Throwback Thursday for August 1

Here's what happened on August 1!

1684: French explorer Sieur de La Salle set sail from France to establish a colony near the Mississippi River. The colonists lost one of four ships to pirates. Their main supply ship ran aground, destroying its stores. Mistakes in navigation landed the colonists nearly 500 miles past the Mississippi. Most of the colonists died over the next two years. Find out why La Salle never made it back to France in Biography for Beginners.

1770: William Clark, co-captain of the Lewis and Clark expedition, was born. He was the ninth of ten siblings. In 1803, a subordinate from Clark’s tenure in the army sent him a letter. Meriwether Lewis was asking his former commander to co-captain the Corps of Discovery. They were to explore the recently purchased Louisiana Territory. Lewis and Clark described 200 unknown species and traveled 7,689 miles to the Pacific Ocean and back over a two-and-a-half-year period. Read more about Clark’s life in Biography for Beginners and Defining Moments.

1819: Herman Melville, author of Moby Dick, was born. Melville was inspired by his travels to the South Pacific as a young man. He visited places like the Marquesas Islands, where he was treated hospitably by a tribe of cannibals, and Tahiti. His best-known work, Moby Dick, didn’t gain acclaim 30 years after Melville’s death. Learn more about the author’s life in American History.

1876: Colorado became the 38th U.S. State. Colorado is called the Centennial State because it became a state 100 years after the United States was created. Learn more about this scenic mountainous state in FactCite 1-2-3.

1914: Germany entered World War I, declaring war on Russia. Hardly a month earlier, Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s assassination and old alliances prompted a cascade of war declarations. Austria-Hungary declared war against Serbia, Russia moved against Austria-Hungary, and Germany declared war on Russia and France. World War I, known as the Great War, had begun. There were more than 8.5 million military casualties, including many civilians. Find out how many in Essential Information.

1955: Lamar Smith was murdered in Brookhaven, Mississippi, for encouraging African Americans to vote. Dozens of witnesses were on the courthouse lawn, when the shooting occurring in broad daylight, but not a single person came forward to give an account of what happened. The killer was never arrested. Learn about other martyrs of the Civil Rights Movement in American History.

1993: Ruth Bader Ginsburg was appointed to serve on the Supreme Court. She was the second woman appointed. She graduated first in her class at Columbia University Law School, taught law at Columbia, and argued five cases, all related to gender equality, in front of the Supreme Court. Winning all five earned her respect for advocating for women’s equal rights. Read more about the justice’s life in U.S. & World Biographies.