journey, the water in the Mississippi River is traveling about as fast as an average person usually walks.
Just for fun,
Does the Mississippi River empty into the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, or the Gulf of Mexico?
About how long does it take water to flow from the beginning of the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico? Is it approximately 10 days, 30 days, or 90 days?
Did the word "Mississippi" come from an American Indian name or was it the name of a famous European explorer?
Before he became a world-famous writer, what did Mark Twain do on the Mississippi River? Was he a riverboat pilot, a tour guide, a boat-builder, or a bridge designer?
If you have time, you can write a story of your own.
Here are a couple of story ideas to help you get started.
Story Idea #1: Write a story about some of the amazing things you learned about the Mississippi River.
Story Idea #2: Imagine you owned a big boat and could go up and down the Mississippi River. What would your trips be like? Who would you ike to take with you on your boat trips?
To help you write a great story, here are a few helpful hints and timely tips.
Check out “10 Tips for Writing Better Essays.”