On this date in 1805, Lewis and Clark first saw the Pacific Ocean…four days later they would reach the beach at the mouth of the Columbia River, one year, six months, and one day after leaving St. Louis, Missouri, in search of the legendary "Northwest Passage" to the sea.By the time they arrived at the ocean, Lewis and Clark knew that the Northwest Passage did not exist but they still  achieved many of the objectives laid out for them by President Thomas Jefferson when he planned the expedition in 1803.

They had found the sources of the Missouri and the major tributaries of the Columbia, followed the Columbia to the sea, collected detailed information about the plants, animals, geography, and inhabitants of the region, and laid the groundwork for American expansion to the coast.