Mississippi River

The beginning of the Mississippi River at Lake Itasca (2004)
Former head of navigation, St. Anthony Falls, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Confluence of the Wisconsin and Mississippi Rivers, viewed from Wyalusing State Park in Wisconsin
The Upper Mississippi River at its confluence with the Missouri River north of St. Louis
The confluence of the Mississippi (left) and Ohio (right) rivers at Cairo, Illinois, the demarcation between the Middle and the Lower Mississippi River
Lower Mississippi River near New Orleans
Map of the Mississippi River watershed
Sequence of NASA MODIS images showing the outflow of fresh water from the Mississippi (arrows) into the Gulf of Mexico (2004)
View along the former riverbed at the Tennessee/Arkansas state line near Reverie, Tennessee (2007)
In Minnesota, the Mississippi River runs through the Twin Cities (2007)
Community of boathouses on the Mississippi River in Winona, MN (2006)
The Mississippi River at the Chain of Rocks just north of St. Louis (2005)
A low-water dam deepens the pool above the Chain of Rocks Lock near St. Louis (2006)
The Stone Arch Bridge, the Third Avenue Bridge and the Hennepin Avenue Bridge in Minneapolis (2004)
The Dubuque-Wisconsin Bridge (2004)
The Chain of Rocks Bridge at St. Louis, Missouri
The Hernando de Soto Bridge in Memphis, Tennessee (2009)
Vicksburg Bridge
Towboat and barges at Memphis, Tennessee
Ships on the lower part of the Mississippi
Oil tanker on the Lower Mississippi near the Port of New Orleans
Barge on the Lower Mississippi River
Lock and Dam No. 11, north of Dubuque, Iowa (2007)
Lock and Dam No. 2, near Hastings, Minnesota (2007)
Lock and Dam No. 15, is the largest roller dam in the world Davenport, Iowa; Rock Island, Illinois. (1990)
Formation of the Atchafalaya River and construction of the Old River Control Structure.
Project design flood flow capacity for the Mississippi river in thousands of cubic feet per second.
Soldiers of the Missouri Army National Guard sandbag the River in Clarksville, Missouri, June 2008, following flooding.
Discovery of the Mississippi by De Soto A.D. 1541 by William Henry Powell depicts Hernando de Soto and Spanish Conquistadores seeing the Mississippi River for the first time.
Map of the French settlements (blue) in North America in 1750, before the French and Indian War (1754 to 1763).
Ca. 1681 map of Marquette and Jolliet's 1673 expedition.
Route of the Marquette-Jolliete Expedition of 1673
A Home on the Mississippi (1871)
Shifting sand bars made early navigation difficult.
Battle of Vicksburg (ca. 1888)
Mississippi River from Eunice, Arkansas, a settlement destroyed by gunboats during the Civil War.
Campsite at the river in Arkansas
The Old River Control Structure complex. View is to the east-southeast, looking downriver on the Mississippi, with the three dams across channels of the Atchafalaya River to the right of the Mississippi. Concordia Parish, Louisiana is in the foreground, on the right, and Wilkinson County, Mississippi, is in the background, across the Mississippi on the left.
Great River Road in Wisconsin near Lake Pepin (2005)
The American paddlefish is an ancient relict from the Mississippi

Second-longest river and chief river of the second-largest drainage system on the North American continent, second only to the Hudson Bay drainage system.

- Mississippi River

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Excavation of the 3,800-year-old Edgewater Park Site
Iowa in 1718 with the modern state area highlighted
Iowa Territorial Seal
Bellevue along the Mississippi, 1848
Topography of Iowa, with counties and major streams
DeSoto Lake at DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge
Landforms of Iowa, based on Prior (1991)
Köppen climate types of Iowa, using 1991-2020 climate normals.
Iowa annual rainfall, in inches
Percent population changes by counties in Iowa, 2000–2009. Dark green counties have gains of more than 5%.
Iowa population density map
Population age comparison between rural Pocahontas County and urban Polk County, illustrating the flight of young adults (red) to urban centers in Iowa
Amana Colonies were founded by German Pietists.
The Christina Reiman Butterfly Wing at Iowa State University, Ames
Skyline of Des Moines, Iowa's capital and largest city
Old Capitol, Iowa City
Inside the Davenport Skybridge
Brucemore, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Historic Fourth Street, Sioux City
Loess Hills east of Mondamin
The Iowa Great Lakes located primarily in Dickinson County, in the northwestern section of Iowa near the Minnesota border.
Ruins of historic Fort Atkinson
Wood-heated floating sauna on the farm pond
Iowa gross state products by industry, 2009
Harvesting corn in Jones County
Farm in rural Northwest Iowa
Central Iowa cornfield and dairy in June
Mural in Mt. Ayr Post Office, "The Corn Parade" by Orr C. Fischer, commissioned as part of the New Deal
Ethanol plant under construction in Butler County
Wind turbines near Williams
Palmer Chiropractic College in Davenport is the first school of chiropractic in the world.
Iowa's major interstates, larger cities, and counties
The Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines, completed in 1886, is the only state capitol in the United States to feature five domes, a central golden dome surrounded by four smaller ones. It houses the Iowa General Assembly, comprising the Iowa House of Representatives and Iowa Senate.
The Iowa Supreme Court, across from the capitol, is the state's highest court.
Samuel J. Kirkwood, founder of the Iowa Republican Party, abolitionist, and Iowa's Civil War Governor
The Union Block building, Mount Pleasant, scene of early civil rights and women's rights activities
Schaeffer Hall (University of Iowa, Iowa City)
Riverside's "favorite son"
South End Zone of Iowa State University's Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, IA.
Modern Woodmen Park is home to the Quad Cities baseball team.
President Herbert Hoover
Vice President Henry Wallace

Iowa is a state in the Midwestern region of the United States, bordered by the Mississippi River to the east and the Missouri River and Big Sioux River to the west.

Main stem

In hydrology, a mainstem (or trunk) is "the primary downstream segment of a river, as contrasted to its tributaries".

The Mississippi River drainage basin with the mainstem highlighted in dark blue
Strahler diagram. Only a segment of the mainstem gets the highest number.

In the United States, the Mississippi River mainstem achieves a Strahler number of 10, the highest in the nation.

Lake Itasca

Small glacial lake, approximately 1.8 sqmi in area.

The primary source of the Mississippi River on the edge of Lake Itasca
View of Lake Itasca taken July 2015Sunset at Lake Itasca.png
Lake Itasca and Elk Lake

Located in southeastern Clearwater County, in the Headwaters area of north central Minnesota, it is notable for being the headwater of the Mississippi River.


State in the Southeastern region of the United States, bordered to the north by Tennessee; to the east by Alabama; to the south by the Gulf of Mexico; to the southwest by Louisiana; and to the northwest by Arkansas.

Choctaw Village near the Chefuncte, by Francois Bernard, 1869, Peabody Museum—Harvard University. The women are preparing dye in order to color cane strips for making baskets.
Pushmataha, Choctaw Principal Chief
The Big House at D'Evereux Plantation. Built in 1840, the mansion is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Confederate lines, Vicksburg, May 19, 1863. Shows assault by US 1st Battalion, 13th Infantry
The legislature of the State of Mississippi in 1890
Child workers, Pass Christian, 1911, by Lewis Hine
Mexican American boy and African American man at the Knowlton Plantation, Perthshire, Mississippi, in 1939, by Marion Post Wolcott
Dancing at a juke joint near Clarksdale, Mississippi, in 1939, by Marion Post Wolcott
The previous flag of Mississippi, used until June 30, 2020, featured the Confederate battle flag
Bottomland hardwood swamp near Ashland
Map of the Mississippi Delta Region (outlined in green)
Map with all counties and their county seats
Köppen climate types of Mississippi, using 1991-2020 climate normals.
Hurricanes Camille (left) and Katrina from satellite imagery, as they approached the Mississippi Gulf Coast
Leaving Tennessee on US Highway 61
Clark Creek Natural Area, Wilkinson County
A racial/ethnic map of the state of Mississippi. The purple counties have black majorities, the blue ones have white majorities. The darker the color, the larger the majority.
Mississippi population density map
Liberty Baptist Church, Amite County
A Mississippi U.S. quarter
Sharecropper's daughter, Lauderdale County, 1935
2014 Corolla built by Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi on display at the Tupelo Automobile Museum
Five Governors of Mississippi in 1976, from left: Ross Barnett, James P. Coleman, William L. Waller, John Bell Williams, and Paul B. Johnson Jr.
Treemap of the popular vote by county, 2016 presidential election
The Vicksburg Bridge carries I-20 and U.S. 80 across the Mississippi River at Vicksburg.
The Ross Barnett Reservoir at sunset
The Mississippi State Capitol was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2016.

Mississippi's western boundary is largely defined by the Mississippi River.


State in the Midwestern region of the United States.

The Gateway Arch in St. Louis
Fur Traders Descending the Missouri by Missouri painter George Caleb Bingham
The states and territories of the United States as a result of Missouri's admission as a state on August 10, 1821. The remainder of the former Missouri Territory became unorganized territory.
Price's Raid in the Trans-Mississippi Theater, 1864
Union Station in St. Louis was the world's largest and busiest train station when it opened in 1894.
Child shoe workers in Kirksville, Missouri, 1910
General John J. Pershing, commander of the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I, was raised in Laclede, Missouri.
African American boy in a sharecropper shack, New Madrid County, 1938.
A physiographic map of Missouri
The Bell Mountain Wilderness of southern Missouri's Mark Twain National Forest
Köppen climate types of Missouri
The Lake of the Ozarks is one of several man-made lakes in Missouri, created by the damming of several rivers and tributaries. The lake has a surface area of 54,000 acres and 1,150 miles of shoreline and has become a popular tourist destination.
Missouri River near Rocheport, Missouri
Missouri population density map
The population center for the United States has been in Missouri since 1980. As of 2020, it is near Interstate 44 in Missouri as it approaches Springfield.
Missouri State quarter featuring the Lewis and Clark expedition
Meramec Caverns
The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City services the western portion of Missouri, as well as all of Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, and northern New Mexico.
Amtrak station in Kirkwood
Kansas City Streetcar near Union Station
The Mississippi River at Hannibal
The Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City
The Governor's Mansion is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Treemap of the popular vote by county, 2016 presidential election
Jesse Hall on the University of Missouri campus
Brookings Hall at Washington University in St. Louis
The historic Gem Theatre, located in Kansas City's renowned 18th and Vine Jazz District
Mark Twain's boyhood home in Hannibal
Missouri has four major sports teams: the Royals and Cardinals of MLB, the Chiefs of the NFL, and the Blues of the NHL.
A mural honoring the Kansas City Chiefs on the wall of the Westport Alehouse in Kansas City, MO.
The St. Louis Cardinals playing at Busch Stadium

The Missouri River, after which the state is named, flows through the center into the Mississippi River, which makes up the eastern border.


State in the Deep South and South Central regions of the United States.

Louisiana entrance sign off Interstate 20 in Madison Parish east of Tallulah
Watson Brake, the oldest mound complex in North America
Poverty Point UNESCO site
Troyville Earthworks, once the second tallest earthworks in North America
French Acadians, who came to be known as Cajuns, settled in southern Louisiana, especially along the banks of its major bayous.
Map of New France (blue color) in 1750, before the French and Indian War
Free woman of color with mixed-race daughter; late 18th-century collage painting, New Orleans
Saint Dominican Creoles
French pirate Jean Lafitte, who operated in New Orleans, was born in Port-au-Prince around 1782.
Map of Louisiana in 1800
Louisiana Purchase, 1803
'Signing the Ordinance of Secession of Louisiana, January 26, 1861', oil on canvas painting, 1861
Capture of New Orleans, April 1862, colored lithograph of engraving
A young African American man in Morganza, 1938
National Rice Festival, Crowley, Louisiana, 1938
View of flooded New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina
Map of Louisiana
Aerial view of Louisiana's wetland habitats
A field of yellow wildflowers in St. Bernard Parish
Honey Island Swamp
Entrance to the Bald Eagle Nest Trail at South Toledo Bend State Park
Bogue Chitto State Park
Geographic map of Louisiana
Population density and low elevation coastal zones in the Mississippi River Delta. The Mississippi River Delta is especially vulnerable to sea level rise.
Louisiana's population density
Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis in New Orleans
Cargo ship at the Port of New Orleans
Tabasco varieties produced in Louisiana
Typical dishes of Louisiana Creole cuisine
El Museo de los Isleños (Isleño Museum) in Saint Bernard
The languages of historic Native American tribes who inhabited what is now Louisiana include: Tunica, Caddo, Natchez, Choctaw, Atakapa, Chitimacha and Houma.
Louisiana's bilingual state welcome sign, recognizing its French heritage
Aerial view of Louisiana State University's flagship campus
A streetcar on the St. Charles Avenue Line in New Orleans
Gulf Intracoastal Waterway near New Orleans
The Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge, the tallest state capitol building in the United States
The Louisiana Governor's Mansion
Treemap of the popular vote by parish, 2016 presidential election
Mardi Gras celebrations in the Spanish Town section of Baton Rouge
Caesars Superdome and Smoothie King Center in New Orleans.

A large part of its eastern boundary is demarcated by the Mississippi River.

Missouri River

Longest river in the United States.

Holter Lake, a reservoir on the upper Missouri River
The Missouri in North Dakota, which was the furthest upstream that French explorers traveled on the river
The Yellowstone River, the fifth longest tributary of the Missouri, which it joins in North Dakota
Nebraska's Fort Calhoun Nuclear Generating Station was inundated when the Missouri River flooded in 2011
High silt content makes the Missouri River (left) noticeably lighter than the Mississippi River (right) at their confluence north of St. Louis.
Karl Bodmer, A Mandan Village, c. 1840–1843
Massacre of the Villasur Expedition, painted c. 1720
Map of western North America drawn by Lewis and Clark
Fur Traders on Missouri River, painted by George Caleb Bingham c. 1845
Fort Clark on the Missouri in February 1834, painted by Karl Bodmer
Boatmen on the Missouri c. 1846
Karl Bodmer, Fort Pierre and the Adjacent Prairie, c. 1833, -- the river, river bluffs and floodplain are depicted around the fort settlement
Holter Dam, a run-of-the-river structure on the upper Missouri, shortly after completion in 1918
Black Eagle Dam is dynamited in 1908 to save Great Falls from the floodwave caused by the failure of Hauser Dam
Map showing major features of the Pick–Sloan Plan; other dams and their reservoirs are denoted by triangles
Fort Peck Dam, the uppermost dam of the Missouri River Mainstem System
Painting of the steamboat Yellowstone, one of the earliest commercial vessels to run on the river, circa 1833. The dangerous currents in the river caused the ship to run aground on a sandbar in this illustration.
The Far West is typical of the shallow-draft steamboats used to navigate the Missouri River. Famed captain and pilot Grant Marsh set several speed records, including one taking wounded soldiers from the surviving segments of the George Armstrong Custer expedition to get medical attention.
A barge travels North on the Missouri River at Highway 364 in Saint Charles, Missouri.
Gavins Point Dam at Yankton, South Dakota is the uppermost obstacle to navigation from the mouth on the Missouri today.
The Missouri River near New Haven, Missouri, looking upstream – note the riprap wing dam protruding into the river from the left to direct its flow into a narrower channel
The Missouri River at the confluence with the Floyd River in Sioux City, IA, near the upper most navigable reach of the river today
Freshwater ecoregions of the Missouri basin
Missouri River as it flows through Great Falls, Montana
Agricultural fields dominate most of the former floodplain, including this area around the Missouri's confluence with the Nishnabotna River in western Missouri.
Part of the Missouri National Recreational River, a 98 mi preserved stretch of the Missouri on the border of South Dakota and Nebraska

Rising in the Rocky Mountains of the Eastern Centennial Mountains of Southwestern Montana, the Missouri flows east and south for 2341 mi before entering the Mississippi River north of St. Louis, Missouri.


State in the Midwestern United States.

Mississippian copper plate found at the Saddle Site in Union County, Illinois
Illinois in 1718, approximate modern state area highlighted, from Carte de la Louisiane et du cours du Mississipi by Guillaume de L'Isle
The bell donated by King Louis XV in 1741 to the mission at Kaskaskia. It was later called the "Liberty Bell of the West", after it was rung to celebrate U.S. victory in the Revolution
In 1818, Illinois became the 21st U.S. state. The southern portion of Illinois Territory was admitted as the state of Illinois, and the rest was joined to Michigan Territory.
[[Old State Capitol State Historic Site|
Old State Capitol]]: Abraham Lincoln and other area legislators were instrumental in moving the state capitol to centrally located Springfield in 1839.
Embarkation of Union troops from Cairo on January 10, 1862
Charles Mound, the highest natural point in Illinois at 1,235 feet above sea level, is located in the Driftless Area in the northwestern part of the state.
At 279 feet above sea level, the lowest elevation point in the state is located near Cairo and the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.
Köppen climate types of Illinois
Density map displaying the population of Illinois
The Baháʼí House of Worship in Wilmette, Illinois
The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago at the heart of Chicago's financial center
Byron Nuclear Generating Station in Ogle County
Average annual wind power distribution for Illinois, 50 m height above ground (2009)
Soldier Field, Chicago
The Illinois State Capitol in Springfield
Illinois House of Representatives
Governor J. B. Pritzker (D)
University of Illinois
University of Chicago
University of Illinois Willard Airport
Inside O'Hare International Airport
Vandalia State House State Historic Site in Vandalia
The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago
Magnolia Manor is a Victorian period historic house museum in Cairo.
Lincoln Home National Historic Site in Springfield
The Polish Museum of America in Chicago
A Railway Post Office preserved at the Illinois Railway Museum in Union
Standard license plate introduced in 2017
Standard license plate 2001 to 2016
Illinois license plate design used throughout the 1980s and 1990s, displaying the Land of Lincoln slogan that has been featured on the state's plates since 1954

Owing to its central location and geography, the state is a major transportation hub: the Port of Chicago enjoys access to the Atlantic Ocean through the Great Lakes and Saint Lawrence Seaway, and to the Gulf of Mexico from the Mississippi River via the Illinois Waterway.


Landlocked state in the South Central United States.

Platform mounds were constructed frequently during the Woodland and Mississippian periods.
Map of the Arkansas Territory.
Lakeport Plantation, built c. 1859.
Cannons at Battle of Pea Ridge site.
A group of African American boys in Little Rock in 1938.
Map of the flood of 1927 in Arkansas.
View from the Ozark Highlands Scenic Byway in Boxley Valley.
The Ozarks rise behind a bend in the Buffalo River from an overlook on the Buffalo River Trail.
The flat terrain and rich soils of the Arkansas Delta near Arkansas City are in stark contrast to the northwestern part of the state.
Cedar Falls in Petit Jean State Park.
The Buffalo National River is one of many attractions that give the state its nickname, The Natural State.
The White River in eastern Arkansas.
Winter at Historic Washington State Park in Hempstead County.
Cleveland County Courthouse in Rison.
The Simmons Tower in Little Rock is the state's tallest building.
The Greenville Bridge crosses over the Mississippi River into Shives.
The Missouri and Northern Arkansas Railroad.
Confederate Women of Arkansas Monument. The Capitol is in the background.
The Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock.
UAMS Medical Center, Little Rock
Old Main, part of the Campus Historic District at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville
Van Buren Confederate Monument at the Crawford County Courthouse in Van Buren, Arkansas.
The flooded, forested bottomlands of east Arkansas attract wintering waterfowl.
Blanchard Springs Caverns in Stone County.

The state's diverse geography ranges from the mountainous regions of the Ozark and Ouachita Mountains, which make up the U.S. Interior Highlands, to the densely forested land in the south known as the Arkansas Timberlands, to the eastern lowlands along the Mississippi River and the Arkansas Delta.

Mound Builders

A number of pre-Columbian cultures are collectively termed "Mound Builders".

Monks Mound, built c. 950–1100 CE and located at the Cahokia Mounds UNESCO World Heritage Site near Collinsville, Illinois, is the largest pre-Columbian earthwork in America north of Mesoamerica.
A mound diagram of the platform mound showing the multiple layers of mound construction, mound structures such as temples or mortuaries, ramps with log stairs, and prior structures under later layers, multiple terraces, and intrusive burials
A depiction of the Serpent Mound in southern Ohio, as published in the magazine The Century, April 1890
Illustration of the Parkin Site, thought to be the capital of the Province of Casqui visited by de Soto
Engraving after Jacques le Moyne, showing the burial of a Timucua chief
A depiction of the Portsmouth Earthworks in Ancient Monuments of the Mississippi Valley
Illustration of Watson Brake, the oldest known mound complex in North America
Illustration of Poverty Point in West Carroll Parish, Louisiana
Grave Creek Mound, Moundsville, West Virginia, Adena culture
Illustration of Kings Crossing Site in Warren County, Mississippi
Illustration of Cahokia with the large Monks Mound in the central precinct, encircled by a palisade, surrounded by four plazas, notably the Grand Plaza to the south
Artist's conception of the Fort Ancient culture SunWatch Indian Village
Illustration of the Holly Bluff Site in Yazoo County, Mississippi
Decalogue Stone
Hopewell traditions
Adena culture
Troyville culture and Baytown culture
Coles Creek culture
Mississippian culture
Caddoan Mississippian culture
Fort Ancient culture
Plaquemine culture

Geographically, the cultures were present in the region of the Great Lakes, the Ohio River Valley, and the Mississippi River valley and its tributary waters.