Monday, January 9, 2006

Lewis & Clark Bicentennial zzzzzzz.....

Scott and I went to Lewis & Clark: The National Bicentennial Exhibition at the Oregon Historical Society yesterday. The exhibit displayed many artifacts, documents, and maps from the Corps of Discovery. It seemed that most of the exhibit focused on the expedition's planning and early days while the Oregon portion seemed to be tacked-on. The bias may be due to the exhibit being organized by the Missouri Historical Society. I also thought the exhibit spent a too much time focusing on the Native American culture even though it admitted that Native Americans, at that time, did not consider the expedition to be a signficant event. Although the audio commentaries that were available through the provided headsets were interesting, I didn't find the exhibit as interesting as some of the documentaries I seen or heard on about the expedition such as PBS' Ken Burns television documentary, Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery; the OPB radio series, Unfinished Journey: The Lewis and Clark Expedition; and the National Geographic IMAX film, Lewis & Clark: Great Journey West. Maybe my expectations are too high. Afterall, the exhibit did what it was suppose to do: displayed inanimate objects. I suppose I was expecting more of a celebration. Afterall, Portland hosted a world's fair for the expedition's centennial, Lewis and Clark Centennial and American Pacific Exposition and Oriental Fair. Now that it's 2006, it seems Oregon has allowed the bicentennial to pass without using it to showcase Oregon's history or tourism. Other than Fort Clatsop and some Oregon/Washington state parks being made into a scattered national park, the bicentennial seems without any major event. It seems Oregon and Washington could have at least built a new Columbia river bridge to replace the inadequate Interstate Bridge. Afterall, St. Louis built an arch.

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