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Massive Lewis and Clark Exhibit Planned

By Tom Weber, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – The Missouri Historical Society has unveiled plans for a national exhibit to celebrate the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial.

A letter written by Thomas Jefferson and Meriwether Lewis's telescope are among the more than 400 original artifacts that will make up what planners call the most comprehensive Lewis and Clark exhibit ever.

Historical Society President Bob Archibald says the items are already on display around the country, but they've never been in one place. "Really, since the expedition returned to St. Louis [in 1806], this will be the largest reunion of Lewis and Clark-related material ever," Archibald said. "And not likely to be seen again for a long time."

Archibald says the display will explore how life changed for both the explorers and for the natives they met. "Lewis and Clark entered a world that, for them, was new but was old for people who lived there and that's really a central theme. And they were changed by the encounter."

The exhibit will dominate the first floor of the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park for nine months in 2004. It will then travel to Philadelphia, Denver, Portland, and Washington, D.C.