The Missouri River flows east (at center of image) and joins the Mississippi at St. Louis, a bright orange zone near the bottom of the picture. During the 18th and 19th centuries, St Louis grew into a major trading center at the junction of these two important rivers. Long before that, between AD 800 and 1400, the American Indian center of Cahokia lay in this same place, the largest city of pre-Columbian North America.
Farmland, mostly on river bottoms, appears blue in this SIR-C image, taken on April 17, 1994 on the space shuttle Endeavor. Wooded areas are brown. Above, another large river with a long history of human settlement, the Illinois, joins the Mississippi.
[Fig.1: Confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri (NASA/JPL SIR-C image).].
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