200 Years. 200 Stories. Story 24: “Academy Flag Flies at the North Pole ”

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Lonnie DuPre. Maxime Edgard Chaya, Stuart Smith
Lonnie Dupre, Stewart Smith, and Max Chaya (left to right), the three team members of the Peary Centennial North Pole Expedition, hold the Academy's flag at the North Pole April 25, 2009.

Academy Flag Flies at the North Pole

In 1891, a team of explorers led by the famed Robert E. Peary began an expedition to Greenland under the sponsorship of the Academy of Natural Sciences. This was a great achievement for Peary, giving him his first full-scale experience in the Arctic and preparing him for his quest to reach the North Pole. The team planted an American flag in the far north of Greenland on July 4, 1892.

More than 100 years later, Lonnie Dupre led a small team on a 600-mile journey to the North Pole in honor of the 100th anniversary of Peary's claimed 1909 attainment of the Pole and to help raise awareness of the effects of global warming. On Saturday, April 25, 2009, Dupre and his team reached the North Pole. They had already documented significant evidence of climate change that would help introduce 68 million people worldwide to issues of global warming. Before leaving the North Pole, Dupre and his team unfurled an Academy of Natural Sciences flag to mark the Academy's support of Peary during his early explorations.

To see the United States flag that Peary took to Greenland, visit the second floor of the Academy across from the Ewell Sale Stewart Library & Archives! 

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