Race to the North Pole

Claiming the Far North

the Arctic 1909.0406

Race to the North Pole

Arctic exploration, colonization of Greenland and Northern Canada, Erik the Red's Land (6 April 1909)

Historical Map of the Arctic & the Far North

In 1909 American explorer Robert Peary claimed to be the first to reach the North Pole. Although modern research suggests he had his coordinates wrong and the first to the Pole was actually Roald Amundsen in 1926, US discoveries in the area and the bases they set up gave them something of a claim to northern Greenland.

Main Events

Provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan

The North-West Territorial districts of Alberta and Saskatchewan became the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. At the same time, the District of Keewatin was restored to the North-West Territories.

Treaty of Portsmouth

At the Treaty of Portsmouth, Japan received southern Sakhalin and leases on Port Arthur and the southern part of the Chinese Eastern Railway from Russian Empire, bringing an end to the Russo-Japanese War.

Dominion of Newfoundland

The British self-governing colony of Newfoundland was granted dominion status, becoming the Dominion of Newfoundland. This was in accordance with the decision of the 1907 Imperial Conference to confer dominion status on all self-governing colonies.

Direct rule in Greenland

The Danish Ministry of the Interior took over general administration of Greenland, displacing the Royal Greenland Trading Department. In 1912, the Ministry brought the entire trading operation under its supervision as well.

Peary's Polar Expedition

American explorer Robert Peary and 23 men left New York City on 6 July 6 1908 aboard the SS Roosevelt, wintering on Ellesmere Island before departing for the pole on 28 February 1909. After the last support party turned back on 1 April 1909 at around 87°45'N, Peary continued with five assistants and on 6 April established "Camp Jesup" allegedly within 8 km of the North Pole. On his return, his claim to be first to the Pole was challenged by Dr. Frederick Cook, who insisted he himself had reached it in 1908. Trials soon dismissed Cook's claims, but whether or not Peary actually made it to the Pole is still disputed.

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