I've been a fan of the photography and the stories featured in National Geographic Magazine since I was a child. I explored the world by simply turning the pages. It featured some of the most amazing and groundbreaking photography then and it's never stopped finding new ways to surprise. 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. You can even "hangout" with some of it's more prominent explorers Jane Goodall, James Cameron and Robert Ballard, on the anniversary date, 1 p.m. EST -- Paula Nelson
A touching moment between primatologist and National Geographic grantee Jane Goodall and young chimpanzee Flint at Tanzania’s Gombe Stream Reserve in 1965.
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.
In his favorite picture, legendary National Geographic photojournalist Maynard Owen Williams marveled how, in this Herat, Afghanistan, bazaar, no one blinked during the three seconds required to make the exposure.
SOUTH DAKOTA, UNITED STATES - The National Geographic-Army Air Corps stratosphere balloon Explorer II prepares to rise from the Stratobowl near Rapid City, S.D., on Nov 11, 1935. It carried two “aeronauts” 72,395 feet (nearly 14 miles) into the stratosphere — the highest men would go for the next 21 years.
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.
National Geographic magazine’s “Australia man,” photojournalist Howell Walker, types away in his “office” at Inyalark Hill, where he spent a week with Charles Mountford, leader of the Arnhem Land 1948 expedition.
National Geographic magazine’s Thomas Abercrombie, first correspondent to reach the South Pole, flies the Society’s flag from the Pole while reporting on the International Geophysical Year of 1957-58.
In the early 1960s, paleontologist and National Geographic grantee Louis Leakey and his family inspected the campsite of an early hominid at Tanzania’s Olduvai Gorge.
1963. NEPAL - The first American team to summit Mount Everest in 1963 included National Geographic’s Barry Bishop.
1991. NORTH ATLANTIC - Rusted prow of the R.M.S. Titanic, which sank in the North Atlantic after hitting an iceberg in April 1912.
In 1994, renowned wildlife filmmakers and National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence Dereck and Beverly Joubert photographed an elephant at extremely close range in Botswana’s Savuti region, one of Africa’s last unspoiled wildernesses.