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Feb 10, 2012 / 2 notes

Matthew Henson, A True Adventurer

When your Wikipedia profile lists your occupation as “explorer”, you’re probably not afraid of a little adventure.

In honor of Adventure Month and Black History Month, we want to make sure you know about the story of Matthew Henson, likely the first man to step foot on the North Pole. 

Matthew Henson

Henson was born in Maryland and was just a child when his parents died. He lived with his Uncle until the age of twelve when he took off on his first adventure as a “cabin boy” on a merchant ship. 

In 1909, Henson was recruited to join Robert Peary’s eighth attempt to reach the North Pole. Peary couldn’t hike the last leg of the trip, but sent Henson on as an advanced scout for the expedition with Peary following in a dog sled. 

It was Henson who planted the American Flag at the North Pole. 

“I think I’m the first man to sit on top of the world,” he said.

However, upon returning from their journey Peary received the majority of accolades for the journey for thirty years. It wasn’t until 1944 that he received recognition from the White House.

At STA Travel, we salute Mr. Henson, a true adventurer.