French explorer Rene Robert Cavalier, Sieur de La Salle, traveled down the Mississippi River to its "mouth", or when the river goes to the ocean, in 1682. He claimed all the land drained by the Mississippi for France. The land, which included Nebraska, was named "Louisiana" in honor of French King Louis XIV. During the 1690s, French fur trappers moved into the Louisiana region, knowing that the land was their's. In 1714, French explorer Etienne Veniard de Bourgmont traveled up the Missouri River to the mouth of the Platte River.  The Platte river is one of the major rivers in Nebraska.

Spain disagreed to France's presence in the regions it claimed. In 1720, a Spanish expedition of 45 soldiers, led by Pedro de Villasur, marched into Nebraska, intending to remove the French. But in a battle by the Platte River, Pawnee Indians attacked and killed almost all of the 45 soldiers, mad that the two countries were fighting over the land that was the Pawnee Indians' in the very beginning 

In 1739, two French explorers, Pierre and Paul Mallet with a group of six men. They named the Platte River and traveled nearly the entire length of Nebraska!

In 1763, at the close of the Seven Years' War in Europe, France gave up all its claims east of the Mississippi River to England and west of the Mississippi to Spain. Although, French fur traders continued to operate in Nebraska. In 1800, French ruler Napoleon Bonaparte forced Spain to return the Louisiana Territory to France. He then sold the entire territory, which included Nebraska, to the United States in 1803. This transaction is known as the Louisiana Purchase.  The Louisiana Purchase is very famous, for it changed the whole future history of Nebraska.
France Claiming Mississppi RIver as Louisiana