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But with the growth of Rock Island County, during the 1930s the term "Quad Cities" came into vogue, as East Moline was given "equal status." Despite the fact that the region had earned the name "Quad Cities," the National Basketball Association had a franchise in Moline, Illinois, from 1946 to 1951 called the "Tri-Cities Blackhawks." Then, with the opening of an Alcoa (now Arconic) plant east of Davenport in 1948, the town of Bettendorf underwent so much growth that many people in the community discussed the adoption of the name "Quint Cities", But by this time, the name "Quad Cities" had become known well beyond the area, and "Quint Cities" never caught on, despite the efforts of WOC-TV (as KWQC-TV was then called) and others.Consequently, when Bettendorf passed East Moline in size, there was some debate about whether Bettendorf had "displaced" East Moline.For 14 miles (23 km) between Le Claire, Iowa, and Rock Island, the Mississippi River flowed across a series of finger-like rock projections protruding from either bank.These rapids were difficult for steamboats to traverse.On May 6, 1856, just weeks after completion of the bridge, an angry steamboater crashed the Effie Afton into it.
By World War I, the towns of Davenport, Rock Island, and Moline had begun to style themselves as the "Tri-Cities," a cluster of three more-or-less equally-sized river communities growing around the small bend of the Mississippi River where it flows west.As demand for river-based transportation increased along the upper Mississippi, the navigability of the river throughout the "Rock Island Rapids" became a greater concern.Over time, a minor industry grew up in the area to meet the steamboats' needs.Examples of revitalization and rebirth include: Over the years, several communities in the Quad City area have proposed or performed mergers.As it grew, Davenport annexed the communities of Rockingham, Nahant, Probstei, East Davenport, Oakdale, Cawiezeel, Blackhawk, Mt. Bettendorf annexed portions of Pleasant Valley in the 1970s. The Quad Cities area is distinctive because the Mississippi River flows from east to west as it passes through the heart of the area; the Iowa cities of Davenport and Bettendorf are located due north of Rock Island and Moline, respectively.