explorer

Charles Wilkes and the Exploring Expedition of 1838

Charles Wilkes and the Exploring Expedition of 1838

On April 3, 1789, American Naval officer and explorer Charles Wilkes was born. Wilkes led the United States Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842, on which he determined that Antarctica (which Wilkes so named) is a continent. He also commanded the ship in the Trent Affair during the American Civil War (1861–1865), where he attacked a Royal Mail Ship, almost leading to war between the US and the UK. Charles Wilkes was born in New…
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The Adventures of Sir Richard Francis Burton in Africa

The Adventures of Sir Richard Francis Burton in Africa

On March 19, 1821, Sir Richard Francis Burton, British geographer, explorer, translator, writer, soldier, orientalist, cartographer, ethnologist, spy, linguist, poet, fencer and diplomat was born. He was known for his travels and explorations within Asia, Africa and the Americas, as well as his extraordinary knowledge of languages and cultures, among them also his journey together with John Hanning Speke [4] as the first Europeans to visit the Great Lakes of Africa in search of the source…
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Carsten Niebuhr and the Decipherment of Cuneiform

Carsten Niebuhr and the Decipherment of Cuneiform

On March 17, 1733, German mathematician, cartographer, and explorer in the service of Denmark, Carsten Niebuhr was born. He is best known for his role in the decipherment of ancient cuneiform inscriptions, which up to Niebuhr‘s publications was considered to be merely decorations and embellishment. Nobody really expected that Carsten Niebuhr would travel to the Red Sea, to Yemen and Persepolis, making the findings of his life in later years. He grew…
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Henry the Navigator and the Age of Discoveries

Henry the Navigator and the Age of Discoveries

On March 4, 1394, Infante Henry, Duke of Viseu, better known as Henry the Navigator, was born. He was an important figure in the early days of the Portuguese Empire and the Age of Discoveries in total. He was responsible for the early development of European exploration and maritime trade with other continents. Henry has become a legendary figure, and it is somewhat difficult to disentangle the historical facts from the heroic…
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Salomon August Andrée’s Ill Fated Polar Balloon Expedition

Salomon August Andrée’s Ill Fated Polar Balloon Expedition

On October 18, 1854, Swedish engineer, physicist, aeronaut and polar explorer Salomon August Andrée was born. Andrée died while leading an attempt to reach the Geographic North Pole by hydrogen balloon. The balloon expedition was unsuccessful in reaching the Pole and resulted in the deaths of all three of its participants. Introducing Auguste Andrèe Salomon Auguste Andrée attended the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, graduating with a degree in mechanical engineering in 1874. Two…
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Laurence Gould’s geological Exploration of Antarctica

Laurence Gould’s geological Exploration of Antarctica

On August 22, 1896, American geologist, educator, and polar explorer Laurence McKinley Gould was born. Gould was the first geologist to reach the interior of the Antarctic continent. He travelled to the Queen Maud Mountains, making geological and glaciological surveys. Laurence Gould was born in Lacota, Michigan. After completing high school in South Haven, Michigan in 1914 he began teaching while saving money for college. He managed to enroll at the University of Michigan two…
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Heinrich Harrer and the Eiger North Face

Heinrich Harrer and the Eiger North Face

On July 21, 1938, Austrian mountaineer, sportsman, and geographer Heinrich Harrer together with Andreas Heckmair, Ludwig Vörg, Heinrich Harrer and Fritz Kasparek started ther first successful climb of the famous Eiger north face, which is the biggest north face in the Alps. The north face is considered amongst the most challenging and dangerous ascents in the European alps. Heinrich Harrer was born in 1921 and studied geography and sports at the Karl-Franzens…
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Sir Edmund Hillary – Mountaineer, Explorer and Philanthropist

Sir Edmund Hillary – Mountaineer, Explorer and Philanthropist

On July 20, 1919, New Zealand mountaineer, explorer, and philanthropist Sir Edmund Percival “Ed” Hillary was born. Hillary and Nepalese Sherpa mountaineer Tenzing Norgay became the first climbers confirmed to have reached the summit of Mount Everest. As part of the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition he reached the South Pole overland in 1958. He subsequently reached the North Pole, making him the first person to reach both poles and summit Everest. Following his…
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Mary Akeley and her Explorations in Africa

Mary Akeley and her Explorations in Africa

On July 19, 1966, American explorer and naturalist Mary Jobe Akeley passed away. Akeley was one of the earliest women explorers in Africa where she and her husband hunted and photographed animals during their natural history studies. She is the author of Carl Akeley’s Africa, published in 1929, Lions, Gorillas and Their Neighbors, published in 1932 and Congo Eden published in 1950. Mary Jobe Akeley was the youngest daughter of Sarah Jane Jobe and…
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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 [1], Jolliet…
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