Jan 9, 2010

Racing to the Poles (part 3)


Wild winds roared across the endless stretch of arctic ice and tore at a lone cabin half buried in the snow. Inside, an American explorer lay alone on a cot. He had not walked since his feet had frozen three months before. The pain seemed unbearable. Would he have to give up his dream of reaching the North Pole?

Again he tried to stand on his swollen feet, but the pain caused him to fall back onto the bed. Then, leaning over, he wrote on the nearest wall, “I shall find a way or make one. Robert E. Peary.”

Peary’s one goal in life was to reach the North Pole. He pushed ahead through years of dreadful hardships that would have devastated most men. Whatever obstacle he met in the wild, white world of the North, he overcame.

At ten o’clock on April 6, 1909, Robert E. Peary took out his sextant and measured the altitude of the sun. Finishing his calculations, he shouted to his fellow explorer, Matthew Henson, “Matt, oh, Matt! Ninety north!” Peary was the first man to stand on the spot form which all directions are south.

As soon as possible he telegraphed his wife: “Have made good at last. I have the Pole.”


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-source “This is the Day”

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