Monday, April 10, 2006

Presentation on Hudson Native's Historic Polar Explorations

(press release)

On Sunday, May 21 at 1 p.m. polar explorer, educator, photographer, writer and lecturer Will Steger will help celebrate the 80th anniversary of Hudsonite Lincoln Ellsworth’s flight over the North Pole in the dirigible Norge . Steger will give a presentation on the contributions of Lincoln Ellsworth and the current state of polar exploration.

Steger, a past National Geographic Explorer in Residence, is an internationally recognized explorer, author and pioneer in polar exploration. In 1986 he made the first confirmed unsupported journey to the North Pole leading a team of eight people with 50 sled dogs. Two years later he guided the longest unsupported dogsled expedition in history, a 1,600-mile south-north traverse of Greenland. In 1995, he led a 1,200-mile expedition between Russia and Ellesmere Island, Canada, via dogsleds and canoe sleds with a team of five educators and scientists. This project earned Steger the prestigious National Geographic John Oliver La Gorce Medal, awarded only 19 times since the founding of the Society in 1888. Steger joins Roald Amundsen, Amelia Earhart, Adm. Robert Peary, and Jacques-Yves Cousteau in this honor. Steger is a recognized authority on polar environmental concerns and has testified before Congress on polar and environmental issues.

Lincoln Ellsworth was born in 1880 and spent a large part of his youth in Hudson where he attended Western Reserve Academy. He worked as an engineer, gold prospector and surveyor and was fascinated by early 20th century polar explorations. In 1924 he led an expedition to make a geological survey across the Andes Mountains. The next year he was part of a failed and near fatal attempt to fly over the North Pole by airplane.

In May of 1926 he and explorer Roald Amundsen were successful in flying a dirigible, the Norge to the North Pole. They are credited with being the first people to have sighted the geographic North Pole. He also made important flights over Antarctica in 1935 and 1939. In 1931 he was part of the Trans-Arctic Submarine Expedition. His plane, the Polar Star, is in the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Collection. Ellsworth is the only Hudson resident to have been honored with a U.S. Postal Service commemorative stamp.

Lincoln Ellsworth died on May 16, 1951 at age 71 and is buried in Hudson, Ohio.
The Lincoln Ellsworth polar exploration commemoration with Will Steger is free and open to the public. The program is being partially underwritten by the Lighter than Air Society, and the Byrd Polar Archives. No registration is required.

For more information please call Gwendolyn Mayer, Acting Archivist at 330/653-6658, ext. 1017.