At Lewis and Clark National and State Historical Parks, you can walk in the steps of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, who arrived at the Pacific near the mouth of the Columbia River on this day in 1805. It was 1 year, 6 months, and a day after the Corps of Discovery left St. Louis, Missouri, on its mission to explore the Pacific Northwest. Upon seeing the ocean, Clark wrote in his journal: ‘Ocian in view! O! The joy.’ (Clark’s journal was full of misspellings.)
Shortly after arriving on the West Coast, the expedition voted to spend the winter near present-day Astoria, where they constructed Fort Clatsop. Today, the areas where Lewis and Clark reached the Pacific and constructed Fort Clatsop are preserved in the Lewis and Clark National and State Historical Parks, which include Ecola State Park, seen here. It’s a popular destination for visitors hoping to learn more about this pivotal chapter in American history while also enjoying the scenic Oregon coast.
Start date: May 14, 1804
End date: Sep 23, 1806
Route of the expedition
Also on this day,
1777 | 1st US constitution as thirteen colonies unite to form a new country
The Second Continental Congress approves the Articles of Confederation, which unifies the 13 American colonies under a weak central government and names this new country the United States of America. The document, a precursor to the Constitution, will be ratified by the states on March 1, 1781.1864 | Gen. Sherman begins his March to the Sea
Union General William T. Sherman and his troops torch the captured city of Atlanta, leaving it a smoldering ruin before riding out to begin their five-week march through Georgia to the port of Savannah. In their wake, they’ll leave a trail of destroyed industry, ransacked private property, and a huge number of refugees.1984 | Baby Fae who received transplanted baboon heart dies
Month-old Baby Fae passes away 20 days after an operation to replace her deformed heart with one from a baboon. It was the first baboon-to-human heart transplant ever done. The case will spark vigorous debate about inter-species transplants and medical experimentation.
The Articles of Confederation, formally the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, was an agreement among the 13 original states of the United States of America that served as its first constitution. Its drafting by a committee appointed by the Second Continental Congress began on July 12, 1776, and an approved version was sent to the states for ratification on November 15, 1777. The Articles of Confederation came into force on March 1, 1781, after being ratified by all 13 states. A guiding principle of the Articles was to preserve the independence and sovereignty of the states. The federal government received only those powers which the colonies had recognized as belonging to king and parliament.
The Articles formed a war-time confederation of states, with an extremely limited central government. While unratified, the document was used by the Congress to conduct business, direct the American Revolutionary War, conduct diplomacy with foreign nations, and deal with territorial issues and Native American relations. The adoption of the Articles made few perceptible changes in the federal government, because it did little more than legalize what the Continental Congress had been doing. That body was renamed the Congress of the Confederation; but Americans continued to call it the Continental Congress, since its organization remained the same.
As the Confederation Congress attempted to govern the continually growing American states, delegates discovered that the limitations placed upon the central government rendered it ineffective at doing so. As the government's weaknesses became apparent, especially after Shays' Rebellion, individuals began asking for changes to the Articles. Their hope was to create a stronger national government. Initially, some states met to deal with their trade and economic problems. However, as more states became interested in meeting to change the Articles, a meeting was set in Philadelphia on May 25, 1787. This became the Constitutional Convention. It was quickly realized that changes would not work, and instead the entire Articles needed to be replaced. On March 4, 1789, the government under the Articles was replaced with the federal government under the Constitution. The new Constitution provided for a much stronger federal government by establishing a chief executive (the President), courts, and taxing powers.
The Articles of Confederation, ratified in 1781. This was the format for the United States government until the Constitution.
Was there frost in your neighborhood this morning? More than 100 years ago, Impressionist painter Claude Monet painted this wintry scene, called ‘The Frost,’ in the French commune of Vétheuil, where he lived from 1878 to 1881. We’re showing it today in honor of his birthday. Monet is considered a father of Impressionism, the artistic movement characterized by thin brushstrokes and depicting the visual impression of the moment–especially in terms of light and color. The term ‘Impressionism’ derives from a review of Monet’s painting ‘Impression, Sunrise,’ which he exhibited in 1874. Happy birthday, Claude!
Author: Nellie Bly
First published: 1890
Number of pages: 331
Original language: English
A publicity photograph taken by the New York World newspaper to promote Bly’s around-the-world voyage
Also on this day,
1840 | Monet’s birthday as Impressionist painting pioneer is born
Oscar-Claude Monet is born in Paris. He will show an interest in art at a young age, enrolling in Le Havre secondary school of the arts at age 10. Monet will go on to become one of the creators of impressionism, and some of his works will sell posthumously for tens of millions of dollars.1851 | ‘Moby Dick’ in US as Herman Melville’s story of the white whale is published in the US
‘Call me Ishmael’ first appears in print in the United States, the opening line of a new novel by a former sailor. An earlier version of ‘Moby-Dick,’ entitled ‘The Whale,’ had been published in England. The novel will flop on both sides of the Atlantic, but long after Melville’s death, it will be hailed as a classic.1969 | Rocket lifts off in second manned mission to moon as Apollo 12 blasts off
Apollo 12 takes off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida with three astronauts aboard: Charles Conrad, Jr.; Richard Gordon, Jr.; and Alan Bean. A few days later, Conrad and Bean will become the third and fourth persons to walk on the moon’s surface.
Mission start: Nov 14, 1969
Mission end: Nov 24, 1969
Space program: Apollo program
Astronauts: Alan Bean · Pete Conrad · Richard Gordon
Charles Conrad Jr., Apollo 12 Commander, examines the unmanned Surveyor III spacecraft during the second extravehicular activity (EVA-2). The Lunar Module (LM) "Intrepid" is in the right background. This picture was taken by astronaut Alan L. Bean, Lunar Module pilot. The "Intrepid" landed on the Moon's Ocean of Storms only 600 feet from Surveyor III. The television camera and several other components were taken from Surveyor III and brought back to earth for scientific analysis. Surveyor III soft-landed on the Moon on April 19, 1967.
The Kermode bear, often called the ‘spirit bear’ due to its ghostly appearance, isn’t albino. It’s a subspecies of black bear, born with pigmented skin and eyes, but a genetic mutation produces no pigment in the fur. Two black bears with dark fur can produce a Kermode cub, while a Kermode parent doesn’t guarantee a Kermode offspring. Spirit bears haunt the moss-covered territory of the Great Bear Rainforest, which is where our homepage photo was taken, but others have been documented in the greater coastal region of British Columbia. Nature, your lovely weirdness wins again.