The Donner Party was a group of American pioneers who set out for
California in a wagon train. Delayed by a series of mishaps, they were
snowbound in the Sierra Nevada mountain range from November 1846 to
February 1847. Some of the emigrants resorted to cannibalism to survive,
eating the bodies of those who had succumbed to starvation and sickness.
The journey west usually took between four and six months, but the
Donner Party had been slowed by following a new route called the
Hastings Cutoff across Utah's Wasatch Mountains and the Great Salt Lake
Desert. They lost many cattle and wagons in the rugged terrain, and
divisions formed within the group. Their food supplies ran low after
they became trapped by an early, heavy snowfall high in the mountains.
In mid-December some of the group set out on foot and were able to
obtain help. Of the 87 members of the party, 48 survived to reach
California. Historians have described the episode as one of the most
spectacular tragedies in California history.
Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donner_Party>
Today's selected anniversaries:
Backed by Samuel J. Tilden, the Astor and Lenox libraries
agreed to merge and form the New York Public Library (pictured in 1908),
now the second-largest in the U.S.
Delegates of the 14th Dalai Lama and the government of the
newly established People's Republic of China signed the Seventeen Point
Agreement, affirming Chinese sovereignty over Tibet.
Professional wrestler Owen Hart died immediately before a match
after dropping 70 feet (21 m) onto the ring during a botched entrance.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
1. (transitive) To make vapid or insipid; to make lifeless or
spiritless; to dull, to weaken.
2. (intransitive) To become dull, insipid, tasteless, or vapid; to lose
life, spirit, strength, or taste.
Wikiquote quote of the day:
Only the dreamer shall understand realities, though, in truth,
his dreaming must not be out of proportion to his waking!
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