Today in History: South Pole Is Discovered

| December 14, 2018

Amundsen's_expedition_at_the_South_Pole_-_LOC_3b17882uOn December 14th, 1911 Roald Amundsen (1872-1928) of Norway became the first explorer to reach the South Pole, defeating his British rival Robert Falcon Scott in the race which began in October. While Amundsen used sleigh dogs in his dangerous trek, Scott deployed Siberian motor sledges, ponies and dogs only to reach the site a month later on January 17, 1912. The Norwegian’s base camp on the Ross Ice Shelf was sixty miles closer to the pole — a big advantage in overcoming climate and other hardships of the journey. Amundsen’s team returned safely home in late January, but Scott’s team perished on the ice in March 1912. Some surmise that extraordinary Arctic weather influenced not only the race, but final outcome.

Following his expedition, Amundsen ran a successful shipping business and also was the first aviator to fly over the North Pole, owing to the incomplete air attempt in 1926 by American naval officer and explorer Richard E Byrd.

The following articles are drawn from Proquest Historical Newspapers, which informs and inspires classroom teaching and learning:

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