Office of the Press Secretary
July 1, 2002
July 1, 2002 Nearly 200 years ago, President
Thomas Jefferson sent an expedition westward to find and map
a transcontinental water route to the Pacific Ocean. With
approval from the Congress, Captains Meriwether Lewis and
William Clark embarked on their legendary 3-year journey to
explore the uncharted West. The expedition included 33 permanent
party members, known as the Corps of Discovery.
effort to chart the area between the Missouri River and the
Pacific Coast set these courageous Americans on a remarkable
scientific voyage that changed our Nation. In successfully
completing the overland journey between the Missouri and Columbia
River systems, they opened the unknown West for future development.
During their exploration, Lewis and Clark collected plant
and animal specimens, studied Indian cultures, conducted diplomatic
councils, established trading relationships with tribes, and
recorded weather data. To accomplish their goals, the Corps
of Discovery relied on the assistance and guidance of Sakajawea,
a Shoshone Indian woman.
we approach the 200th anniversary of Lewis and Clark's expedition,
we commend their resourcefulness, determination, and bravery.
This Bicentennial should also serve to remind us of our Nation's
outstanding natural resources. Many of these treasures first
detailed by Lewis and Clark are available today for people
to visit, study, and enjoy. As the commemoration of this journey
begins in 2003, I encourage all Americans to celebrate the
accomplishments of Lewis and Clark and to recognize their
contributions to our history.
THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States
of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the
Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby designate
2003 through 2006 as the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial. I ask
all Americans to observe this event with appropriate activities
that honor the achievements of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
I also direct Federal agencies to work in cooperation with
each other, States, tribes, communities, and the National
Council of the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial to promote educational,
cultural, and interpretive opportunities for citizens and
visitors to learn more about the natural, historical, and
cultural resources that are significant components of the
Lewis and Clark story.
WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-eighth
day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand two, and
of the Independence of the United States of America the two
hundred and twenty-sixth.