It is up to every museum to look at its mission and determine the dates and events that are important in interpreting for the public. This may be the anniversary of the founding of the museum itself or dates in history that are a part of the organization’s story. Once these occasions are determined, then how they will be commemorated becomes the next question. Special events, exhibits, or fitting the commemorations into tours offer several options.

The Missouri River Basin Lewis and Clark Center is no exception. Initially holding their annual two-day event commemorating the first time that the expedition passed through the Nebraska City area presented the same challenges that the expedition itself faced; excessive heat. Moving the event from the third weekend of July to the second weekend in September commemorating the return trip allowed for more suitable conditions for an outdoor event. This year the Center’s “Reunion” event will be held September 9 and 10. Featuring living history demonstrations and speakers, the commemoration is the Center’s annual big event.

Likewise, the Center decided to commemorate the birthdays of expedition’s two Captains with a birthday party, of sorts. Fortunately both men were born in August; William Clark was born August 1, 1770 and Merriwether Lewis on August 18, 1774. Held as a Business-After-Hours in conjunction with Nebraska City Tourism & Commerce, the event will be held from 5:30 – 7:00, on Thursday, August 17. While featuring the traditional refreshments and birthday cake, at 6:00 Eugene Lanning will present a talk on what to expect for the upcoming full lunar eclipse on August 21.

Both of these events are great opportunities for the family to learn more about the expedition’s men and the impact the journey had on our country. Whether it is during the events or just visiting the Center on your own time, if you are a Nebraska City resident the family can enjoy the Center for free.