National Geographic : 1930 Aug
ADMIRAL BYRD RECEIVES NEW HONOR FROM THE SOCIETY SURROUNDED by the heroes of "Little America" and the gallant crews of his ice-battered ships, and wearing the new insignia of a rear admi ral in the United States Navy, bestowed by the congressional representatives of a grateful people, Richard E. Byrd, on the evening of June 20, 1930, in Washington, D. C., received from the hands of Presi dent Herbert Hoover the National Geo graphic Society's Special Gold Medal of Honor. Turning toward the President, Admiral Byrd said: "I have, for myself, this closing thought, . .that our expedition accomplished its objectives and carried the American flag one thousand miles farther south than it had been before, which is a cause of pride to me. "Such a thing satisfies the mind. "But of deeper meaning is the fact that every man who started out with me re turned; that we left not a single man on the ice; that everyone is here to-night. "Such a thing satisfies the heart." ONE OF MOST DRAMATIC EXPLORATIONS OF MODERN TIMES Thus the youthful explorer concluded his modest recital to National Geographic Society members of the scientific accom plishments and adventures of what Dr. Gilbert Grosvenor, President of The So ciety, had just characterized as "one of the most comprehensive, dramatic, and productive explorations of modern times." Throughout his address Admiral Byrd was interrupted by applause when, in a terse sentence or two, he would refer to some discovery or achievement of the ex pedition, the first complete narrative of which he has written for this issue of the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE (see pages 127 to 227) and the scientific re sults of which ultimately will require four volumes. This applause was most prolonged when, after describing the discovery of Marie Byrd Land, a vast uncharted area hitherto unseen by the eye of man, he added, simply, "It was first observed on a flight, and claimed in the name of the United States." On the platform, beside President Hoo ver, Admiral Byrd, and his command of 79 men, sat the Acting Secretary of the Navy, Ernest Lee Jahncke; Dr. Gilbert Grosve nor, President of the National Geographic Society; Dr. John Oliver La Gorce, Vice President of the National Geographic So ciety; the Secretary to the President, Mr. George Akerson; Col. Campbell B. Hodges, military aide to the President; Capt. Joel T. Boone, personal physician to the President; Comdr. Harold C. Train, naval aide to the President; Lieut. Comdr. R. H. Skelton, aide to the Acting Secre tary of the Navy; Mr. Allan Hoover, Mr. Adolph Zukor, president Paramount Pub lix Corp. HIGHEST OFFICIALS IN PUBLIC LIFE ATTEND The audience was one of the most dis tinguished ever assembled in the quarter of a century that the National Geographic Society has been the host of returning ex plorers-such explorers as Peary, Roose velt, Amundsen, Shackleton, Lindbergh, and Byrd himself, after he had flown to the North Pole and crossed the Atlantic in an airplane. The Vice President of the United States, the Speaker of the House of Rep resentatives, 31 United States Senators, many members of the House of Repre sentatives, all members of the Cabinet who were in the city, ambassadors and minis ters of practically all foreign countries represented in Washington, the highest officers of the Army and Navy, including 35 generals, 36 rear admirals and many junior officers, eminent scientists and civil ians were among the guests. The decorations were arranged by the U. S. Navy as a tribute to Admiral Byrd. On the stage were displayed the Stars and Stripes, the flag of the Byrd Antarctic expedition, and the historic flag of the National Geographic Society, which its expeditions have carried to the Poles, to jungles and caverns and lofty mountain peaks, across lone seas and icy waters, and into remote interiors. Under the proscenium arch were three Navy signal flags-those signifying "Y W-X," meaning "Well Done."