Happy Fourth of July!

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!


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6 thoughts on “Happy Fourth of July!”

  1. Happy 4th of July, Tanya! Hope you have a wonderful celebration of our country. Your blog was so interesting. I never knew the first 4th of July celebration was held by Lewis and Clark. I’m always learning something new on here.

  2. Tanya, this was interesting–I don’t know a lot about Lewis and Clark. It seems that in history classes, everything focuses more on what came AFTER them. I hope you have a wonderful holiday today–we just got back from WV where they had had that horrible storm, which cancelled the picnic we’d gone out there for. Our hotel still had power (a/c, thank GOD!) but no internet or TV. I’m so glad to be back here–many of the people there in WV and in that entire part of the country don’t have power yet. It was sweltering. Anyhow, we’re celebrating today in grand style, and I agree with you wholeheartedly–there is no place I’d rather be than here in the USA!

  3. I know, Cheryl. It was very interesting to learn this. Part of our trip was Civil War country, too..another area of history I want to learn more about. I research the 1870’s for my books and need to realize how much effect the Civil War had on the West. Thanks for the post.

  4. Happy Independence Day to all you all … Tanya, what a great blog, reminding us how important this holiday is and how we got where we are today.

    Happy 4th of July to you and yours, Phyliss

  5. HI Phyliss, thanks so much for stopping by and for the good wishes. We had a fun block party and now I’m off to the horse rescue to help calm/comfort the critters during the fireworks display. xoxox

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