Philadelphia Chapter Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation

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Starting in November 2002: New Timeline Calendar Heralds Lewis and Clark Bicentennial

Philadelphia Chapter
Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, Inc.
PO Box 39634
Philadelphia, PA 19136

CONTACT: Norma M. Milner (956) 829-3142
Frank Muhly (215) 331-4178
Starting in November 2002: New Timeline Calendar Heralds Lewis and Clark Bicentennial

Now available at The Philadelphia Print Shop on Germantown Ave. in Chestnut Hill, or by mail from the New Jersey photographer/producers, a Bicentennial Timeline Calendar summarizes notes from the Lewis and Clark Journals and other sources for classroom history teachers and history buffs, alike.

The first of four calendars covers from Dec. 1902 to Dec. 1803. For example, on December 18, 1802, the timeline confides that Meriwther Lewis wrote letters to the US Mint at Philadelphia to order the striking of the Jefferson Peace Medals he would pick up in May or June of the next year. This action shows that Jefferson had tapped him to be the Captain of the secret mission.

This first issue of The Lewis and Clark Expedition-1803-1806 series offers preprinted happenings related to the saga on key days, creating a mini-Journal. The year 1803 is especially interesting for Philadelphians since it explains when Lewis was here and what he did. There will be another calendar for each year through 2006.

Even radio stations and newspapers can use it to make spot announcements on certain key dates of the journey. They can keep their listeners and readers in touch with this spellbinding study of our uncharted West, its native people, indigenous plants and animals, and vast plains, prairies, mountains, and river systems by the timeline calendar by Dick and Elaine Prestholdt of Bridgewater, NJ. The couple will be producing three more calendars for 2004-06 to make up a set.

The national Bicentennial Commemoration of the epic military and scientific exploration will kick off with ceremonies at Monticello on January 18, 2003 and advance across America with reenactments, festivals, symposia, two traveling exhibitions crisscrossing the country, and Native American participation until September 2006.

For the first time in 200 years, eastern states will have a “piece of the pie”, getting credit for the “readiness” period after being left out of history books much of the time.

The calendar explains what Lewis did in the month of March that he spent at the Harpers Ferry Arsenal where a new museum to his activities is opening March 29-31. It outlines the three weeks in April, 1803 that he spent studying celestial navigation with Andrew Ellicott in order to record the positions of sun, moon and stars that would be necessary to calculate latitude and longitude for the first maps of the area.

Readers of the calendar can experience the days from May 8-June 10, 1803, that Lewis spent in Philadelphia 200 years ago, where he made 3,500 pounds of purchases for the trek and studied medical care with three doctors, Benjamin Rush, Caspar Wistar, of Pennsylvania Hospital and Benjamin Smith Barton of both the Hospital and Pennsylvania University on what was known of Native Americans, and how to collect and label plant and animal species. A navigation expert, Robert Patterson of the U of P, as well, helped him buy his sextant and chronometer on 3rd Street, Old City. All these mentors were recruited by Jefferson from the American Philosophical Society.

The Bicentennial, to be called a “Commemoration” rather than a “Celebration” out of concern for the Indian point of view, will continue back to Washington where the Louisiana Purchase was consummated on July 4, 1803, and Lewis left again for Elizabeth, PA to meet his supplies, and load them in a hand built keelboat to begin poling down the Ohio River to pick up Clark, his slave York, and nine volunteers from Kentucky. Three more timelines in the four calendar series will take readers along the Historic Lewis and Clark Trail in 13 states from St. Louis to the Pacific Ocean and back, from 2004-06.

Photographer Dick Prestholdt is donating $5 of the $14.95 price for each calendar to the Philadelphia Chapter. To order, send a check for $18.45 ($3.50 S&H) to Prestholdt Images. Mail to P.O Box 6291, Bridgewater, NJ 08807.

WORDS 680: by Norma Martin Milner: copyright free.

Updated October 29, 2002