African American Matthew Henson and polar explorer
Robert E. Pear were on a U.S. expedition to the North
Pole on April 6, 1909. In 2000, the National Geographic Society
awarded Matthew Henson the Hubbard Medal.
His great niece, Audrey Mebane,
accepted the award at the Matthew Henson
Earth Conservation Center in Washington DC.
The Hubbard Medal’ is awarded for
distinction in exploration, discovery,
and research as well.
ON May 8, 1900, both Henson and Peary
reached the farthest point north ever,
even more than previous explorers. That beat
the record several years later.
So President Theodore Roosevelt awarded
Robert E. Peary the Hubbard Medal for reaching the farthest point north.
By 1890, Matthew and Peary did their first
Artic expedition across the northern tip of
Greenland. In 1906, drinking pack ice
repeatedly blocked early attempts to reach
the Pole, so Henson and Peary set out
again on their new 3-mastered steamship
schoooner. Though they returned back
to the previous spot, they realized
they reached 87 degrees 6′.
By August 18, 1909 Henson and Peary
boarded the Roosevelt with 22 Inuit
men, 17 Inuit women, 10 children, 246
dogs, 70 tons of whale meat from Labrador,
the meat and blubber of 50 walruses,
hunting equipment, and tons of coal.
Both explorers Henson and Peary
departed their ship at
Ellesmere Island’s Cape Sheridan with
the Inuit men, 130 dogs working to
lay a trail and supplies along the
route to the Pole.
By April 6, 1909, Henson go to Camp Jesus,
89 degrees 47′, 45 minutes ahead of Peary,
which concludes that he had reached the Pole.
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