My country ‘tis of thee…sweet land of liberty…
Our recent historical trip around the East Coast reinforced why I love my country. And today is her birthday. You rock, America. You might have wounds and warts, but all that is fixable. All I know is, I don’t wanna live anyplace else.
Thinking about what to post today….realizing most folks won’t have time to visit the Junction myself included, I trolled some sites about what else happened on this date. The History Channel led me here:
Six weeks after Lewis and Clark and their Corps of Discovery left “civilization”, the party of 29 men held the very first Fourth of July celebration west of the Mississippi. The firing of the expedition’s cannon and receiving an extra ration of whiskey set the festive stage.
By this time on their journey, the Corps had made excellent progress traveling up the Missouri River in a 55-foot keelboat and two dugout canoes. The wind sometimes behind them allowed Lewis and Clark to raise the keelboat sail. Once in a while, they managed 20 miles in a day.
The start of July saw the expedition reach the northeastern corner of today’s Kansas. The abundance of the land astounded the two leaders. Clark jotted that herds of deer were “as plenty as Hogs about a farm” and described the “raspberries perple, ripe and abundant.”
On July 4, 1804, the expedition stopped near a creek, and when Lewis and Clark informed the men the creek was to their knowledge unnamed, they called it Independence Creek in honor of the day.
Continuing upstream, the group made camp that night at an abandoned Indian village. It was here that the captains ordered the keelboat cannon to be fired at sunset. The explorers settled in, enjoying the tranquil night and their extra ration of whiskey.
In his journal entry of the day. Clark pondered about the existence of “So magnificent a Senerey in a Contry thus Situated far removed from the Sivilised world to be enjoyed by nothing but the Buffalo Elk Deer & Bear in which it abounds & Savage Indians.”
It would be two years and many adventures later before the Corps camped once more at this pleasant site on their return to “civilisation.”
However you spend your Independence Day, be blessed, safe, and happy!