Today in History – dinner party ends for Donner and Reed families

A video presentation from the History channel gives us this news about the long-delayed rescue of the Donner party in 1847.

On this day in 1847, the first rescuers reach surviving members of the Donner Party, a group of California-bound emigrants stranded by snow in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

In the summer of 1846, in the midst of a Western-bound fever sweeping the United States, 89 people – including 31 members of the Donner and Reed families – set out in a wagon train from Springfiled, Illinois. After arriving at Fort Bridger, Wyoming, the emigrants decided to avoid the usual route and try a new trail recently blazed by California promoter Lansford Hastings, the so-called “Hastings Cutoff.” After electing George Donner as their captain, the party departed Fort Bridger in mid-July.

If you are somehow unfamiliar with the Donner Party, let’s just say the short-cut wasn’t, nor was the party a party. The group was stuck in the mountains by an early and harsh winter set-in, and stranded there for 4 months. The survivors had to turn to cannibalism to make it until then, as all other supplies ran out long before rescuers arrived.

[tags]Today in History, Donner Party finally rescued this date in 1847[/tags]