Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Everything you’ve always wanted to know about the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Howdy from north Texas. I’m not feeling especially chatty at the moment because I ran out of cake and can’t figure out what to eat for dinner, so I thought I’d share a few important events from this date in history for your possible interest.
  • January 18, 1803. President Thomas Jefferson requests funds from Congress to pay for the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Jefferson recruited his personal secretary, Meriwether Lewis, to lead the exploration and asked him to figure out how much money he would require for the trip. The final tally came to $2,500, which Lewis requested mostly in American Express traveler’s checks and Target gift cards. The largest expense was $696 for gifts to the Indians that included Ginsu knives, ThighMaster exercisers and “Wayne Newton Sings Gospel Favorites.”
  • January 18, 1882. A.A. Milne, creator of Winnie-the Pooh, is born in Hampstead, England. Milne’s only son, Christopher Robin, was born in 1920, and shortly thereafter the family bought a small farm in Sussex that inspired the 100-Acre Wood where Winnie-the-Pooh’s stories would be set. Milne died in 1956 clutching a stuffed animal.
  • January 18, 1912. British explorer Robert Falcon Scott arrives at the South Pole after a difficult journey. Traveling from base camp, their motor sleds broke down, ponies had to be shot, and the dog teams were sent back as Scott and four companions continued on foot. They reached the pole on January 18 only to find that over-achiever Roald Amundsen of Norway had preceded them by more than a month. Shlepping back to base camp they ran out of Cheez Whiz, their Ding-Dongs froze, and Scott and the remaining survivors were trapped for four weeks by a severe storm. Their bodies were recovered eight months later.
  • January 18, 1975. Barry Manilow’s first pop hit, “Mandy,” reaches the Top 40 charts. Manilow would go on to sell more than 75 million records over the course of his storied career, which has included 367 Botox injections and concert dates at every Indian casino on the planet.
I’ve made a decision at last. It’s bean soup for dinner and a nice bagel, all preceded by a hot shower because my hands are cold. Thanks for stopping by, okay? Give my regards to the family.

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