After more than a month of sledging over moving sea ice covering the Arctic Ocean, explorer Robert E. Peary, Bowdoin Class of 1877, Matthew Henson, and four Inughuit men stood at the northernmost place on earth. Here’s how it looked:

“North Pole, April 6, 1909,” glass lantern slide of the Peary Expedition raising the American flag at the North Pole. “I wish Jo could be here with me to share my feelings,” Peary wrote in his journal. “I have drunk her health + that of the kids from the Benedictine flask she sent me.” Courtesy Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum at Bowdoin College

In this page from Adm. Robert Peary journal, he struggles to describe his feelings on making it to the North Pole. Courtesy Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum at Bowdoin College


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