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American Independence - July 6, 2018


Q: When Lewis and Clark’s expedition, the Corps of Discovery, held the first Fourth of July celebration west of the Mississippi, they fired a cannon, drank extra rations of whiskey and named a body of water "Independence Creek." All of this took place near present day Atchison. What was the year in which this celebration took place?


A: 1804

Meriwether Lewis and William Clark held the first ever Independence Day celebration west of the Mississippi on July 4, 1804, near present-day Atchison, Kansas. To celebrate, the Corps of Discovery expedition fired the cannon on their keelboat and drank an extra ration of whiskey. Lewis and Clark also named a creek -- near what is now Atchison, Kansas -- Independence Creek. Happy (belated) birthday, America!  

Learn more about Lewis and Clark in Kansas.