“A Coldness between Them,” offset color print by L. M. Glackens, Puck, September 29, 1909
A popular magazine lampooned the dispute between Arctic explorers Frederick Cook and Robert Peary. Cook, a physician and ethnographer, was delayed in returning from his 1908 expedition. He published his claim on September 2, 1909. Peary, a Navy officer with the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey, published his claim five days later.
Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress
The Discoverer of the North Pole
In the early twentieth century, explorers from many countries vied to reach the North Pole first. In 1909 two Americans, Dr. Frederick Cook and Commander Robert Peary, each claimed to have made the “discovery.” Though neither explorer could provide indisputable proof of reaching the geographic pole, Peary’s claim was more credible. In 1911, after holding hearings on Peary’s expedition, Congress honored Peary’s achievement and promoted him to rear admiral in the United States Navy. Today it is widely held that neither man actually reached the North Pole.
Your committee believe. . . . that Robert Edwin Peary has performed a most remarkable and wonderful service, . . . that therefore the American people, through its Congress, shall render him thanks, and bestow upon him the highest rank of the service which he adorns.
House Committee on Naval Affairs, Recognition of Robert Peary, January 21, 1911