Daily readings about people, places, and events in American history.
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August 12th
Longest U.S. Rivers
On August 12, 1805, Captain Meriwether Lewis of the famed Lewis and Clark expedition climbed a ridge near the Continental Divide and “the most distant fountain of the waters of the Mighty Missouri, in search of which we have spent so many toilsome days and restless nights.” The expedition had spent weeks trekking to the headwaters of the Missouri, one of the world’s great rivers.

The United States is blessed with more than 250,000 rivers and streams -3.5 million miles of rivers in all – including a dozen exceeding 1,000 miles in length.

River: Missouri River
Length: 2,540 miles
Origin/Mouth: Montana / Mississippi River (near St. Louis)

River: Mississippi River
Length: 2,340 miles
Origin/Mouth: Minnesota / Gulf of Mexico

River: Yukon River
Length: 1,980 miles
Origin/Mouth: British Columbia / Bering Sea

River: Rio Grande
Length: 1,900 miles
Origin/Mouth: Colorado / Gulf of Mexico

River: St. Lawrence River
Length: 1,900 miles
Origin/Mouth: Lake Ontario / Gulf of St. Lawrence

River: Arkansas River
Length: 1,460 miles
Origin/Mouth: Colorado / Mississippi River (in Arkansas)

Colorado River
Length: 1,450 miles
Origin/Mouth: Colorado / Gulf of California

River: Ohio River
Length: 1,310 miles
Origin/Mouth: Pennsylvania / Mississippi River (at Cairo, Illinois)

River: Red River
Length: 1,290 miles
Origin/Mouth: Texas / Atchafalaya River (in Louisiana)

River: Brazos River
Length: 1,280 miles
Origin/Mouth: Texas / Gulf of Mexico

River: Columbia River
Length: 1,240 miles
Origin/Mouth: British Columbia / Pacific Ocean (at Astoria, Oregon)

River: Snake River
Length: 1,040 miles
Origin/Mouth: Yellowstone Nat. Park / Columbia River (in Washington)

American History Parade
1658
The first police force in the United States is established in New Amsterdam (now New York).

1833
Chicago is incorporated with a population of 350.

1877
Thomas Edison invents the phonograph (he patents it six months later).

1898
The peace protocol ending the Spanish-American War is signed.

1918
The post office establishes the first U.S. regular airmail service, between New York City and Washington, D.C.

1960
The first experimental communications satellite, Echo 1, is launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
This content is courtesy of The American Patriot's Almanac
© 2008, 2010 by William J. Bennett and John T.E. Cribb
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