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Where’s Waldo?

December 22, 2010

If you followed this blog last year during the centennial of the Polar Controversy, you may have wondered why there have been no recent posts. That long silence corresponds exactly to the period of time—more than a year—that Frederick A. Cook kept silence. It was on this day, 100 years ago that the [...]


The Doctor’s Danish Denouement.

December 21, 2009

The Copenhagen Decision
Today is the hundredth anniversary of what the newspapers called “The Copenhagen Decision.”   It marked an end to Frederick Cook’s credibility in most people’s minds.
In September, when he accepted its honorary doctorate, Cook had promised the University at Copenhagen that he would submit his “proofs” that he had been first at the North [...]


Enter Dunkle and Loose.

December 9, 2009

The paper that does things
Today the New York Times enjoys a preeminent place in American media, and this day marks the hundredth anniversary of a little known media event that could be said to mark the beginning of the upward rise of the paper to its current status.  On this day in 1909 the Times [...]


Polar Record article now available online.

October 23, 2009

The full text version of the article detailing the recovery of Frederick A. Cook’s original telegram drafts announcing that he had attained the North Pole is now available online.  If the link does not work, simply Google Frederick Cook telegrams.


In the wake of the Gold Brick: Polar partisans said to be victims of “motivational reasoning”; blog commentaries prove point.

September 10, 2009

September 10 is a notable day in the history of the Polar Controversy.
On that day in 1909, Dr. Frederick A. Cook, loaded down with nearly every honor the Danish nation could bestow, departed Copenhagen on the first leg of his journey back to America.  The one exception was the exclusive Dannebrog, or Gold Medal of [...]


Cook’s original telegram drafts are recovered.

September 6, 2009

Full details appear in the October issue of Polar Record.

The unexpected recovery of the original drafts of Cook’s telegrams sent from Lerwick, Shetland Islands containing the claim that Cook had reached the North Pole on April 21, 1908, appears in full in the October number of Polar Record, a peer-reviewed scholarly journal published by Cambridge [...]


Following the Polar Controversy 100 years on.

September 4, 2009

In September 1909, the name of Frederick Albert Cook was on the lips of the entire civilized world. Some said he was the greatest of heroes; others said he was the greatest of scoundrels. To this day Cook remains the most controversial figure in the history of exploration, and his claim to [...]


The Truth about the North Pole

April 25, 2008

When Dr. Cook returned to the United States in late December 1910 after a year of self-imposed exile following the rejection of his “proofs” to have discovered the North Pole by the University of Copenhagen, he said he had no intention to give lectures or otherwise try to reestablish his claim. But in January 1911, [...]


A moveable feast

April 21, 2008

Today is the official centennial of Dr. Frederick A. Cook’s claim to have discovered the North Pole. But the date doesn’t really matter. Any date would be equally valid, because an event that never happened can’t really have an anniversary, let alone a centennial. And Dr. Cook himself wasn’t quite sure when [...]


National Archives holds panel on Polar records

December 31, 2007

On October 10, as part of the Archives Week Fair at the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C., a panel discussion was held on the topic of local polar records collections in the Washington metropolitan area. The speakers included Ellen Alers, of the Smithsonian Institution, who discussed the varied collections related to the polar [...]