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Nomination Highlights, Day 2

posted Mar 23, 2015, 9:23 AM by Mark Showalter
Statue of York
From Europe, a very interesting nomination for a historic explorer: York was the only African American member of the famous Lewis & Clark expedition, who made invaluable contributions to the journey. Even though he was Clark's slave, his time as an explorer gave him certain liberties: His vote counted just as much as that of the other travellers and he had his own rifle. He was a full member of the expedition, which illustrates the equality of humankind when faced with the unknown, the equality of explorers. In space, the only race that counts is the human race.

Editor's note: I had never heard the story of York before, so I am grateful for the submission. As I prepared to add York to the ballot, I made the surprising discovery that Meriwether Lewis and William Clark are also available, unused names for features in the Solar System. As a result, I have added all three to the ballot as a unit, "Lewis/Clark/York". Your vote is a vote for all three, and we will make sure that York earns his rightful place alongside Lewis and Clark. (Note that their guide, Sacagawea, is already on the ballot separately.)

Also from Europe, a fictional destination: Iram of the Pillars is a lost city mentioned in the Quran and Arabian Nights. Its inhabitants erected large pillars to the sky, but were subjected to divine punishment and their city was swallowed by the sands of the Rub' al-Khali desert. Referenced in several modern works of fictions including H. P. Lovecraft's Call of Cthulhu.

Ibn Battuta in Egypt print
Several nominations came in for Ibn Battuta, a historic explorer. From Europe: 
Born February 24, 1304 in Tangier and died in 1377 in Marrakech, is an explorer and traveler who has traveled almost 120,000 km between 1325 and 1349, Timbuktu in the south to the former territory of khanate Volga Bulgaria to the north, and Tangier in the west to Quanzhou Far East.

An addition from the Middle East: Ibn Battuta was a renowned Moroccon explorer of the Islamic world and beyond. He traveled as far as China in the east and Iberia in the west, and is considered one of the greatest travelers in history.