National Geographic : 1920 Apr
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY'S NOTABLE YEAR NOTABLE advance in usefulness and growth in membership have marked the history of the Na tional Geographic Society during the past year. Its accomplishments in the increase and diffusion of geographic knowledge are the occasion for cordial congratulation of the more than 750,000 individual members; it is their faith and their support of the organization's aims that have heartened and encouraged those to whom has been entrusted the direction of The Society's activities. In recognition of The Society's service to geography, and particularly in appre ciation of its grant of funds which saved some of the Big Trees of the Sequoia National Park, California, from destruc tion at the hands of commercial interests, James C. Horgan, of Los Angeles, made a bequest during the year of $8,000, the income from which is to be used for The Society's work. THE SOCIETY ADDS TO THE WORLD'S KNOWLEDGE OF VOLCANIC ACTION Foremost among the achievements of The Society during the past few months was the splendid success of the sixth expedition dispatched to the region of Mount Katmai, the world's largest active volcano. There an exhaustive study was made of the now famous "Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes," discovered by an earlier Geographic expedition and recog nized today as perhaps the most remark able natural phenomenon on the face of the globe-an area where chemists, physicists, geologists, and petrographers may actually study the processes by which the earth has evolved through the ages from a seething mass of matter into a habitable planet. A SPLENDID HARBOR DISCOVERED The 1919 expedition, which sailed from Seattle eleven months ago and which completed its work late in the autumn, was equipped at a cost of more than $30,000, but the treasure of knowledge which it brought back to The Society's members and which is to be given to the scientific world represents inestimable dividends in the form of facts. One of the most significant accomplish ments of this expedition was the dis covery of a magnificent harbor, christ ened Geographic Harbor in honor of The Society, near the entrance to the valley. This find will result inevitably in the opening of this region to tourist travel, and it requires no prophetic vision to see Mount Katmai and its surround ing wonderland, already a national monu ment by presidential proclamation, ele vated in the near future to the impor tance of a national park, in which all America may enjoy the marvels of its awesome majesty, the beauty of its fairy flowerland in summer, the charm of its woodlands, and the fascination of its wild life. The findings of the sixth expedition were recorded by both motion picture and color photography. The films of the former have been shown to the mem bers in the National Capital, and it is hoped that arrangements can be made to exhibit them to Geographic members throughout the United States. The offi cial report of the leader of the expedi tion, Prof. R. F. Griggs, will, as in the case of all previous expeditions organized by The Society, be told, with a wealth of illustrations, in an early number of the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE. IIUBBARD MEDAL AWARDED TO STEFANSSON Supplementing its own achievements in the world of exploration, the National Geographic Society saw fit to pay tribute to the services of a distinguished ex plorer who has added more than Ioo,oo0 square miles to the mapped area of the Western Hemisphere. This explorer, Vilhjalmur Stefansson, was awarded the Hubbard Gold Medal of The Society, and upon that occasion the recipient of the honor was introduced to the members present by two of the foremost figures in the history of Polar exploration Rear Admiral Robert E. Peary, dis coverer of the North Pole, and Major General A. W. Greely, leader of the Greely International Polar Expedition of 1881-'84, and for 14 years holder of the record for the Farthest North.