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The Jolliet-Marquette Expedition on the Upper Mississippi

The Jolliet-Marquette Expedition on the Upper Mississippi

On May 17, 1673, French-Canadian explorer Louis Jolliet and Jesuit priest and missionary Jacques Marquette departed from St. Ignace Michigan with two canoes and five other voyageurs to explore the Upper Mississippi. While Spanish explorer and conquistador Hernando de Soto was the first European to make official note of the Mississippi River by discovering its entrance in 1541 on his expedition deep into the territory of the modern-day United States…
Gustav Nachtigal and the Explorations in Africa

Gustav Nachtigal and the Explorations in Africa

On February 23, 1834, German Africa Explorer Gustav Nachtigal was born. He is further known as the German Empire’s consul-general for Tunisia and Commissioner for West Africa. His mission as commissioner resulted in Togoland and Kamerun becoming the first colonies of a German colonial empire. Gustav Nachtigal studied medicine in the German cities Halle, Würzburg and Greifswald. In 1858, he was appointed physician in the Prussian military and was positioned in Cologne. In order to…
Vivian Fuchs and the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition

Vivian Fuchs and the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition

On February 11, 1908, British geologist and explorer Sir Vivian Ernest Fuchs was born. Fuchs initiated and led together with Sir Edmund Hillary the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1957-58, which completed the first overland crossing of Antarctica in 1958. Vivian Fuchs was educated as a geologist and completed his first expedition to Greenland in 1929. One year later, Fuchs travelled with a Cambridge University expedition to study the geology of East African…
James Clark Ross and the Ross Expedition

James Clark Ross and the Ross Expedition

On February 2, 1841, British Polar explorer James Clark Ross with the ships HMS Erebus and HMS Terror reached a Southern latitude of 78° 10′ in Antarctica, when the expedition was forced to redraw because of a barrier of ice. The Ross expedition discovered the Ross Sea, Victoria Land, and the volcanoes Mount Erebus and Mount Terror, which were named for the expedition’s vessels. James Clark Ross was born in…
The Nimrod Expedition

The Nimrod Expedition

On January 16, 1907, Australian geologists Tannatt William Edgeworth David and Douglas Mawson together with Scottish physician Alistair Mackay, being part of the British Antarctic Expedition 1907–09, otherwise known as the Nimrod Expedition, led by Ernest Shackleton, reached the magnetic southpole. The major goal of the famous Nimrod Expedition was to be the first to reach the South Pole. Even though this goal was not fulfilled completely, the expedition’s southern march…
The Southern Pole of Inaccessibility

The Southern Pole of Inaccessibility

On December 14, 1958, an 18-man traversing party of the 3rd Soviet Antarctic Expedition reached the Southern Pole of Inaccessibility. The 3rd Soviet Antarctic Expedition for International Geophysical Year research work was led by Yevgeny Tolstikov. The southern pole of inaccessibility is the point on the Antarctic continent most distant from the Southern Ocean. For the pole, a variety of coordinate locations have been given since some measure the coast…
Around the World with Ida Pfeiffer

Around the World with Ida Pfeiffer

On October 28, 1858, Austrian traveler and travel book author Ida Laura Pfeiffer passed away. Pfeiffer was one of the first female explorers, whose popular books were translated into seven languages. On her voyages, she travelled more than 240.000 by sea and 32.000 km on land over four continents. During her travels Ida Pfeiffer collected plants, insects, mollusks, marine life and mineral specimens. Ida Pfeiffer was born in Vienna. She was…
William Scoresby – Arctic Explorer

William Scoresby – Arctic Explorer

On October 5, 1789, English Arctic explorer, scientist and clergyman William Scoresby was born. Scoresby pioneered in the scientific study of the Arctic and contributed to the knowledge of terrestrial magnetism. William Scoresby studied natural philosophy and chemistry at Edinburgh University. However, already as a child, he made his first voyage with his father, an Arctic whale fisher. In 1806 Scoresby accompanied his father as chief officer of the whaler Resolution…
John Hanning Speke and the Source of the Nile

John Hanning Speke and the Source of the Nile

On September 15, 1864, British explorer and army officer John Hanning Speke passed away. Speke is most associated with the search for the source of the Nile and was in fact the first European that reached Lake Victoria and as such is the “discoverer of the source of the Nile“. Speke was born on 4 May 1827 at Orleigh Court, Buckland Brewer near Bideford, North Devon, UK, as one of…
John McDouall Stuart and the Exploration of Australia’s Mainland

John McDouall Stuart and the Exploration of Australia’s Mainland

On September 7, 1815, Scottish explorer John McDouall Stuart was born. McDouall Stuart became known as one of the most accomplished of all Australia‘s inland explorers. He led the first successful expedition to traverse the Australian mainland from south to north and return, through the centre of the continent. John McDouall Stuart graduated from the Scottish Naval and Military Academy as a civil engineer before emigrating to Australia at the age…
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