OnÂ May 14, 1804, 211 years ago today, the Lewis and Clark expedition, departed St. Louis in route to the west coast of what is now the United States.
The Lewis and Clark Expedition, also known as the Corps of Discovery Expedition, was the first American expedition to cross what is now the western portion of the United States, departing in May 1804, from near St. Louis on the Mississippi River, making their way westward through the continental divide to the Pacific coast.
The expedition was commissioned byÂ President Thomas JeffersonÂ shortly after theÂ Louisiana PurchaseÂ in 1803, consisting of a select group of U.S. Army volunteers under the command of Captain Meriwether Lewis and his close friend Second Lieutenant William Clark. Their perilous journey lasted from May 1804 to September 1806.
The expedition returned to St. Louis on September 23, 1806, bringing much information about the newly purchased territory, as well as establishing claims to the Oregon Territory.
It is interesting to note thatÂ Sacagawea,Â who served as an interpreter and guide for the Expedition, was of theÂ Lemhi ShoshoneÂ tribe, which was one tribes that played a key part in the history of Southern Idaho, where I grew up. Â The town ofÂ Shoshone, Idaho, was located about 15 miles away from my boyhood home.