National Geographic : 1936 Jul
ELLSWORTH AWARDED THE HUBBARD MEDAL A the White House in Washington, D. C., at noon of April 15, Presi dent Roosevelt, on behalf of the National Geographic Society, presented Lincoln Ellsworth with The Society's Hub bard Gold Medal. The President said: "Lincoln Ellsworth, it is always pleasant to have a part in the recognition of achieve ment and this occasion is one of greater pleasure to me because it is a reminder that the world still holds high adventure for those who have the spirit to seek it. There was real romance in that Antarctic flight of yours which carried you over a trackless area upon which human eyes never before had gazed, and I am particularly happy to welcome back home an old friend. "And now that venture in discovery, as well as your flights over the Arctic-all of which enlarged the sum of human knowl edge-are to be rewarded by the National Geographic Society. It gives me special pleasure in behalf of that organization, which was founded for 'the increase and diffusion of geographic knowledge', to hand to you the Hubbard Medal for 'Heroic and Extraordinary Achievements in Arctic and Antarctic Exploration from 1925 to 1936.' " Mr. Ellsworth replied: "Mr. President, I thank you for present ing to me the Hubbard Gold Medal of the National Geographic Society and for the kind things you have said. May I add that the most important incident of my trip across Antarctica was the raising of the Stars and Stripes in that territory of 350, 000 square miles, the last unclaimed land on earth." In Constitution Hall on the afternoon and evening of April 15 Mr. Ellsworth addressed two distinguished gatherings of members and guests of the National Geo graphic Society, describing his historic flight across the Antarctic Continent and showing lantern slides of photographs made on his three Antarctic expeditions. Introducing Mr. Ellsworth, Dr. Gilbert Grosvenor, President of The Society, briefly summarized his many explorations: "With great happiness we have gathered to welcome safely home a member of our Society, Lincoln Ellsworth, who has added another fruitful journey to a long record of outstanding feats of exploration. "Son of a distinguished and generous captain of industry, who offered to help him travel in luxury, Lincoln Ellsworth preferred to lead a life of extreme physical hardship to toughen his body and enlarge his experience for adventurous research in far-away places. "After leaving Yale University, he worked as an axman on the first survey party of the Grand Trunk Pacific to explore a new route for a railway across Canada. Promoted to transit-man and engineer, for five years he conducted surveys in the roughest country of western Canada. "For a year he prospected for gold in Alberta and Alaska. He took part in the last great round-up of wild buffalo for the nucleus of the immense herd the Canadian Government now owns. "For three years he was field assistant of the U. S. Biological Survey, studying and collecting in the Rocky Mountain Range from Yukon into Mexico. "He served in the Ambulance Service in France, and after the United States entered the war, became an aviator. "He made a geological cross section of the Andes from the Pacific Ocean to the headwaters of the Amazon. He discovered a bed of fossil algae at the end of an 800 mile canoe trip in Labrador, and later was the first to discover the same rare fossils in Death Valley, California, one of the most prospected regions in the world. "Lincoln Ellsworth was co-leader with Amundsen and navigator of the first expe dition to explore the polar regions by air craft. He made possible this important survey of 120,000 square miles of previ ously unknown area by financing the expe dition. He rescued the engineer and me chanic from drowning when they fell through the ice after the two planes alighted a few miles from the North Pole. For this gallant deed, which Amundsen declared saved the lives of the six men in the party, the Norwegian Congress voted him its high est award, the gold medal for lifesaving. "Again he was co-leader, and the gener ous financial backer, of the Amundsen Ellsworth-Nobile Transpolar Flight in the airship Norge from Spitsbergen across the North Pole to Alaska. This exploration uncovered the largest remaining blind spot in the Northern Hemisphere and proved that no continental mass of land lies be tween the North Pole and Alaska. "Thus Lincoln Ellsworth was co-leader and patron of the first expedition to cross the Arctic Ocean, and now returns as the successful leader of the first expedition to cross the Antarctic Continent."