Meriwether Lewis and William Clark's 1804-6 expedition across North America found 100 new animals, 200 new plants, mapped the continent, negotiated treaties with Native American tribes, faced starvation, floods, disease, grizzlies, mountains, gunfire and began in Missouri.
Discover more about this brave expedition from the Mississippi to the Pacific by exploring a wealth of historical memorabilia in St. Charles, Missouri, where Lewis joined up with Clark. The city's Lewis & Clark Museum presents artifacts and dioramas that help one to visualize the challenges they faced.
St. Charles reenacts the encampment the third weekend in May during its annual Heritage Days. Activities include parades, 19th-century crafts displays, and replicas of the explorers' boats. As long as weather permits, visitors in boats, canoes, cars, and on foot can retrace portions of the route traveled.
St. Joseph, Missouri was the starting point for the Pony Express and the end of Jesse James, whose first home can be found close by. Speaking of going postal, check in at the Glore Psychiatric Museum while in town. Chronicling the history of what was once known as State Lunatic Asylum No. 2, it displays archaic therapeutic equipment such as a Tranquilizer Chair and Bath of Surprise, along with antique oddities and furnishings. Just make sure you're out by closing.
The famous of Missouri certainly include more leaders and artists than outlaws and crazies. Birthplace to George Washington Carver, Mark Twain, and President Harry Truman, Missouri has preserved and opened their homes to the public.
In St. Louis, world's-fair buffs will find the exhibit on the 1904 extravaganza at St. Louis' Missouri History Museum riveting. This one event - which introduced the Hall of Electricity, enabled visitors to ride Mr. Ferris' famous wheel and "gondolas" on artificial Venetian-style lagoons - made a lasting impression on 20th-century American culture.
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