The day the first person reached the North Pole – level 2


For many years, people believed that the first man who reached the North Pole was Robert Peary in 1909. Here is his story.

Robert Peary was an experienced traveler. He was in the Arctic 8 times, but his closest distance to the pole was 250 kilometers. Peary was over fifty years old and he had almost no toes. He lost them in extreme cold during one of his previous expeditions.

In 1908, Peary decided to go to the North Pole again. His large expedition had 90 people and 250 dogs. They had to go 800 kilometers to the pole. When they arrived at a distance of 250 km from the pole, Peary sent home all the experienced explorers and he took only 5 assistants with him. None of the assistants were white people. Some people later said that Peary probably wanted to be the only white man who reached the North Pole first.

On April 6, 1909, he told his assistants that they reached the North Pole. He raised the American flag and took a photo.

After many years, a man who studied his diary found some mistakes in it. The mistakes showed that Peary probably didn’t reach the North Pole. The first person who reached the North Pole on foot was probably Wally Herbert in 1969.

Difficult words: the Arctic (a region located in the north of the planet earth), toe (a finger on your foot), previous (before), explorer (somebody who travels through a new area), raise (to put up), diary (a book in which you write a story of your life).

What do you think might be the reason why Peary chose not to take any white people on his final expedition to the North Pole?


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