It’s considered one of the great exploration projects in United States history. The Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery left Fort Dubois, Illinois on May 14, 1804 and traveled all the way to the Pacific Coast, documenting and mapping the experience. The entire trip took two years and three months; remarkably, only one member of the expedition died.
For a number of reasons, though—including limited communications—the expedition is almost forgotten in the last half of the 19th Century and the early 20th Century. It gains greater attention after WWII.