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The History and Activity of the Americans in the Antarctic


Americans have been involved in many early voyages. Sealer Nathaniel Palmer has a claim to be the first person to ever see the Antarctic continent in November 1820 (not an especially strong claim unfortunately). In 1840 the Wilkes Expedition was instrumental in establishing that Antarctica was indeed a continent. Official interest then waned for many years.

The 20th century inter-war period and the years following the second world war saw activity increase significantly with a number of well resourced private and national expeditions taking place. The US was a leading light in the International Geophysical Year (IGY) of 1957-58 which led to the Antarctic Treaty. The USA was one of the very first signatory nations of the Antarctic Treaty in 1960 and is a consultative party with voting rights able to make decisions about Antarctica.

To read the complete article on the Cool Antarctica website, click here.