Congress set aside money on this date for a small military unit to explore the valleys of the Missouri and Columbia Rivers. Thomas Jefferson chose a childhood friend, Meriwether Lewis, to head the expedition.

This post was contributed by Ross Malone. A historian and a retired school teacher, Ross has authored many books about Missouri’s history, weird facts, and folk tales. He has also written children’s historical fiction. Visit his website, and buy his books in the Missouri Life store.