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On This Day in History: The North Pole Was Discovered

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On this day in 1909, American explorer Robert Peary was the first to reach the North Pole… or so he thought.

On April 6th, 1909, Robert Peary, his assistant Matthew Henson, and four Eskimos reached what they determined was the North Pole.  Their 1909 success was preceded by several unsuccessful attempts to reach the planet’s northern-most point.

While Peary and his team were widely celebrated for this accomplishment, it was soon challenged.  Soon after news of Peary’s successful expedition, Dr. Frederick A. Cook claimed that he had already made it to the North Pole.  Cook, a former associate of Peary’s, claimed that he had reached the North Pole a year before by way of dogsled.  Naturally, this led to a major controversy that was only settled when Congress officially recognized Peary’s claim in 1911.

Today, further research of the conflicting claims suggest that neither expedition was actually successful in reaching the North Pole.  However, experts agree that Peary’s expedition was far closer, falling only 30 miles short of their destination.  It was only on May 3, 1952, when U.S. Lieutenant Colonel Joseph O. Fletcher got out of a plane and stood in the exact location of the North Pole that a person became the first to undisputedly reach the destination.

We at The Maria Sanchez Show hope you enjoyed learning about this important historical event with us. 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. PDT/7:00 p.m. EDT.

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