Friday 27 January 2012

National Geographic

Decades worth of National Geographic magazines line our bookshelves, some of them dog-eared from Rob and his sister Ingrid reading and re-reading them as children, some of them in good condition as they were perused by my father-in-law, helping him to master English as a German immigrant.  One thing they all have in common is their well-written articles and beautiful photographs.  It was on January 27, 1888 that the National Geographic Society was formed and has had many prestigious members; Alexander Graham Bell was one of its early Presidents. 

I knew the magazine had a long history but what I didn't know was that the Society had doled out 1400 grants for various ventures over the last century or more.  Here are some of the important ventures that the National Geographic Society has sponsored:

1.  Robert Peary's trip to the North Pole (1909).
2.  The Lost Incan City Excavation by Hiram Bingham (1912-1915).
3.  Richard Byrd's flight over the South Pole (1928-1929).
4.  Jacques Cousteau's diving expeditions (1952-1956).
5.  Architectual digs to prove the existence of early humans in Africa (1960).
6.  Jane Goodall's work with chimpanzees in the jungle (1961).
7.  The Mapping of the Ocean Floor (1970).
8.  A Study of the Wintering Grounds of the North American Monarch Butterfly (1975-1976).
9.  Exploration of the Galapagos Rift (1977).
10. Excavation of the ancient Roman town of Herculaneum (1981) and making of the documentary "In the Shadow of Vesuvius" (1987).
11.  Fish Fossil Excavation (2004).
12.  A Poland Investigation to see if "La Bella Principessa" ("Lady with a Secret") is an authentic Leonardo da Vinci portrait (2010).

I think I will head over to my bookshelf and look for these articles.  Fascinating!

Photo of Robert Peary courtesy

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