On this day. 1803: President Thomas Jefferson gave orders to Captain Meriwether Lewis ahead of his expedition (with William Clark) to explore the Louisiana Purchase.
Lewis and Clark's journey lasted from May 1804 to September 1806. Their main objective was to explore and map the Louisiana Purchase, and to follow the Missouri River northwest to see if it was connected to the Columbia River, which flowed into the Pacific Ocean. The campaign's secondary objectives were scientific and commercial: To study plants, animals, geography, and other natural resources. Jefferson also wanted Lewis and Clark to be friendly with the Indians and to establish as many trade ties as possible with them.
On this day. 1979: President Jimmy Carter climbed onto the White House roof to celebrate the installation of solar power panels. The U.S. was hit by oil shortages during the '70s; Carter said renewable energy could help the country ease its dependence on imports. The 32 solar panels on the White House cost $28,000 and generated enough energy to provide hot water for the entire 132-room mansion. President Ronald Reagan removed the panels in 1986, saying the energy crisis of the 1970s was a thing of the past.
Quote of the day
"The energy crisis has not yet overwhelmed us, but it will if we do not act quickly." –Jimmy Carter
More from West Wing Reports...
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How the South's ugly racial history is haunting ObamaCare
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- If Democrats abandon immigration reform after Tuesday's likely loss, they will turn 2016 into a debacle
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- The real story behind Deliver Us From Evil
- What if Leo Strauss was right?
- Feast your eyes on this beautiful linguistic family tree
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Stop making fun of philosophy and read some philosophy
- The culture war finally comes to the Catholic Church
Subscribe to the Week