The Mississippi is the source of drinking water for 20 million Americans in 50 U.S. cities, and generates an estimated $400 billion a year in economic activity. It’s also home to more than 800 species of fish and wildlife, and is a major flyway for waterfowl and migratory birds.
The Northern Pacific Railroad bridge over the Mississippi River in Brainerd collapsed in 1875 while a train was on it. The engineer, a fireman and several passengers died in the accident. The engine, nearly a dozen cars of merchandise and almost a dozen cars of steel rails went into the river.
Natalie Warren and Ann Raiho were the first women to paddle the 2,000 mile journey from Minneapolis to the Hudson Bay, following the route featured in Eric Sevareid’s 1935 classic, “Canoeing with the Cree.”