The Mighty Mississippi is receiving the recognition it deserves from the U.S. Postal Service. USPS unveiled Forever Stamps of the Mississippi River from its small beginnings in Minnesota to the end of its journey into the Gulf of Mexico. The pictorial tribute showcases 10 states it travels through.
“In addition to its many recreational and natural attributes, the Mississippi is also the backbone of the U.S. economy — serving as a riparian superhighway, transporting more than 175 million tons of freight annually,” said Gary Barksdale, the Postal Service’s chief postal inspector, according to Cision PR Newswire. Barksdale served as the dedicating official at the official unveiling of the stamps.
All 10 states the mighty river flows through are presented in the book of 20 stamps, which contains two of each design. The photographs depict important points through each state along the river.
The world’s fourth-longest river begins its journey, ironically, in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. The starting point is Lake Itasca. Many travel to the northwestern part of the state to wade through the crystal clear, 18-inch deep water. The headwaters of the Mississippi are located inside Minnesota’s oldest state park, Itasca State Park.
The river travels 2,300 miles and hugs the border between Minnesota and Wisconsin. A popular road trip takes you along the Great River Road as you explore the Mississippi going south. Fall is a great time to drive the river road. The colors are stunning.
The iconic American Queen Steamboat represents Iowa in this collection of Forever Stamps. The popular river cruise takes you back to an era gone by. As you travel down the Mississippi, the pages of Tom Sawyer come to life.
Pro Tip: Viking River Cruises added the Mississippi River to its list of destinations this year. You have five different trips to choose from: four 8-day cruises and one 15-day cruise.
As you travel south, the Mississippi begins to get a little muddier, but the views are nonetheless spectacular. Illinois is the perfect spot for winter eagle watching. People have been flocking to Quincy, Illinois, to watch these majestic birds at Lock and Dam Site 21 for the past 80 years.
The Mississippi is a huge part of Missouri’s history. The river still supports a $12 billion shipping industry. The muddy waters are also the backdrop for the iconic Gateway Arch. St. Louis is also the place where the Missouri and Mississippi rivers meet.
The town of Wickliffe, Kentucky, showcases the Mississippi River. Just downriver from this quaint town, the Ohio River spills into the Mississippi. At the confluence of these two rivers, you will find Wickliffe Mounds State Historic Site.
The Arkansas stamp highlights the diverse terrain along the Mississippi River in the Natural State. A popular stop is Crowley’s Ridge. This natural marvel showcases the power of the Mighty Mississippi from years gone by.
Cypress trees and Spanish moss are featured on the stamp showcasing the Magnolia State.
Fun Fact: In 2002, Slovenian long-distance swimmer Martin Strel swam the length of the river, from Minnesota to Louisiana, over the course of 68 days.
Louisiana, represented by iconic New Orleans, rounds out these 10 states. This is the river’s final state before it empties into the Gulf of Mexico. The river makes New Orleans a major port city. At this point, the Mississippi River has intermingled with waters from 31 states.
The Mississippi Forever Stamps are available now. Note that these stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce price.