PHOTOS & VIDEOS
Captain James Cook
In 1772, CAPTAIN JAMES COOK of England circled Antarctica by ship. He never reached land because of heavy ice, but he did verify the continent’s existence. He claimed Antarctica was "a wasteland."
On December 14, 1911, ROALD AMUNDSEN of Norway became the first person to reach the South Pole. He is regarded as one of the greatest figures in polar exploration.
Robert Falcon Scott
On January 18, 1912, British explorer ROBERT FALCON SCOTT reached the South Pole just one month after Amundsen. Scott and his entire expedition team froze to death on the return trip when they ran into a terrible blizzard. His journals were later recovered.
Sir Ernest Shackleton
From 1914 to 1916, SIR ERNEST SHACKLETON led a British expedition on the Endurance. The ship was crushed by ice and destroyed. The team drifted on ice masses for five months before being rescued.
Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd
On November 29, 1929 REAR ADMIRAL RICHARD E. BYRD, an American pilot, became the first person to fly over the South Pole. He built a large, well-supplied base called Little America on the Ross Ice Shelf.