Think back to your days in American History class and the presidency of Thomas Jefferson and you will recall a good purchase he made in 1803.
Louisiana, and thousands of square miles north and west covering most of the central section of the United States west of the Mississippi River.
Jefferson sent two men and a crew to explore this wilderness and Meriwether Lewis and William Clark did just that in 1805 and 1806, traveling the Missouri River (it's name now) and traveling overland all the way to the Pacific Ocean.
While working in South Dakota, I had the pleasure of doing a story on re-enactors of that journey in a large oar-propelled boat. Their journey was tough, but nothing like that of Lewis & Clark. You can look it up.
So, in circling back to the first paragraph - I met a first cousin of Lewis (a couple times removed), who more than 200 years later, still represents Meriwether at various civic and academic celebrations. It was a fascinating conversation and provided a different window on history than the books I have been accustomed to reading.
My suggestion, ask the people you know about their family history... you might just learn something fun and something you'll never forget.