The mighty Missouri River runs right past our great city of Omaha, Nebraska. The Missouri River is quite a wonder to behold and holds a prominent place in the history of our great nation. Let’s take a look at some fun fact about the mighty Missouri River.
The Missouri River is about 2,500 miles long, making it the longest river in the United States. The headwaters of the Missouri River starts in the great Rocky Mountains, near Three Forks, Montana. The river flows from Montana, through the Missouri River Basin and makes its way through multiple states, including North Dakota, South Dakota, our great state of Nebraska, through Missouri, until finally meeting up with the Mississippi River in St. Louis.
The Missouri river played an important role in the exploration and expansion of the American West as well as the Louisiana Purchase. In May 1804 the Lewis and Clark expedition set out to trace back the headwaters of the Mighty Missouri River that culminated in the Rocky Mountains.
Before the European Explorers reached the Americas, the Missouri River was called many things by the Native American tribes that settled along the river, Ouemessourita, Eomitai, Katapan Mene Shoska, to name a few.
French Explorers Etienne de Veniard and Sieur de Bourgmont were the first to name the river the Missouri and were also the first to set up a fort along the river. The Missouri River was named for the Duke of Orleans.
Over the next century and more since the river’s first explorers took to its waters, numerous dams, levees and dikes were built in order to control flooding and to store water for the use of agriculture and settlements. Today, nearly 35% of the river’s water is impounded, with the only solid stretch of water flow occurring in the Missouri National Recreational River.