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This Day in History

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Last Build Date: Sat, 23 Sep 2017 05:00:00 GMT

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The Lewis and Clark Expedition Returns (1806)

Sat, 23 Sep 2017 05:00:00 GMT

(image) In May 1804, about 40 men left St. Louis, Missouri, and headed west on an expedition initiated by US President Thomas Jefferson to search out an overland route to the Pacific Ocean, make contact with indigenous peoples, and survey the new Louisiana Purchase. More than two years later, the party returned to great acclaim. Their journey had an incalculable effect on the history of the American West. Who accompanied the explorers and helped them negotiate with the Native Americans they encountered? Discuss

Nathan Hale Is Hanged for Spying (1776)

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 05:00:00 GMT

(image) A young teacher at the start of the American Revolution, Hale joined the Continental Army and volunteered for the dangerous mission of spying on British forces. The inexperienced 21-year-old managed to penetrate the British lines but was captured and hanged without trial. His last words, reported as, "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country," became a symbol of the Revolutionary spirit. Yet, some question whether these were his exact words. What might he have actually said?

"Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus" Editorial Is Published (1897)

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 05:00:00 GMT

(image) In 1897, eight-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon of New York City asked her father if Santa Claus was real. When he suggested that "if you see it in The Sun, it's so," she wrote to the newspaper and asked. Editor Francis Pharcellus Church's lengthy, touching reply became one of the most reprinted newspaper editorials in US history. "Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias," wrote Church. What happened to Virginia?