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 and sample article links below provide access to a sampling of articles from historic newspapers that can be found in the Chronicling America: American Historic Newspapers digital collection (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/). Use the Suggested Search Terms and Dates to explore this topic further in Chronicling America.
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- September 2, 1909: The New-York Tribune reports that Dr. Frederick Cook reached the North Pole on April 21, 1908.
- September 7: 1909: The New York Times reports that Commander Robert E. Peary, USN, reached the North Pole on April 6, 1909.
- January 1911: Peary appears in front of the Naval Affairs Subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives in an effort to obtain official government recognition of his discovery of the North Pole.
- March 1911: With the Subcommittee having voted 4 to 3 in favor of honoring Peary, President Taft signs a bill that recognizes Peary's "Arctic exploration" but does not credit Peary with discovering the North Pole.
Suggested Search Terms:
- [Try the following terms in combination, proximity, or as phrases using Search Pages in Chronicling America.]
Robert Peary, Frederick Cook, feud, controversy, dispute, North Pole, Arctic, Roosevelt, John R. Bradley, Oscar II.
Sample Articles from Chronicling America:
- Nations Pay Tribute to Cook The San Francisco Call (San Francisco, CA), September 3, 1909, Page 1, Image 1, Cols. 5-7
- Peary Tells World He Has Found North Pole; No Trace to Show That Dr. Cook Preceded Him, The Times Dispatch (Richmond, VA), September 7, 1909, Image 1, Cols. 1, 6-7
- Question of Priority in the Discovery of the North Pole, The Ogden Standard (Ogden City, UT), September 7, 1909, Image 1, Cols. 1-2
- Feud of Explorers Arouses Scientists, The Washington Times (Washington, D.C.), September 8, 1909, Last Edition, Page 3, Image 3, Col. 1
- Peary Also Reached the North Pole, The Farmville Herald (Farmville, VA), September 10, 1909, Page 2, Image 2, Cols. 1-2
- Cook-Peary Dispute, New-York Tribune (New York, NY), September 12, 1909, Page 2, Image 2, Col. 3
- Tuesday Will See Both Explorers From Arctic Circle in America and Some Facts Will Be Made Plain, The Paducah Evening Sun, (Paducah, KY), September 18, 1909, Image 1, Col. 5
- Says Peary and Cook Both Reached Pole, Gainesville Daily Sun (Gainesville, FL), September 30, 1909, Image 9, Cols. 1-2
- State Department is Not Ready to Take its Stand, The Salt Lake Herald-Republican (Salt Lake City, UT), November 5, 1909, Image 1, Cols. 6-7