Mississippi River

Mississippi River
Ojibwe: Misi-ziibi[1], Dakota: Mníšošethąka[2], Myaamia: Mihsi-siipiiwi[3], Cheyenne: Ma'xeé'ometāā'e[4], Kiowa: Xósáu[5], Arapaho: Beesniicie[6], Pawnee: Kickaátit[7]
Efmo View from Fire Point.jpg
Mississippi River near Fire Point in Effigy Mounds National Monument, Iowa
Mississippi River basin
EtymologyOjibwe word misi-ziibi, meaning "Great River", or gichi-ziibi, meaning "Big River"
Nickname(s)"Old Man River," "Father of Waters"[8][9][10]
CountryUnited States
StateMinnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana
CitiesSaint Cloud, MN, Minneapolis, MN, St. Paul, MN, La Crosse, WI, Quad Cities, IA/IL, St. Louis, MO, Memphis, TN, Baton Rouge, LA, New Orleans, LA
Physical characteristics
SourceLake Itasca[11]
 - locationItasca State Park, Clearwater County, MN
 - coordinates47°14′23″N 95°12′27″W / 47°14′23″N 95°12′27″W / 47.23972; -95.20750
 - elevation1,475 ft (450 m)
MouthGulf of Mexico
 - location
Pilottown, Plaquemines Parish, LA
 - coordinates
29°09′04″N 89°15′12″W / 29°09′04″N 89°15′12″W / 29.15111; -89.253333,065,000 cu ft/s (86,800 m3/s)
 - locationSt. Louis[13]
 - average168,000 cu ft/s (4,800 m3/s)[13]
Basin features
 - leftSt. Croix River, Wisconsin River, Rock River, Illinois River, Kaskaskia River, Ohio River
 - rightMinnesota River, Des Moines River, Missouri River, White River, Arkansas River

The Mississippi River is the second longest river of the United States and the chief river of the second-largest drainage system on the North American continent, second only to the Hudson Bay drainage system.[14][15] Its source is Lake Itasca in northern Minnesota and it flows generally south for 2,320 miles (3,730 km)[15] to the Mississippi River Delta in the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains all or parts of 32 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces between the Rocky and Appalachian Mountains.[16] The main stem is entirely within the United States; the total drainage basin is 1,151,000 sq mi (2,980,000 km2), of which only about one percent is in Canada. The Mississippi ranks as the fourth-longest and fifteenth-largest river by discharge in the world. The river either borders or passes through the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana.[17][18]

Native Americans have lived along the Mississippi River and its tributaries for thousands of years. Most were hunter-gatherers, but some, such as the Mound Builders, formed prolific agricultural societies. The arrival of Europeans in the 16th century changed the native way of life as first explorers, then settlers, ventured into the basin in increasing numbers.[19] The river served first as a barrier, forming borders for New Spain, New France, and the early United States, and then as a vital transportation artery and communications link. In the 19th century, during the height of the ideology of manifest destiny, the Mississippi and several western tributaries, most notably the Missouri, formed pathways for the western expansion of the United States.

Formed from thick layers of the river's silt deposits, the Mississippi embayment is one of the most fertile regions of the United States; steamboats were widely used in the 19th and early 20th centuries to ship agricultural and industrial goods. During the American Civil War, the Mississippi's capture by Union forces marked a turning point towards victory, due to the river's strategic importance to the Confederate war effort. Because of substantial growth of cities and the larger ships and barges that replaced steamboats, the first decades of the 20th century saw the construction of massive engineering works such as levees, locks and dams, often built in combination. A major focus of this work has been to prevent the lower Mississippi from shifting into the channel of the Atchafalaya River and bypassing New Orleans.

Since the 20th century, the Mississippi River has also experienced major pollution and environmental problems – most notably elevated nutrient and chemical levels from agricultural runoff, the primary contributor to the Gulf of Mexico dead zone.

Name and significance

The word Mississippi itself comes from Misi zipi, the French rendering of the Anishinaabe (Ojibwe or Algonquin) name for the river, Misi-ziibi (Great River).

In the 18th century, the river was the primary western boundary of the young United States, and since the country's expansion westward, the Mississippi River has been widely considered a convenient if approximate dividing line between the Eastern, Southern, and Midwestern United States, and the Western United States. This is exemplified by the Gateway Arch in St. Louis and the phrase "Trans-Mississippi" as used in the name of the Trans-Mississippi Exposition.

It is common to qualify a regionally superlative landmark in relation to it, such as "the highest peak east of the Mississippi"[20] or "the oldest city west of the Mississippi".[21] The FCC also uses it as the dividing line for broadcast callsigns, which begin with W to the east and K to the west, mixing together in media markets along the river.

Other Languages
Alemannisch: Mississippi River
Ænglisc: Mississippi ēa
aragonés: Río Misisipi
অসমীয়া: মিছিছিপি নদী
asturianu: Ríu Mississippi
Avañe'ẽ: Ysyry Misisipi
azərbaycanca: Missisipi çayı
Bân-lâm-gú: Mississippi Hô
беларуская: Місісіпі
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Місысыпі (рака)
भोजपुरी: मिसीसिपी नदी
български: Мисисипи
español: Río Misisipi
Fiji Hindi: Mississippi River
føroyskt: Mississippiá
한국어: 미시시피강
հայերեն: Միսիսիպի գետ
hornjoserbsce: Mississippi
Bahasa Indonesia: Sungai Mississippi
interlingua: Fluvio Mississippi
Basa Jawa: Kali Mississippi
Kabɩyɛ: Misisipii Pɔɔ
ქართული: მისისიპი
Kiswahili: Mto Mississippi
Kreyòl ayisyen: Misisipi (rivyè)
latviešu: Misisipi (upe)
lietuvių: Misisipė (upė)
Lingua Franca Nova: Rio Mississippi
македонски: Мисисипи (река)
მარგალური: მისისიპი
Bahasa Melayu: Sungai Mississippi
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Mississippi Ò̤
Mirandés: Riu Mississippi
မြန်မာဘာသာ: မစ္စစ္စပီမြစ်
Dorerin Naoero: Mississippi (Ekaw)
नेपाल भाषा: मिसिसिपि खुसि
Nordfriisk: Mississippi River
norsk nynorsk: Mississippielva
олык марий: Миссисипи (эҥер)
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Missisipi
Piemontèis: Mississippi (fium)
português: Rio Mississippi
Qaraqalpaqsha: Missisipi da'ryasi
rumantsch: Mississippi
Runa Simi: Mississippi mayu
русиньскый: Міссісіпі (ріка)
русский: Миссисипи
Simple English: Mississippi River
slovenčina: Mississippi (rieka)
slovenščina: Misisipi
Soomaaliga: Webiga Mississipi
српски / srpski: Мисисипи (река)
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Mississippi (rijeka)
tarandíne: Mississippi, jume
Tsetsêhestâhese: Ma'xeé'ome'tää'e
Türkmençe: Missisipi derýasy
українська: Міссісіпі (річка)
vèneto: Mississippi
vepsän kel’: Mississipi (jogi)
Tiếng Việt: Sông Mississippi
žemaitėška: Mėsėsėpė (opės)