December 14 - 1911 - Roald Amundsen is the First Person to Reach the South Pole

Roald Amundsen made history by being the leader of the first expedition to reach the South Pole. He was not well recognized for this effort, though, for a wide range of reasons. Amundsen's rather utilitarian approach, which included eating some of his sled dogs, did not endear him to many people, especially the British. The other reason many Brits were unhappy with Amundsen was that he beat Robert Falcon Scott's simultaneous British expedition. Then a strange circumstance happened. Instead of being lauded for finding the best method for reaching the South Pole, Amundsen fell well behind Scott in many appreciations, despite the fact that Scott perished on his return. Scott became a martyr, while Amundsen became the nasty, underhanded trickster. This odd view of the two expeditons would hold for decades, despite Amundsen being objectively much more successful.

William Floyd