History: January 18, 2019

1778
Captain James Cook sails past Oahu, Hawaii. He’s the first documented
European to encounter the Hawaiian islands.

Two days later he would land on Kauai.

The natives were welcoming, rather than hostile. They were intrigued by the Europeans’
use of metals and iron. Cook used this to his advantage.

He traded iron from the ship for food provisions. Sailors swapped iron nails for wild
Hawaiian boom-boom with the women, which Cook encouraged.

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1803
Congress agrees to fund the Lewis and Clark expedition.
On the books, Congress granted $2,500, but it’s estimated the whole trip cost closer to
$50,000.

The expedition would map and explore much of the Louisiana Purchase, but the plan
was proposed even before Napoleon offered to sell the land. When news of the offer
came to America, Congress jumped on the chance to survey the land.

Jefferson secretly tasked the crew to slog all the way westward, to determine just how
far the continent expanded westward.

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1912

Robert Falcon Scott and his expedition make their final slog to the South Pole.
They find they weren’t the first explorers to make it; they were bested by Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen.

Both teams had set out in October, but Amundsen’s camp was 60 miles closer to the prize, and were able to return to their base camp.

Scott and his team were plagued with bad luck along the way. Their motorized sleds had broken down. They had to shoot the Siberian ponies they used for travel. The dogs were released and sent back to camp. His team continued on foot.

Two men died in terrible cold weather. Scott’s final journal entry was listed for March.

He and the remaining two men were found 8 months later — just 11 miles from basecamp.

1958
The National Hockey League becomes racially integrated, when Willie O’Ree
laces up his skates for the Boston Bruins.

O’Ree grew up in New Brunswick, Canada, and was one of only 2 black families in his
town, but he was known as one of the best skaters.

He worked his way up the minor hockey leagues, until he finally earned a spot in the
pros.

The NHL had not ever officially turned away a player because of race — O’Ree was just
the first racial minority good enough to make a team.

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1971
George McGovern launches his unsuccessful bid for president.

Though he would win the Democratic nomination, he got steamrolled by Richard Nixon
in the general election, only winning the electoral votes from Massachusetts and D.C.

Voters decided to not go with the man whose foreign policy basically surrendered to the
communists.

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