Quest for a Northwest Passage
The explorers who
followed Christopher Columbus were more
interested in finding an easy route to Asia than
they were in exploring and settling North
America. So they began to look for a
"Northwest Passage," or waterway, that
would take them around or through the continent.
Reaches the North Pole
On February 9, 1960, the nuclear submarine U.S.S.
Sargo surfaced from beneath the ice pack
near the North Pole.
In August 1960 a 41-man team traversed over 600
miles of northern Greenland. Its mission was to
experiment with transportation equipment, conduct
weather studies, and map a safe route to the
northernmost part of the world.
became the first man to reach the North Pole by
"land" on April 6, 1909, a full 45
minutes before the leader of the expedition,
used Eskimo survival techniques to lead the first
successful "overland" expedition to the
North Pole in 1909. He was not, however, the
first to actually reach the pole; that honor went
to his personal assistant Matthew Henson.
from Robert Peary's Expedition to the North Pole
On December 1, 1959 twelve nations agreed to ban
Antarctic military bases.
established the first scientific base in
Antarctica -- Little America -- in 1928. In
November of 1929, he and three others became the
first persons to fly to the South Pole and back.
In 1955 he helped establish the first permanent
U.S. bases in Antarctica.
led an exploration of Antarctica in 1902-1904
that reached further south than any other humans,
fixed the position of the South Magnetic Pole,
and undertook other scientific investigations. He
died in 1912, while returning from a failed
attempt to become the first to reach the
geographic South Pole.