northern end of the earth's axis, lat. 90°N. It is distinguished from the north magnetic pole
. U.S. explorer Robert E. Peary
was long generally credited as being the first to reach (1909) the North Pole despite Frederick A. Cook
's prior claim (1908). In 1926, Richard E. Byrd
and Floyd Bennett may have been the first persons to fly over the pole, but entries in Byrd's diary suggest that they may have missed the actual pole; if so, that feat would belong to Roald Amundsen
. The first overland expedition to have unquestionably reached the pole arrived in 1968; it was led by American Ralph Plaisted and traveled by snowmobile. See also Arctic, the
See F. Fleming, Ninety Degrees North: The Quest for the North Pole (2002).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Arctic Physical Geography