Next week, I speak about Josephine Peary at Bowdoin College. Here's a peek at "First Lady of the Arctic: Josephine Peary as Arctic Explorer/Author."
In 1891, Josephine Diebitsch Peary accompanied her husband, Robert, on her first expedition to Greenland. Subsequently, she traveled to the Arctic many times, both with Peary or in search of him.
In 1898, Josephine presented her husband with an American flag she had made for him to carry on his polar expeditions. In April 1909, he planted that flag at, or near, the North Pole and left a diagonal slice of it behind (see right; courtesy Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum).
Until recently, the lives of women, like Josephine, who accompanied their husbands to inhospitable lands, have not captured the interest of researchers.
My public lecture at 4:00 p.m. will focus on the flag and Peary’s quest for the North Pole. I have found that viewing the North Pole story through Josephine's eyes changes the story in surprising ways.
The National Geographic Society has loaned the flag to Bowdoin College as part of a centennial commemoration of Peary's 1909 expedition. If you haven't yet stopped by to see this historic flag, then use this lecture as an excuse to make the trip to Brunswick.