Cook-Peary North Pole Competition

Lead: In 1909 Robert Peary and Frederick Cook claimed to have discovered the North Pole. Their competing assertions form one of history’s mysteries.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: They began this saga as friendly associates. Peary hired Cook as a physician on a Greenland expedition in 1891, and the Doctor unflappably set the bones of his leader’s legs after an accident on the shipboard part of the journey. They soon became competitors, however, in the race to the North Pole, which was made extremely complex because unlike the land-bound South Pole, the position of 90 North sits on drifting sea ice.

History’s Turning Points: Who Didn’t Discover America II

Lead: Historical study often helps reveal twists in the human journey. Consider history’s turning points: who really discovered America.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: Setting aside legendary, ethnic, and national enthusiasts, there are basically three candidates in the race for European discovery of the Western Hemisphere. Prior to the voyages of Columbus, who clearly laid the groundwork for the genocidal destruction of native-American culture and the colonization by Europeans of the western isles, the second group to settle parts of America were Norsemen from Scandinavia. Until the 1800s, most scholars confined the Norse sagas firmly to the realm of legend. Then archeological discoveries made it clear that part of their narrative was true. The first to land in the West was Bjani Herjolfsson who missed his landing on Greenland and briefly touched Labrador. He shared his discovery with Leif Ericson, and in several attempts the Vikings tried to settle the flat, wooded country they called Vineland, but the Norse were not colonizers. They lacked the capital necessary to establish permanent settlements and soon cold, wolves, and hostile natives caused them to abandon their attempts after about a dozen years.

History’s Turning Points: Who Didn’t Discover America I

Lead: Historical study often helps reveal twists in the human journey. Consider history’s turning points: who really discovered America.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The ongoing debate surrounding Columbus Day, the annual celebration in the United States of that fateful dawn in October 1492 when Italian explorer, in service to the Spanish crown, Christopher Columbus, made landfall in the Bahamas, is often quite lively. Yet, in reality this is essentially a Euro-centric argument. Scholars or ethnic advocates exercise their theories and marshal their evidence over which European or eastern explorers “discovered America.” Surprisingly, there are not a few ideas about who beat the Genoese sea captain to the Western hemisphere and they often originate with ethnic groups and their cheer leaders. Legendary black Africans were said to have made it to western shores in 1500 BCE followed by Phoenicians in 600 BCE and Roman explorers in 64 CE. One of the most interesting conjectures is that of a Chinese expedition led by Hoei-shin, sailing east across the Pacific in the year 499. The exotic legend of the Irish cleric St. Brendan who, with 17 monks, discovered a western island where birds actually spoke Latin before piloting their Celtic boat covered with skins back to Ireland.