Rear Admiral Richard Evelyn Byrd, Jr., USN (October 25, 1888 – March 11, 1957) was an American naval officer who specialized in feats of exploration. He was a recipient of the Medal of Honor, the highest honor for valor given by the United States, and was a pioneering American aviator, polar explorer, and organizer of polar logistics. Aircraft flights in which he served as a navigator and expedition leader crossed the Atlantic Ocean, a segment of the Arctic Ocean, and a segment of the Antarctic Plateau. Byrd claimed that his expeditions had been the first to reach both the North Pole and the South Pole by air. However, his claim to have reached the North Pole is disputed.[1]


Captain James Cook FRS RN (7 November 1728[NB 1] – 14 February 1779) was a British explorer, navigator, cartographer, and captain in the Royal Navy. Cook made detailed maps of Newfoundland prior to making three voyages to the Pacific Ocean, during which he achieved the first recorded European contact with the eastern coastline of Australia and the Hawaiian Islands, and the first recorded circumnavigation of New Zealand.Cook joined the British merchant navy as a teenager and joined the Royal Navy in 1755. He saw action in the Seven Years' War, and subsequently surveyed and mapped much of the entrance to the Saint Lawrence Riverduring the siege of Quebec. This helped bring Cook to the attention of the Admiralty and Royal Society. This notice came at a crucial moment in both Cook's career and the direction of British overseas exploration, and led to his commission in 1766 as commander of HM Bark Endeavour for the first of three Pacific voyages.In three voyages Cook sailed thousands of miles across largely uncharted areas of the globe. He mapped lands from New Zealand to Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean in greater detail and on a scale not previously achieved. As he progressed on his voyages of discovery he surveyed and named features, and recorded islands and coastlines on European maps for the first time. He displayed a combination of seamanship, superior surveying and cartographic skills, physical courage and an ability to lead men in adverse conditions.Cook was attacked and killed while attempting to kidnap the native chief of Hawaii during his third exploratory voyage in the Pacific in 1779. He left a legacy of scientific and geographical knowledge which was to influence his successors well into the 20th century, and numerous memorials worldwide have been dedicated to him.


In fact, there are three. The geographic south pole is the place where all the lines of longitude converge in the Southern Hemisphere. Its only marker is a stake with a sign honoring the first explorers to reach the geographic south pole—Roald Amundsen and Robert Scott—in 1911 and 1912, respectively.Dec 14, 2013


The Antarctic Treaty
The Antarctic Treaty was signed in Washington on 1 December 1959 by the twelve countries whose scientists had been active in and around Antarctica during the International Geophysical Year (IGY) of 1957-58. It entered into force in 1961 and has since been acceded to by many other nations. The total number of Parties to the Treaty is now 53. Some important provisions of the Treaty: Antarctica shall be used for peaceful purposes only (Art. I) Freedom of scientific investigation in Antarctica and cooperation toward that end … shall continue (Art. II).Scientific observations and results from Antarctica shall be exchanged and made freely available (Art. III).Among the signatories of the Treaty were seven countries - Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, New Zealand, Norway and the United Kingdom - with territorial claims , sometimes overlapping. Other countries do not recognize any claims. The US and Russia maintain a “basis of claim”. All positions are explicitly protected in Article IV, which preserves the status quo: No acts or activities taking place while the present Treaty is in force shall constitute a basis for asserting , supporting or denying a claim to territorial sovereignty in Antarctica or create any rights of sovereignty in Antarctica. No new claim, or enlargement of an existing claim to territorial sovereignty in Antarctica shall be asserted while the present Treaty is in force.To promote the objectives and ensure the observance of the provisions of the Treaty, "All areas of Antarctica, including all stations, installations and equipment within those areas … shall be open at all times to inspection " (Art. VII). 


Operation Highjump, officially titled The United States Navy Antarctic Developments Program, 1946–1947, was a United States Navy operation organized by Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd, Jr., USN (Ret), Officer in Charge, Task Force 68, and led by Rear Admiral Richard H. Cruzen, USN, Commanding Officer, Task Force 68. Operation Highjump commenced 26 August 1946 and ended in late February 1947. Task Force 68 included 4,700 men, 13 ships, and 33 aircraft. Operation Highjump's primary mission was to establish the Antarcticresearch base Little America IV.[1][2]Highjump’s objectives, according to the U.S. Navy report of the operation, were