the Arctic 1909: Race to the North Pole

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

7–30 Jul 1905 Invasion of Sakhalin

Two parties totaling 14,000 Japanese troops landed between Aniwa and Korsakov on Sakhalin island, meeting little opposition. The Japanese moved on to capture Korsakov, defeating 2000 Russians, before heading north to capture most of southern Sakhalin by 16 July. On 24 July, they landed in northern Sakhalin where they forced the 5000 Russian defenders to wikipedia

13–20 Aug 1905 Raid on Petropavlovsk

In August 1905 the Japanese protected cruisers Suma and Izumi fired on the Russian port of Petropavlovsk, Kamchatka, and seized a steamer. When the Russians withdrew into the interior, the Japanese briefly landed and looted warehouses and government offices. The Japanese then sailed for Bering Island in the nearby Commander Islands chain, but their attempt to force a landing was repelled by the wikipedia

1 Sep 1905 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 wikipedia

5 Sep 1905 Treaty of Portsmouth

The Japanese and Russian Empires signed the Treaty of Portsmouth at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in the US state of Maine, bringing an end to the Russo-Japanese War. As a result of the treaty, Russia ceded southern Sakhalin, its leases on Port Arthur, and the southern part of the Chinese Eastern Railway—the South Manchurian Railway—to Japan. US President Theodore Roosevelt was instrumental in the negotiations, winning the Nobel Peace Prize for his wikipedia

26 Sep 1907 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 wikipedia

? ?? 1908 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 wikipedia

6 Apr 1909 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 wikipedia