November 21, 2019

Primary Source Spotlight: Frederick A. Cook

How I reached the Pole audio recording by Frederick Albert Cook Frederick A. Cook primary source set Cook polar diary Frederick A. Cook & the North Pole front-page newspaper coverage More newspaper articles about Frederick A. Cook & the North Pole Topics in Chronicling America - The Race to the North Pole Today in History: Robert E. Peary Featured Source: A coldness between them guided primary source analysis activities Who Discovered the North Pole? Smithsonian … [Read more...]

Today in History: Juan Ponce de León

Today in History–September 27–the Library of Congress features Juan Ponce de León, who was granted permission to settle Bimini Island and Florida on this day in 1514.  Seven years later, in 1521, Ponce de León sailed from Puerto Rico to Florida with two ships, two hundred men, fifty horses, as well as other domestic animals and agricultural tools. Unfortunately, the party was attacked by Seminole Indians and Ponce de León was wounded; an infection resulted and he died later that year … [Read more...]

Guided Primary Source Analysis: Robertson’s geographic-historical series

Who do you think is pictured on the cover of this atlas? Why do you think that? How many years does this atlas cover? Review the list of pages below and choose one title to investigate further. Click the image above to access the digital pages. What did you discover about the topic and time period that you chose? What other observations, reflections or questions does this source inspire? Let us know! Pages – click the image above to view all -- [Title sheet] -- The Earth -- … [Read more...]

Today in History: Jacques Cartier

Today in History–June 9–the Library of Congress features French navigator Jacques Cartier, who sailed into the St. Lawrence River on this date in 1534. The explorer was commissioned by King Francis I of France to explore the area in hopes of finding gold, spices, and a northern passage to Asia. Find out more about Cartier's three visits to Canada by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to access related resources. Images Cartier ascending the St. Lawrence … [Read more...]

Today in History: Robert E. Peary

Today in History–May 6–the Library of Congress features explorer Robert E. Peary, born on this date in 1856. Trained as a civil engineer, Peary first traveled to Nicaragua in 1884 to survey a route for a canal. In 1886, Peary ventured north and began his polar expeditions in Greenland, where he and his assistant Matt Henson learned arctic survival skills from the Inuit. Shortly before Peary announced his success in reaching the North Pole in 1909, Dr. Frederick A. Cook (a companion from an 1891 … [Read more...]

Today in History: Straits of Magellan

Today in History–November 28–the Library of Congress features the Straits of Magellan. On this day in 1520, three ships under the command of Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan sailed into the "Sea of the South". The fleet reached the island of Guam just four months later thanks to a remarkably smooth voyage that led the explorers to name the ocean the "Pacific." Learn more about the man, the voyage, and this area of the world by visiting the Today in History section, and clicking the links … [Read more...]

Featured Image: Bank note explorer vignettes

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Today in History: Christopher Columbus

Today in History–August 3–the Library of Congress features Christopher Columbus, who set sail for what would later be known as the new world on this day in 1492. Columbus had the most modern maritime tools on his ship, including a mariner's compass, an astrolabe, a cross-staff, and a quadrant and, quite possibly, the popular mariner map Ptolemy's Geography or Cosmography. A little more than three months later he set foot on the Bahamian island of Guanahaní (San Salvador). Find out more by … [Read more...]

Today in History: John C. Frémont

Today in History–January 31–the Library of Congress features John C. Frémont, who was court-martialed on grounds of mutiny and disobeying orders on this day in 1848. This decision was later reversed by President James Polk and did little to thwart the progress of this explorer turned politician knows as the "pathfinder".  Learn more about the extraordinary fortunes of Frémont, the 1856 republican presidential candidate, by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to … [Read more...]