Lead:  For decades Richard Evelyn Byrd was credited as being the first to fly to over the North Pole. It was his lifetime dream, but in recent years scholarly skepticism regarding his claim has begun to cast doubt on his achievement.   

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Born in 1888 in Winchester, Virginia Richard Evelyn Byrd had aristocratic roots stretching back to the early days of Virginia, and if one considers his maternal ancestor Pocahontas, further than that. His brother was Governor and Senator Harry Flood Byrd, who for four decades dominated state politics through his political creation, the Byrd machine. An adventurous child, Byrd as a young man was captured by the possibility of exploring the poles among the few remaining virgin areas on the planet. He served as a Naval Squadron Commander during WWI and became a naval aviator in 1918. In 1925 Byrd helped lead a scientific expedition to Greenland sponsored by Navy and the National Geographic Society.

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