Robert E Peary, Matthew Henson and four Inuit – Egingwah, Oatah, Ookeah and Seegloo – were the first men to reach the North Pole, on 6 April 1909. But before Peary returned to civilization to share the news with the world Dr Frederick Albert Cook arrived in Denmark claiming that he had reached the North Pole from Greenland the year before.
Now you might wonder how the world can believe a claim of reaching the North Pole if there is no-one there to witness it – and in those days, no satellites to follow the progress. (There aren’t even any penguins in the North Pole!) The test of being at the pole consists of seeing the sun and stars going around the sky in horizontal circles.
On his return, Peary had 32 observations which met the test. It was found that Cook’s records of observations had been made up and he was discredited. However, in 1989 scientists discovered that Peary and his crew actually was a few miles off the Pole. Admiral Peary is still credited with being the first person to reach the North Pole.