Mississippi River Facts for Kids

The Mississippi River is one of the most iconic and important rivers in the United States. It stretches across 2,348 miles from its source in Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico. The river spans ten states, including Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Here are some exciting facts about the Mississippi River that all kids should know!

1. The Mississippi River is the fourth-longest river in the world.

The Mississippi River ranks as the fourth-longest among the world’s rivers, with a total length of 2,345 miles. Only the Nile (4,160 miles), the Amazon (3,978 miles), and the Yangtze (3,917 miles) are longer.

2. The Mississippi River is home to over 120 species of fish.

The Mississippi River is home to over 120 different species of fish, including catfish, bass, sturgeon, and bluegill. Many of the fish in the river are an important food source for people and wildlife.

3. The Mississippi River carries more than 500 million tons of cargo every year.

The Mississippi River is a vital transportation artery for the United States economy. It carries goods such as grain, coal, lumber, and petroleum to and from inland ports. More than 500 million tons of cargo are transported via the Mississippi River each year.

4. The Mississippi River has several major tributaries.

The Mississippi River has several major tributaries, including the Missouri River, the Ohio River, and the Arkansas River. These rivers feed into the Mississippi River and provide it with the water it needs to continue flowing.

5. The Mississippi River played a significant role in the Civil War.

During the Civil War, the Mississippi River was a critical transportation artery for the North and the South. Controlling the river was crucial for moving troops and supplies. The Battle of Vicksburg was a significant turning point in the war, as it gave the Union control of the river and divided the Confederacy in two.

6. The Mississippi River has inspired many writers and musicians.

The Mississippi River has been a source of inspiration for many writers and musicians. Mark Twain, a famous American author, wrote extensively about the river in his books, including “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” Many musicians have also drawn inspiration from the river, including Johnny Cash, who sang about the river in his hit song “Big River.”

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