August 2, 2012

A celebrity 200 years in the making: Time Magazine names Sacagawea to Most Influential Americans of All Time list

More than 200 years later after crossing the nation, a magazine has recognized a Stanton native as one of the 20 Most Influential Americans of All Time.

Time Magazine named Sacagawea to the list early last week along with Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, who led the Corps of Discovery Expedition to cross the nation to the Pacific Ocean in 1804.

"It affirms everything we know in Washburn, Stanton, Bismarck and across North Dakota," said David Borlaug, president of the Lewis & Clark Fort Mandan Foundation. "First, what a remarkable person Sacagawea was, and just how important the story of the Lewis and Clark expedition is."

The Shoshone girl was captured by the Hidatsa and brought to a village north of Stanton known as the Knife River Indian Village. When Lewis and Clark arrived, a French-Canadian fur trader and Sacagawea’s husband, Toussaint Charbonneau , offered his services as a translator. She joined them on the journey.

The then 16-year-old pregnant woman ranks with other influential figures, including George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King Jr. and Steve Jobs. The Lakota Sioux chief Sitting Bull, who defeated General George A. Custer at the Little Bighorn River in 1876, was also named to the list. He and Sacagewea are the only two on the list from the state.

The magazine called the exploration one of the most completely recorded in history, due partly to Sacagawea because she jumped into a river to save the journals when a canoe capsized. Bridenstine said the journals are the only way people know about her.

"She saved her own place in history," he added.


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