Tuesday, January 16, 2007


On this date - 16 January - in 1909, Ernest Shackleton's expedition located the magnetic South Pole. This trek, known as the "Farthest South" expedition, included the first ascent of Antarctica's Mt. Erebus and the discovery of a passage through the formidable Beardmore Glacier.

Wired News gives the details:
Shackleton was knighted for his efforts, but the expedition has to be counted as only a partial success because his stated goal of reaching the geographic South Pole was not achieved. And in the world of pole seeking, getting the pole was all that mattered.

As it was, Shackleton came to within 97 nautical miles of the pole -- 88 degrees, 23'S -- before turning back.

However, on Jan. 16, expedition members Douglas Mawson, Edgeworth David and Alistair MacKay did succeed in locating the magnetic South Pole.

Shackleton didn't have much luck in the south. His most famous expedition, a planned trans-Antarctic crossing in 1914-15, nearly ended in catastrophe after his ship, Endurance, was trapped and eventually destroyed in the pack ice. Shackleton's considerable achievement on that expedition was getting his 28-man crew safely home.

More details on Shakleton's life and his expeditions can be found here.

Len Sweet's Summoned to Lead revolved around looking at leadership lessons from Shakleton.

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