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The 1900's
Discovery of the North Pole



Discovery of the North Pole
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.53

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    disbelievers, reenacted, investigation, contend, unexplored, lieutenant, formally, military, colleague, surveyor, casket, feat, rank, commission, margin, mainland
     content words:    Robert Peary, North Pole, Bowdoin College, United States Navy, Ellesmere Island, Matthew Henson, On April, Frederick Cook, United States Congress, Rear Admiral


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Discovery of the North Pole
By Jane Runyon
  

1     Robert Peary was a born explorer. He sought to find places that no human had ever been to. By the 1900's, there were few unexplored land areas left on earth. Outer space and under the oceans were about the only places an explorer had to dream about. Robert Peary dreamed of an area a little more in his realm. He wanted to be the first man to stand on the North Pole. He wanted to stand at the point which was exactly ninety degrees north latitude. He wanted to be able to tell the world about what he saw.
 
2     Robert Peary was born in Cresson, Pennsylvania, on May 6, 1856. He attended Bowdoin College in Maine. After college he took a job as a surveyor. He wanted more training in the survey field and chose to receive it from the United States Navy. He received his commission as a lieutenant in the navy in 1881. While working in Nicaragua on a canal, he dreamed of the invigorating climate of the Arctic. He took a leave of absence from his duties in the navy in 1886. He decided to explore the island of Greenland. He came to the conclusion during this exploration that the North Pole was not a part of Greenland as had been previously believed. He made up his mind then and there that he would be the first man to find the North Pole.
 
3     It took several years for Peary to put together the equipment, men, and research he needed to make a trip to the North Pole. It wasn't until 1909 that he set out from Ellesmere Island. His group included 23 men, 133 sled dogs, and 19 sleds. One of the men who accompanied Peary was the one man he trusted most, Matthew Henson. He had met Henson several years ago. Henson was an African-American who shared Peary's love of the sea and love of adventure.

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