On January 13, 2013, the National Geographic Society will celebrate its 125th anniversary and its evolution from a small scientific body to one of the world's largest educational and scientific organizations committed to inspiring people to care about the planet. The Society has shared some images that represent those moments of discovery and will continue in its 126th year, to provide a front-row seat to what's happening at the extremes of exploration - bringing everyone along for the ride through its storytelling and photography.
1909 | CANADA - National Geographic funded Cmdr. Robert E. Peary’s 1909 expedition to the North Pole. Whether Peary and his assistant, Matthew Henson, reached the Pole or not, they came closer to that goal than anyone before them. (Photo © Robert E. Peary Collection, NGS)
1909 | ALASKA, UNITED STATES - Washing his films in iceberg-choked seawater was an everyday chore for photographer Oscar D. Von Engeln during the summer months he spent on a National Geographic-sponsored expedition in Alaska. (Photo by Oscar D. Von Engeln) #
MACHU PICCHU, PERU - Hiram Bingham poses for an informal picture in front of his tent at Machu Picchu, the lost mountaintop city of the Inca in the Peruvian Andes. National Geographic supported Bingham’s excavations at the site from 1912 to 1915. (Photo by Hiram Bingham) #
1915 | CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - Gilbert H. Grosvenor, first full-time editor of National Geographic magazine, awakens after a night spent beneath a giant sequoia tree during his first trip to California’s Sierra Nevada mountains. After this visit, he lobbied for passage of a bill that created the National Park Service in 1916. (Photo © Gilbert H. Grosvenor Collection) #
LA VENTA, TABASCO. MEXICO - Beginning in 1938, Matthew Stirling, chief of the Smithsonian Bureau of American Ethnology, led eight National Geographic-sponsored expeditions to Tabasco and Veracruz in Mexico. He uncovered 11 colossal stone heads, evidence of the ancient Olmec civilization that had lain buried for 15 centuries. (Photo by Richard Hewitt Stewart) #
BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA - In a moss-draped rain forest in British Columbia, towering red cedars live a thousand years, and black bears have white coats. They are known to the local people as spirit bears. (Photo by Paul Nicklen) #