Whose Birthday Is It? August 8, 2018

Matthew Alexander Henson (1866)

Orphaned in his youth, Henson went to work on a merchant ship at the age of 12. After nearly a decade at sea, he met American explorer Robert E. Peary and became his valet and assistant for the next 22 years. In 1909, Henson accompanied Peary on the first expedition credited with reaching the North Pole. Though Peary received many honors for this achievement, Henson, an African American, was largely ignored. What did both men leave behind when they returned to mainland America from the Arctic? More…

 

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