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This Day in History

Black Friday (1869)
In 1869, American financial speculators Jay Gould and James Fisk attempted to corner the gold market by trying to prevent the sale of government gold, which they hoped to achieve by influencing President Ulysses Grant. The plan backfired when Grant discovered the plot and released $4 million of government gold for sale. On a day that came to be known as Black Friday, the price of gold plummeted, panic ensued, and thousands were ruined—though not Gould or Fisk. How did they gain access to Grant? Discuss

The Lewis and Clark Expedition Returns (1806)
In May 1804, about 40 men left St. Louis, Missouri, and headed west on an expedition initiated by US President Thomas Jefferson to search out an overland route to the Pacific Ocean, make contact with indigenous peoples, and survey the new Louisiana Purchase. More than two years later, the party returned to great acclaim. Their journey had an incalculable effect on the history of the American West. Who accompanied the explorers and helped them negotiate with the Native Americans they encountered?

Nathan Hale Is Hanged for Spying (1776)
A young teacher at the start of the American Revolution, Hale joined the Continental Army and volunteered for the dangerous mission of spying on British forces. The inexperienced 21-year-old managed to penetrate the British lines but was captured and hanged without trial. His last words, reported as, "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country," became a symbol of the Revolutionary spirit. Yet, some question whether these were his exact words. What might he have actually said?