The History of Polar Exploration

Exploration in the Arctic

1909- American explorer and former Navy Rear Admiral, Robert Edwin Peary is thought to be the first person to reach the North Pole.


1926- Naval Officer Richard Evelyn Byrd was the first person to fly over the North Pole.


1958- A nuclear-powered submarine the USS Nautilus reached the North Pole underwater. During the summer of the same year the Glacier escorted ships participating in Operation Sunec for the resupply of North Polar radar and weather stations.   


1978- Japanese explorer Naomi Uemura reaches the North Pole became the first person to travel to the North Pole solo.



Robert Peary and sledge party with flags at North Pole. April 1909.

Robert Peary and sledge party with flags at North Pole. April 1909.

Exploration in Antarctica

650- Hui-te-Rangiora, a Polynesian, may have been the first to see Antarctica after sailing south from New Zealand.


1773- James Cook's ships became the first to cross the Antarctic Circle.


1821- The first men landed on Antarctica, led by John Davis.


1831- John Biscoe led a team of Englishmen to circumnavigate Antarctica.


 1911- Norwegian, Roald Amundsen led a team to the South Pole for the first time.


1929- Naval Officer Richard Evelyn Byrd and a team of 3 others were the first to fly over the North Pole.


1955- Operation Deep Freeze was launched by the U.S. Navy to prepare logistics and basing support in advance of the scientific work. The Glacier made it's maiden voyage carving out an ice harbor in Kainan Bay and continued 400 miles west to break ice into an offloading site for the establishment of the Naval Air Facility at McMurdo Sound.


1961- Antarctica was declared international land, only to be used for peaceful purposes.


Roald Amundsen, Helmer Hanssen, Sverre Hassel and Oscar Wisting at the South Pole

Roald Amundsen, Helmer Hanssen, Sverre Hassel and Oscar Wisting at the South Pole

Sources

“NHHC.” Naval History and Heritage Command, www.history.navy.mil/.


“OPERATION DEEP FREEZE.” Science.dodlive.mil, science.dodlive.mil/operation-deep-freeze/.