19th FEBRUARY ~ HiSTORY ON THiS DAY

February 19th ~ This Day in History video by History.com ~ 1847: The 1st rescuers reached the 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, 89 people (including 31 members of the Donner and Reed families) set out in a wagon train from Springfield, Illinois. After arriving at Fort Bridger, Wyoming, the emigrants decided to avoid the usual route and go via Hastings Cutoff, a new trail recently blazed by California promoter Lansford Hastings. After electing George Donner as their captain, the party departed Fort Bridger in mid-July.  The so called shortcut set the Donner Party back about 3 weeks, costing them much-needed supplies. They suffered great hardships in the Wasatch Mountains, the Great Salt Lake Desert and along the Humboldt River, before finally reaching the Sierra Nevada Mountains in early October. While camped at Truckee Lake in the high mountains 21 kilometers northwest of Lake Tahoe, an early winter storm blanketed the ground with snow, blocking the mountain pass and trapping the Donner Party| & see more about history on this day in the video…