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On This Day in History: The National Geographic Society was Founded

On This Day in History: The National Geographic Society was Founded

On this day in 1888, the National Geographic Society was founded.

Today marks the anniversary of the founding of the National Geographic Society.  The Society was originally comprised of a diverse group of 33 men who joined together to work towards “the increase and diffusion of geographical knowledge.”  The first Society included geographers, explorers, teachers, lawyers, cartographers, military officers, and financiers who were interested in distributing information about the natural world to the public.

Nine months after the Society was founded, they released their first issue of the National Geographic magazine.  However, readership did not become widespread until Gilbert H. Grosvenor took over as editor in 1899.  In just a few years, Grosvenor increased the periodical’s circulation from 1,000 to 2 million.  He accomplished this by filling the magazine with articles of general interest accompanied by photographs.  As a result, National Geographic became synonymous with stunning and innovative photography.

The Society used the revenue generated by the magazine to fund expeditions and research projects to increase scientific knowledge about natural phenomena.  Today, the National Geographic Society is recognized as being instrumental in some of the most major achievements in exploration and science.  In its history, the Society has awarded more than 1,000 grants and funded Robert Peary’s and Rickard Byrd’s expeditions to the North Pole and the South Pole, Jacques Cousteau’s exploration of the deep sea, Jane Goodall’s study of chimpanzees, and many other significant projects.

Today, the National Geographic Society is one of the largest non-profit scientific and educational institutions in the world, and the National Geographic magazine has a circulation of nearly 9 million readers. The Society remains committed to educating the American public about the wonders of the natural world.

Join us at The Maria Sanchez Show as we celebrate the National Geographic Society.  Don’t forget to check out our latest program, Shadow Politics with Senator Michael D. Brown.  Tune in on Sundays at 4:00 p.m. PST/7:00 p.m. EST.

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