There is a great story over at The Adventure Life about the controversies that still surround the first expeditions to the North Pole, and who actually reached it first.
The two men who battled the elements, one another, and the press in an effort to prove that they were the first to reach the Pole were Frederick Cook and Robert Peary. Cook was the first to make his claims, saying he found the Pole in April of 1908, but he had little or no proof to back up his claims. Peary followed a year later, and also claimed to have reached his goal, but his navigation was suspect at best, and a blank page in his diary on the day he claimed to have found the Pole seem telling.
Even more interesting than the battle that went down between these two men is the fact that now, a century later, the two organizations that sponsored their expeditions still support them. National Geographic, to this day, stands behind Peary and his claims of achieving the Pole, while Smithsonian Magazine holds to their man, Cook, despite the fact that his reputation was destroyed a hundred years ago.
The article puts forth an unlikely name for the first undisputed man to reach the North Pole, a Minnesotan by the name of Ralph Plaisted who reached 0º North by snowmobile back in 1968, in what had to be one hell of an adventure.
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