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La Harpe, Jean Baptiste Bernard de
Jean Baptiste Bénard de La Harpe (1683- September 26, 1765) was a French explorer, trader, and soldier who sailed to the southern USA in 1718. He explored the Mississippi, Arkansas, Red, and Sulphur Rivers, and the area near Galveston Bay. He helped settle the area along the Red River, established a trading post, and built a fort.

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Land, E. H.
Edwin Herbert Land (1909-1991) was an American physicist and inventor who developed the first modern light polarizers (which eliminate glare) and other optical devices, investigated the mechanisms of color perception, and developed the instant photography process (the Polaroid camera). Land established the Polaroid Corp. in 1937.
Langston, Jr., Wann
Wann Langston Jr., is an American vertebrate paleontologist. Langston has named and described the dinosaurs Acrocanthosaurus (Stovall and Langston, 1950) and Lophorhothon (1960). He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1952. Langston was the Director of the Vertebrate Paleontology Laboratory of the Texas Memorial Museum of Science and History at the University of Texas at Austin from 1969 until 1986 (when he retired); before that, he had been the curator at the National Museum of Canada. Dr. Langston was the thesis advisor of Douglas Lawson when Lawson found the giant pterosaur Quetzalcoatlus.
La Perouse, Jean-Francois
La PerouseJean-François de Galoup, Comte de La Pérouse (August 23, 1741-1788) was a French explorer and naval officer. La Perouse mapped the west coast of North America in 1786, and visited the Easter Islands and Sandwich Islands (now called Hawaii). He was lost at sea while searching for the Solomon Islands (after reaching Australia's Botany Bay).

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La Salle, Robert
La SalleRené-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle (1643-1687) was a French explorer. He was sent by King Louis XIV (14) to travel south from Canada and sail down the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico. He was the first European to travel the length of the Mississippi River (1682). His mission was to explore and establish fur-trade routes along the river. La Salle named the entire Mississippi basin Louisiana, in honor of the King, and claimed it for France on April 9, 1682. He also explored Lake Michigan (1679), Lake Huron, Lake Erie, and Lake Ontario. He tried to start a settlement in the southern Mississippi River Valley, but the venture ended in disaster.

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Latimer, Lewis H.
Light BulbLewis Howard Latimer (1848-1928) was an African-American inventor who was a member of Edison's research team, which was called "Edison's Pioneers." Latimer improved the newly-invented incandescent light bulb by inventing a carbon filament (which he patented in 1881).

For more information on Lewis Howard Latimer, click here.

La Verendrye, Pierre de
La VerendryePierre Gaultier de Varennes, sieur de La Vérendrye (1685-1749) was a Canadian soldier and explorer who traveled farther west than any previous European explorer had; he traveled to Lake Winnipeg and then southwest, almost reaching the Missouri River. He was searching for a route across Canada from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. His father was the sieur de Varennes, the governor of Trois Rivières, Quebec, Canada.

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Lawrence, Jacob
Jacob Lawrence (1917-2000) was an African-American artist who was associated with the Harlem Renaissance art movement. Lawrence was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey, but at 13 years old, moved to New York City, New York, where he studied art. He soon became successful, both artistically and commercially. Lawrence often painted scenes of ordinary life in vibrant colors and with a startling angularity. In 1946, Lawrence said of his philosophy of art, "My belief is that it is most important for an artist to develop an approach and philosophy about life - if he has developed this philosophy he does not put paint on canvas, he puts himself on canvas."
Leavitt, Henrietta
Henrietta Swan Leavitt (1868-1921) was an American astronomer who first described the relationship between the period and the brightness (luminosity) of Cepheid variable stars. She also discovered 1,777 variable stars in the Magellanic Clouds.
Leidy, Joseph
Joseph Leidy (1823-1891) was a US anatomist/paleontologist who named the first dinosaurs found in the U.S.A. He excavated the first American dinosaur, Hadrosaurus, in 1858. Leidy named Antrodemus (1870, perhaps Allosaurus), Aublysodon (1868), Deinodon (1856), Diplotomodon (1868), Hadrosaurus (the first nearly-complete dinosaur skeleton and first-known duck-billed dinosaur, 1858), Palaeoscincus (1856), Thespesius (1856), Trachodon (1856), and Troodon (1856). Leidy was also the first scientist to identify many extinct species of camels, horses, sloths, tigers, and rhinoceroses.
Lewis and Clark
Meriwether Lewis (1774-1809) and William Clark (1770-1838) set out in May 1804 to explore and map the American West. President Thomas Jefferson commissioned the expedition to explore the newly-bought Louisiana Territory. Lewis and Clark were accompanied by a crew of men, and later, the Shoshone Indian guide and interpreter Sacagawea and her infant son. Lewis and Clark travelled by river and by land from St. Louis, Missouri, to the Oregon coast (Fort Clatsop), and back again. Their journey took 2 years, 4 months, and 10 days; they covered over 8,000 miles.

For more information on Lewis and Clark, click here.

Activities: Print out this map, then draw Lewis and Clark's route and label the states they passed through.
Do a cloze (fill-in-the-blank) activity on Lewis and Clark,

Lincoln, Abraham
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president of the United States of America (from 1861-1865) and one of the greatest presidents. Lincoln helped abolish slavery in the United States.
Lovell, James A.
James Arthur Lovell, Jr., (March 25, 1928 - ) was NASA astronaut who flew on two Gemini missions (Gemini 7 and Gemini 12) and made two trips to the moon. Lovell was on the first lunar orbit flight, Apollo 8 (1968), and the aborted Apollo 13 mission (1970). Lovell has continued exploring, visiting both the North Pole (April 13, 1987) and South Pole (January 2000). In 1994, Lovell wrote "Lost Moon," his account of the Apollo 13 mission.

For more information on Lovell, click here.


Lowell, Percival

Percival Lowell (1855-1916) was an American astronomer who founded the Lowell Observatory at Flagstaff, Arizona in 1894. Lowell studied Mars extensively, especially its surface markings, which he thought were canals. He also thought that the bright areas were deserts and the dark ones were areas containing vegetation (this was not true). Lowell published three books on Mars: Mars (1895), Mars and Its Canals (1906), and Mars As the Abode of Life (1908). Lowell also calculated that an unknown planet, dubbed Planet X, must orbit beyond Neptune. Percival Lowell calculated the rough location of Planet "X's" orbit, but died in 1916, before it was found. This planet was eventually found by the American astronomer Clyde W. Tombaugh in 1930 and named Pluto). Tombaugh did his observations at the Lowell Observatory.
Lull, R. S.
Richard Swann Lull (1867-1957) was a vertebrate paleontologist who headed Yale's Peabody Museum (1922-1936) . Lull said that the best fossils collecting could be done in the basement of the Peabody Museum. He named the following: Anatosaurus Lull and Wright, 1942 (an obsolete name for Edmontosaurus), Anchisauripus (an ichnogenus of theropod dinosaur) in 1904, Diceratops Hatcher vide Lull, 1905, and Proceratops Lull, 1906.

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