National Geographic : 1935 Jul
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY HONORS BYRD ANTARCTIC EXPEDITION A BRILLIANT audience of National Geographic Society members, in Washington, on the evening of May 10, welcomed home the Second Byrd Antarctic Expedition. On their behalf Dr. Gilbert Grosvenor, President of The So ciety, presented the leader an illuminated scroll setting forth the important contribu tions to geography made by his various expeditions. Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd, U. S. N., Retired, acknowledged the greetings and gave a brief summary of the explorations and 22-point scientific program which, he reported, had gathered four times as much data as his first expedition. The interesting exercises were broadcast over 67 stations of the Columbia System and 20 stations of the National Broadcast ing Company so they might be heard by The Society's million member families in the United States, Canada, and Central America. Admiral Byrd has started writing the first complete narrative of his expedition and an account of its extensive discoveries and new scientific studies, which will appear in an early issue of The Society's NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE. To the stirring music of the United States Marine Band the entire personnel of the ex pedition marched on the platform. Then followed Admiral Byrd, escorted by Dr. Grosvenor and George W. Hutchison, Sec retary of The Society. As they entered, a huge American flag was lowered from the ceiling of the auditorium and the distin guished audience stood in tribute to the heroes of Little America. WORLD MAP REVEALS EPIC ADVENTURES Dr. Grosvenor said: "Members of the Na tional Geographic Society, Admiral Byrd, and members of the Byrd Antarctic Expe dition: "To many, a map of the world is the greatest of all epic poems. The map's lines and colors show the realization of great dreams: Marco Polo's dream of the riches and wonders of China; Vasco da Gama's dream of a sea route to India; Magellan's dream that he could sail around the world; Columbus' dream of sail ing westward, which added a hemisphere to the known world. "Of all living explorers, he who has seen most of his dreams come true is Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd, whom we honor tonight. "Experienced men said his dream of ex ploring far northern lands with airplanes was visionary. But the National Geo graphic Society believed in him and spon sored the first attack by air on the Arctic regions suggested by him. The United States Navy agreed to cooperate, and at The Society's request assigned to organize and lead the naval contingent of that expe dition-the Macmillan Expedition-Com mander Byrd, already famed in the Navy as a leader in every effort to advance avia tion and as the inventor of important instru ments and methods for navigating planes. "On this Greenland Expedition he flew many thousands of miles over the ice, prov ing the practical value of airplanes in polar exploration, and also acquiring his polar wings. NEW EXPLORATION METHODS "Admiral Byrd's first Antarctic expedi tion carried the American flag 1,500 miles farther south than it had been before. In the lowest temperatures and fiercest winds of our globe he flew airplanes more than 7,000 miles, making camera surveys of ex panses larger than the area of all our At lantic Seaboard States from Canada to the Potomac. He was first to maintain a large personnel in good health, with flying ma chines through a rigorous polar winter. "Now he returns with records of even more extensive and important flights and surveys over the vast Antarctic plateau. "Again he has developed new technical methods, such as the use of airplanes to measure surface altitudes, executed by his skilled and courageous pilots, who touched the skis of their planes to the ground every 20 miles to record surface heights by the altimeter. "Admiral Byrd, we welcome you as the pioneer of a new era of exploration-as one who has utilized the airplane, the radio, and many other inventions of American genius to study myriad problems of many branches of science. We further acclaim you as a gallant leader of men whose ability and concern for their safety have won their ad miration and their loyalty and ours.