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December Events

We've gathered some of the top Lewis and Clark events and activities to attend and significant dates in history.


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 On the Trail with Lewis and Clark



  •      On December 12, 1803, the Corps, now over 40 men, landed at Wood River and established Camp River Dubois.  This would be their temporary home until their departure on May 14, 1804. Most of the Corps spent Christmas in Illinois. While Lewis continued to make preparations and gather intelligence from his base in St. Louis, Clark remained with the men in Camp River Dubois. The Corps made effective use of this time, drilling, practicing marksmanship, and acquiring and stowing the supplies they would need for the long Expedition.  The Captains were keen observers of men and during this period promoted some in rank and weeded out others as troublemakers and laggards.
  •      On December 20, 1803, in the Sala Capitular - New Orleans two commissioners signed the transfer document, from France to the United States, giving lower Louisiana officially to the United States.


  •      While wintering at Fort Mandan, the expedition experienced the northern lights, bitter cold temperatures, and meeting the most influential woman that would accompany the Corps of Discovery on their westward journey - Sakakawea.
  • 1805

  •      On December 8, 1805, the expedition members began to build a fort.  By Christmas Eve they were under shelter.  They named the fort for the friendly local Indian tribe, the Clatsops.  The members of the Lewis and Clark expedition remained at Fort Clatsop until March 23, 1806. 

    Life at the fort was far from pleasant.  It rained every day but 12 of the 106 days at the Fort.  Perhaps the most important activity undertaken during their winter was the reworking of the journals by the leaders, and the preparation of organized accounts of the scientific data gathered during the journey. 

     Here also, Clark prepared many of the maps which were among the most significant contributions of the expedition. 



December 1, 2013 - January 5, 2014: "Winter Garden Aglow" at Idaho Botanical Garden in Boise, Idaho.  Lewis & Clark Native Plant Garden light display.  Stroll the Lewis & Clark trail to the hilltop for a spectacular view of the valley below.  Then pause to gaze upon the beautiful bronze statue of Sacajawea.  It will be a holiday experience to remember.

December 7, 2013 " Lewis & Clark Christmas 1800's Style" in  Hermann, Missouri. Enjoy the Spirit of Christmas past as you step back 200 years to a time when the frontier of our young nation was fresh, unknown & irresistible.  Festivities begin with --5pm Twilight Lantern Parade; 6:30 pm. Banquet.   For tickets and more information contact Hermann Visitor Center at 800-932-8687. 

December 14-15, 2013: Arrival at Camp River Dubois.  Come celebrate the arrival of Lewis and Clark to Camp River Dubois. This annual special event commemorates December 12, the day William Clark and the men of The Detachment arrived at the confluence of the Rivière á Dubois, Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. The event will include members of The Detachment portraying military life, re-enactors recreating the civilian population and demonstrators.  For more information call 618-251-5811.

 Dec. 26 - 31, 2013: Whale Watching week along the Oregon Coast.   Lewis and Clark's 1806 whale event.



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GPO 1991-557-779

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