U.S. Department of the Interior

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Contact: Secretary's Office: Joan Moody 202-208-6416

For Immediate Release: Jan. 8, 2003
Corps II: Denise Germann 402-223-3514 or 402-239-9562
NPS:Flo Six, Midwest Region 402-221-3448 or 402-660-3718

Lewis and Clark Traveling Exhibit
Debuts at Monticello

Washington, D.C.-- The nation's Bicentennial commemoration of the Lewis and Clark Expedition debuts in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Tuesday, January 14 with the opening of "Corps of Discovery II: 200 Years to the Future." This touring federal interagency exhibition launches a four-year odyssey for the 2003-2006 national Lewis and Clark Bicentennial extending from Virginia to the Oregon coast.

The Corps of Discovery II - named after Corps of Discovery I led by Lewis and Clark -- will be located in the Monticello Visitor Center parking area through January 19. On January 18, Secretary of Interior Gale Norton and other leaders will participate in the official commencement of the Bicentennial on the West Lawn at Monticello, home of President Thomas Jefferson, who directed the explorers to make their historic journey beginning in 1803.

At the January 14 debut of Corps of Discovery, Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Fish, Wildlife and Parks Craig Manson will be the keynote speaker. NPS Director Fran Mainella and Gerard Baker, Corps II Director and Superintendent of Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, also will officiate.

Before the 3 p.m. program, which is open to the public, the Fort Berthhold Singers from Fort Berthhold Indian Reservation in North Dakota will welcome everyone to the "Tent of Many Voices." Representing the Three Affiliated Tribes (Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara), they also will sing the Honor Song and Flag song while the U.S. Army 1802 Color Guard from Fort McNair, Washington posts the colors. Members of Discovery Expedition of St. Charles, Missouri, dressed in period costume, will accompany the Color Guard.

A blessing ceremony for Corps of Discovery II will be performed by spiritual leaders from four geographic regions of the United States. They represent the diversity of American Indians who encountered the original Corps of Discovery and provided much needed assistance to them. This sacred ceremony is open but cannot be filmed.

The formal program will conclude with a musical performance, "Lewis and Clark, West for America" by West Glacier, Montana singer and songwriter David Walburn. Walburn, a national touring artist, will perform selections from his musical tribute to the 1803-1806 Corps of Discovery.

"Corps of Discovery II: 200 Years to the Future" will supplement local and national observances throughout the Bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark Expedition," says superintendent Baker. "It is an occasion to learn more about our nation's history, including the history of the American Indian, and it's an occasion to think about our nation's future and where we want to be 200 years from now," Baker notes.

Corps of Discovery II is a joint effort of federal and state agencies, private and nonprofit organizations, and American Indian tribes. Under the auspices of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, the National Park Service is providing funding, exhibit design and production, transportation, and support staff.

The free public exhibition will provide opportunities to learn more about the legendary exploration and its significance in American history. The exhibit will include presentations for students and teachers, as well as educational Internet opportunities.

For more information about the exhibit and tour locations, contact the National Park Service at 402-514-9311 or www.nps.gov/lecl. For more information about the Assistant Secretary's address on January 14 and the Secretary's appearance on January 18, call 202-208-3280.


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