FOR RELEASE AT ANY TIME                                Media contact:  Sammye Meadows

June 2001                                                                     Director of Communications











PORTLAND, OREGON – Ten American communities, from Charlottesville, VA, to Astoria, OR, have been selected as sites for national Lewis and Clark heritage events during the bicentennial commemoration of the Lewis and Clark Expedition in 2003-2006. 

At its 2001 planning workshop in Omaha, Nebraska, the National Council of the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial announced the following sites and dates:




1.      January 18, 2003:  “Bicentennial Kick-Off” – Monticello, Charlottesville,











The Thomas Jefferson Foundation will inaugurate the Bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark Expedition and President Thomas Jefferson’s stewardship of the Corps of Discovery by hosting a gala event on the grounds of Jefferson’s mountaintop home. The event, conducted in partnership with the National Council of the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial and the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, will feature formal ceremonies, music, and speakers. Dignitaries representing the federal government, states associated with the expedition, federal and state agencies, and Native American tribes, nations, and confederations will be among the invited guests.

The date of the Monticello event, Jan. 18, 2003, marks the 200th anniversary of Jefferson’s confidential letter to Congress requesting funds for an expedition to the Pacific.

In the days prior to the event, a major exhibition re-creating the appearance of Jefferson’s “Indian Hall” will be opened in the Entrance Hall of Monticello, and an exposition of lectures, performances, and other programs will be held at Monticello and other Charlottesville-area venues.

For further information, contact Wayne Mogielnicki, Monticello, 434-984-9828,



2.  October 24-26, 2003:   “Falls of the Ohio” – Louisville, Kentucky, and

Clarksville, Indiana.  Historical Homeland of the Shawnee Nation U.R.B.


The Ohio River communities of Louisville, Kentucky, and Clarksville, Indiana, are collaborating to host the bicentennial’s second signature event at the site where Lewis joined Clark and the expedition party set out for the Missouri River.

The Falls of the Ohio Lewis and Clark River Festival will include extended educational activities, symposia, exhibits, and publications, replica keelboat and pirogues, recognition of expedition descendants (almost one-third of Corps of Discovery members were from the Falls area), tours of Shawnee Country, and a new heroic-size sculpture of expedition member York.  The event will culminate on October 26 with a “send-off” of the captains and the nucleus of the Corps of Discovery from the Falls.  For further information, contact Dell Courtney, Falls of the Ohio Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Committee, 502.292.0059,

3.      Spring, 2004:  “Three Flags Ceremony/Expedition Departure” – St. Louis,

       Missouri, and Hartford/Wood River, Illinois.  Historical

       Homelands of the Kickapoo and Sac and Fox Nations.


            In Spring 2004, the world will turn its attention to the St. Louis area in commemoration of the Corps of Discovery’s embarkation on America’s epic journey of exploration.  The National Louisiana Purchase Bicentennial Committee will host the first of two national signature events in the St. Louis metropolitan region: Three Flags Ceremony to observe the 200th anniversary of the transfer of Louisiana Territory from Spain and France to the United States.  Invited guests will include the King of Spain, President of France, President of the United States, governors of all states created out of the Louisiana Purchase, and the heads of tribal governments whose homelands were impacted. 

To commemorate the Corps of Discovery’s departure from its winter encampment at Camp River DuBois on May 14, 1804, to explore the newly acquired Louisiana Territory, the communities of Hartford and Wood River, Illinois, will invite the international public to participate in the second national signature event with send-off ceremonies, re-enactments, musical entertainments, heritage craft and skill demonstrations, and rendezvous.  Focal point of the event will be the new Lewis and Clark State Historic Site Interpretive Center.  For further information, contact Dr. Timothy G. O’Rourke, National Louisiana Purchase Bicentennial Committee, 314.516.6884,, and Marilyn Hurst, Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs/Bureau of Tourism, 217.524.2998,

4.  July 3-4, 2004:  “A Journey Fourth” – Atchison and Fort Leavenworth, Kansas,

        and Kansas City, Missouri.  Historical Homelands of the Osage



The Missouri River communities of Atchison, Fort Leavenworth, and Kansas City will salute the first Independence Day celebrated in the American West.  On July 4, 1804, the expedition celebrated the 28th birthday of the Declaration of Independence by firing its swivel cannon and enjoying an extra ration of whiskey.

Kansas City Area events will offer opportunity for a diverse cross section of Americans to explore how independence and democracy have affected us as a culture since Lewis and Clark opened the West for settlement.   Activities will include a spectacular Fourth of July fireworks display over the Missouri River.  For further information, contact Wayne Chappell, Convention and Visitors Bureau of Greater Kansas City, 816.221.5242,

4.      July 30 – August 3, 2004:  “Tribal Council” – Omaha, Nebraska.  Historical

    Homelands of the Otoe-Missouria, Omaha, and

    Pawnee Nations.


            To herald the 200th anniversary of the expedition’s first meeting with the West’s Native People, the community of Omaha will re-create the historic event at the original site of Council Bluff, near Omaha.  The Omaha Tribe of Nebraska will simultaneously host the 200th anniversary of its Annual Harvest Dance Powwow.  There will be special exhibitions, arts and humanities programs, and openings of three new Lewis and Clark interpretive and visitor centers.  Environmental events will focus on the Missouri River and plants and animals studied by the expedition.  For further information, contact Ron Hull, Nebraska Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commission, 402.472.9333, ext. 315,

5.      Late Fall, 2004:  “Circle of Cultures, Time of Renewal and Exchange” – 

          Bismarck, North Dakota.  Historical Homelands of the

          Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nations.


This event’s goal is to renew the bonds of friendship and cooperation forged by the Corps of Discovery during the winter of 1804-05.  Visitors will taste what they tasted, see what they saw, hear what they heard.  Lewis and Clark looked for a winter camp when they arrived in what is now North Dakota and found information and the hospitality of the Missouri River Indians.  “Circle of Cultures” will showcase the place Lewis and Clark wintered in 1804-05 and show the thriving centuries-old trading “Mecca” of the Northern Plains.  Visitors can answer President Jefferson’s 87 ethnographic questions about the Plains Indians and experience the hospitality of North Dakota today.  For further information, contact Kristie Frieze, North Dakota Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Foundation, 877.462.8535,, or Rachael Retterath, North Dakota Tourism, 701.328.2532,

6.      July 3-4, 2005:  “Discovering the Big Sky” – Great Falls, Montana.  Historical

         Homelands of the Blackfeet, Little Shell Band of the Chippewa,

         Gros Ventre, Salish, and Kootenai Nations.


The communities of Great Falls and Fort Benton, Montana, will invite the world to Big Sky Country to commemorate the Corps of Discovery’s second Independence Day in the West and the end of the tortuous portage around the great falls of the Missouri. 

July 3 will be a day of reconciliation between the Blackfeet Nation and the Euro-American culture, featuring speakers from the Blackfeet and other First Nations, and performance of the opera, Poia, the Blackfeet story of Scarface.   July 4 will focus on the events and achievements of the Corps of Discovery with re-enactments and dedication of Upper Portage Camp Park.  For further information, contact Phil Scriver, Director, “Discovering the Big Sky,” 406.727.8314,

8.      Fall, 2005:  “Destination 2005 – The Pacific” – Lower Columbia, Oregon

   and Washington.  Historical Homelands of the Chinook, Clatsop,

   Cathlamet, Wahkiakum, Cathlapotle, Clackamas, Multnomah,

   Clatskanie, Skilloot, Tillamook, Cowlitz, Quinault, and Chehalis



“Ocian in View!  O! the joy.”  - wrote William Clark on November 7, 1805.  To coincide with the 200th anniversary of the Corps of Discovery’s historic arrival at the Pacific Ocean, the Lower Columbia region will host a national observance of the Corps’ Fort Clatsop sojourn.  The event will center around Fort Clatsop National Memorial (National Park Service) and other Lewis and Clark sites.  It will commemorate the historic vote of all Corps members to determine where to stay the winter, and examine the cultural exchanges and scientific fruits of that long wet stay.  For further information, contact Don Striker, Fort Clatsop National Memorial, 503.861.2471,

9.      July 25, 2006:  “Clark on the Yellowstone” – Pompey’s Pillar, Billings,

        Montana.  Historical Homelands of the Crow, Northern

        Cheyenne, and Assiniboine Nations.


Communities along the Yellowstone River, the longest free-flowing river in the lower United States, will welcome visitors to one of America’s newest National Monuments, Pompey’s Pillar.  This event will focus on Clark’s journey down the Yellowstone and the inscription of his name on Pompey’s Pillar, the only remaining physical evidence of the Lewis and Clark Expedition appearing on the trail as it did 200 years ago.  Clark, showing his affection for Sacagawea’s infant son, whom he called “Pomp,” named this sandstone pillar at the river’s edge in his honor.  In commemoration of this event, a Day of Honor will be declared with visitors being greeted by a new interpretive center and activities ranging from river floats, historical reenactments, and Native American games.  For further information, contact Jeffrey Dietz, Yellowstone County Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commission,

10.  August 17-20, 2006:  “Home of Sakakawea” – New Town, North Dakota. 

        Historical Homelands of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and  

        Arikara Nations.


To mark the 200th anniversary of the Corps of Discovery’s joyful return to the Knife River Villages, the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation will invite America to gather with the tribes who observed or encountered the Lewis and Clark Expedition in an event offering Native American perspectives.  This signature event will contrast the hopes and dreams of President Thomas Jefferson with those of tribal leaders who met Lewis and Clark. 

It will also focus on the contributions of Sakakawea, the only woman who was part of the expedition.  Her extraordinary story will be presented from the oral histories of all the tribes who knew her and taught her.  This Native American event will offer an Indian arts market and trade show, men’s traditional dance tournament, cultural demonstrations and re-enactments, and tours of Indian Country.  For further information, contact Amy Mossett or Dennis Fox, Tribal Tourism and Independence Office, 701.627.2870,, 


By summer’s end, and by invitation only, the National Council of the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial may select a few additional events of national scope, for a complete heritage series to occur between January 2003 and September 2006.  Precise dates and additional details for all events will be announced as planning progresses.

The National Council is the Congressionally recognized national coordinating body for the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commemoration.  Based in Portland, OR, it was founded in 1993 as a private 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, whose mission is to commemorate Lewis and Clark’s epic journey, rekindle its spirit of discovery, and acclaim the contributions and goodwill of the Native peoples.  In cooperation with state, federal, and tribal governments – and all interested individuals and organizations, the Council promotes educational programs, cultural sensitivity and harmony, and the sustaining stewardship of natural and historical resources along the route of the expedition.

The Council is coordinating the bicentennial through a vast network of partnerships – Circle of Tribal Advisors, Circle of State Bicentennial Advisors, Federal Inter-Agency Partners, Corps of Education Partners, Signature Event communities, and with organizations like the National Geographic Society, Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, and Student Conservation Association. 

According to Michelle Bussard, Executive Director of the Council, “The national signature events will tie the whole commemoration together.  They will encourage heritage tourism and economic development all along the route of Lewis and Clark.  The National Park Service’s new traveling classroom, Corps of Discovery II, will visit each event.  And the events will serve to focus national dialogue on the legacy of the expedition – what’s happened since to the tribes Lewis and Clark met and the great natural heritage they found.”

For more information about the National Council of the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial, log on at