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The Antarctic Treaty's Diamond Anniversary

The Antarctic Treaty's Diamond Anniversary

Features | Back in the Day
Monday December 02, 2019

Sixty years ago, on December 1, 12 nations signed an unprecedented international agreement that set aside their often-contentious territorial claims on the frozen continent and established Antarctica as a place for peaceful coexistence to facilitate scientific research by all nations.


When Women Reached the Ice

When Women Reached the Ice

Features | Back in the Day
Monday October 14, 2019

In 1969, Lois M. Jones and her science team made history as the first all-female research team to work for the US Antarctic Program. They were studying the erosion of rocks in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, the subject of Jones's doctoral thesis the previous year. They made history as the first all-female science team on the continent and the first women to reach the South Pole, paving the way for countless women to follow in their footsteps.


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Oct
27
2016

Sixty Years Of South Pole Flights

Features | Back in the Day

On October 31, 1956, a plane descended out of the clear, blue sky at the bottom of the planet. The twin-engine R4D-5 Skytrain, named Que Sera Sera, touched down on the frigid Antarctic plateau just yards away from the unmarked geographic South Pole. Though other planes had flown over the pole, this was the first ever to land there.


Jun
22
2015

Filling the Gap

Features | Back in the Day

The smallest of three U.S. scientific outposts in Antarctica, Palmer Station is the only one of the trio found north of the Antarctic Circle. Its establishment 50 years ago this year has proven vital for climate change research in Antarctica.


Jun
01
2015

What Could Have Been

Features | Back in the Day

History is full of tales about boom towns that went bust. Such was the fate of Marble Point, a helicopter refueling station that as early as the 1960s was a serious contender for becoming the main research station in the U.S. Antarctic Program.


Apr
20
2015

Passing of a Legend

Features | Back in the Day

Those who knew Capt. Pieter J. Lenie - the scientists who depended on him to reach the unreachable and the crew that depended upon him for their lives - the long-serving master of the research vessel Hero was, well, a hero. His death at age 91 marks the end of an era.


Feb
27
2015

Project Complete

Features | Back in the Day

Completion of the conservation work at Discovery Hut in January marked the conclusion of a decade-long effort to protect three of the first human-built structures in Antarctica.


Feb
27
2015

American Ingenuity

Features | Back in the Day

Two Americans inspired by tales of heroism in the age of exploration in Antarctica had a hand in ensuring that part of the continent's early history will stand the test of time well into this century.


Jan
16
2015

A Holiday to Remember

Features | Back in the Day

My father, Wesley B. Harding, came to Antarctica a little more than 50 years ago to install an early experiment to study cosmic rays from the sun. Strange to think that today I can send emails from a field camp and that balloons with sophisticated solid-state cosmic ray sensors are being launched to altitudes of more than 100,000 feet.


Dec
11
2014

Those Were the Days

Features | Back in the Day

The year was 1979. Of the many people who stepped off a plane that year, four of them are still working here 35 years later. For all of them, it was a year they will never forget.


Jul
11
2014

Frontier Living

Features | Back in the Day

This isn't the sort of summer camp where you send the kids. Rather, Summer Camp became known as the collection of Jamesways and other buildings at the South Pole Station that housed additional personnel when population exceeded permanent housing. Now Summer Camp is going away.


May
02
2014

Heroism Not Forgotten

Features | Back in the Day

Four former U.S. Navy service members recently received recognition in the role they played nearly 35 years ago in the recovery of more than 250 bodies from a plane crash into the side of a volcano in Antarctica.


Apr
18
2014

For Future Generations

Features | Back in the Day

More than 110 years since it was built on the spit of land that would become known as Hut Point, Robert Falcon Scott's first expedition base is getting an extreme makeover Antarctic-style. But you'd never be able to tell - and that's how the conservators like it.


Jan
30
2014

Memory of McMurdo

Features | Back in the Day

A photo of McMurdo Station, circa December 1955, before there were any buildings, recently surfaced. The photo was taken by Freddie Spainhouer, a Navy photographer who was among the first to winter over at McMurdo in 1956. He is now 90 and living in Dallas, Texas.


Jan
02
2014

Historic Moment

Features | Back in the Day

A pair of campsites located high on the flanks of an active volcano in Antarctica - once used by British explorers a little more than a century ago - officially became part of history. The 50 nations of the Antarctic Treaty System formally adopted them onto the Historic Sites and Monuments list last year.


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