The Vieux Carré Times

Ol' Man River

" Pere Marquette first introduced the name into geography in 1672, spelled it Mitchisipi. From time to time, the Mississippi also has been known as "The River of St. Louis," "The Bourbon River," "The Colbert River," "Conception River," "Baude," "El Rio Grande De La Florida," "Tapatu," "Mico," "Tama- liseau," "Malbanchia," "Balbancha" "Las Palisados," "Escondido" and "The River Of The Holy Spirit," this last because it is three-tongued at the mouth.   " Monster," "The Great Sewer".  And apropos of that, the Mississippi drains almost half the area of Germany, Austria, Holland, France, Italy Portugal, Spain, Norway and Great Britain.  It carries over 400,000,000 tons of sediment into The Gulf Of Mexico each year.  That's why its color is mud-yellow all the way down.  That's also why it's called "The Mother Of New Orleans" because of the ground the city occupies was largely built by silt deposits of the river.

     "The Mississippi's valley is the most fertile in the world, more fertile, even, than that of the Nile, of history and legend.

     "Scientist say the Mississippi's present course is very young.  "Between Calro and Memphis, it has occupied its meander belt for not over 2,000 years.  Between Memphis and Greenville (Miss.), not over 1.500 years.  Between Greenville and Donaldsonville, about 1.000 year.  South of Donaldsonville past New Orleans to the Gulf, not over 600 years."

     "Source of the Mississippi River is Lake Itascn in northern Minnesota and legend is the lake had its beginning in the tears of a beautiful Indian goddess.  The Mississippi was discovered by Hernando De Soto in 1541.  Its mouth, however, was known over 200 years before its source was located.  the Mississippi is 2.600 miles long, navigable 25 miles from its source.  You can straddle the river at one point, it's that narrow.  the river's widest point is near Memphis where it's about five miles across.  Its deepest point is near Myrle Grove, La., about 208 ft.  It is 1,475 feet above sea level at the source, drops 324 feet from Minneapollis to St. Louis.  Between these two points, 26 steps or locks have been built by which ships and other craft either ascend or descend.  As an engineering feat this ranks as one of the wonders of the modern world.  The speed of the Mississippi at the foot of Canal Steet is about five miles an hour.  Also, about 1,340.000 cubic feet of water flows by that point every second, enough to supply the entire City of New Orleans for a day and a half.  (No floodwaters of the Mississippi have been on New Orleans streets since 1849)."


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