December 14, 2016
105th Anniversary of First Expedition to Reach the South Pole
Today marks the 105th anniversary of Roald Amundsen's expedition to the South Pole. Known as "the last of the Vikings," Amundsen was a lifelong adventurer with a gift for organization and planning. "Victory awaits him who has everything in order," wrote Amundsen, and his South Pole journey was a perfect illustration of that principle.
Amundsen's expedition party consisted of 19 people and nearly 100 Greenland sled dogs. The dogs -- along with the use of skis to cross treacherous terrain -- were key to the team's success. And like their canine companions, the explorers knew that playfulness could help them endure the extreme conditions on the icy frontier. While prepping from Framheim, their base camp in the Bay of Whales, the team maintained a sense of fun. They held guess-the-temperature contests, celebrated birthdays, and told stories. When a subset of the crew made the final trek to the South Pole in December of 1911, their camaraderie and careful preparation helped them win the race to "the bottom of the world."
In honor of that achievement, today's Doodle depicts the crew at the finish line, taking a moment to bask in the glory while the Antarctic wind whips outside their tent.