Race to the North Pole: Topics in Chronicling America
Two scientists in the early 1900s both claimed to have dicovered the North Pole, sparking a scientific debate. This guide provices access to materials related to the "Race to the North Pole" in the Chronicling America digital collection of newspapers.
Chronicling America is a searchable digital collection of historic newspaper pages from 1777-1963 sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress.
Included in the website is the Directory of US Newspapers in American Libraries, a searchable index to newspapers published in the United States since 1690, which helps researchers identify what titles exist for a specific place and time, and how to access them.
Competing claims of discovery of the North Pole by explorers Dr. Frederick Cook and Commander Robert E. Peary spark a fierce scientific debate that dotted the newspapers with controversy for years. Read more about it!
The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.
The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.
September 2, 1909
New-York Tribune reports that Dr. Cook reached the North Pole on April 21, 1908.
September 7, 1909
New York Times reports that Peary reached the North Pole on April 6, 1909.
Peary appears in front of the Naval Affairs Subcommittee to obtain official government recognition.
President Taft signs a bill that recognizes Peary's "Arctic exploration"; does not credit Peary with discovery.