The most important event in the timeline of Robert de La Salle was in 1682, when he canoed with some Frenchmen and Indians down the Mississippi River to its mouth. He claimed the entire river basin as "Louisiana" in honor of the king of France.
Born in 1643, La Salle became a Jesuit in 1660 but was released from the order in 1667 after he had already gone to Canada. He sailed for Canada, or New France, in 1666. In 1669, he went on his first exploratory mission and got as far as Kentucky on the Ohio River before returning to Canada. In 1674, he returned to France to request royal support. Receiving it, he returned to New France and continued to explore the Great Lakes and the Mississippi Basin. After re-supplying in France in 1684, La Salle returned to the mouth of the Mississippi with several ships. On an exploratory foray in 1687, he was killed by one of his own men.