In the dead of winter, 1842, clad in buckskin breeches, fur leggings and moccasins, he trekked 4,000 miles, in a race against time, from his mission in the Oregon wilderness to Washington, D.C., to plead with President Tyler not to give the land to Britain. He then led the first wagon trains across the Oregon Trail. This was Dr. Marcus Whitman, born this day, Sept. 4, 1802. President Harding described: "Never ... has there been a finer example of civilization following Christianity. ... Missionaries led under ... the cross and ... settlers ... close behind under the star-spangled symbol."