Explorers: Peary & Santa At the Pole

Peary & Santa At the Pole

American children are apt to know two things about the North Pole. First, Santa Claus lives there. Second, Admiral Robert E. Peary was the first person to get there, on April 6, 1909. Evidently these two lessons could be equally elaborate fictions. Geographers have concluded that Peary probably missed the Pole. Now Peary's handwritten notes of sextant readings, compass bearings and the sun's altitudes have surfaced. They indicate that the explorer himself knew he was no closer than 105 nautical miles away, according to Baltimore astronomer-historian Dennis Rawlins. The jottings, found in an envelope dated April 5 and 6, 1909, by...

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