On January 27, 1888, the National Geographic Society
was founded in
Washington, D.C. for "the increase and diffusion of geographical
The 33 men who originally formed the National Geographic
Society were a diverse group of geographers, explorers, teachers,
lawyers, cartographers, military officers and financiers. All shared
an interest in scientific and geographical knowledge of discovery and invention.
Americans were becoming more curious about the world
around them. With this in mind, the men drafted a constitution and
elected as the Society's president a lawyer and philanthropist named
Gardiner Greene Hubbard. Neither a scientist nor a geographer, Hubbard
represented the Society's desire to reach out to the layman. Nine months after its inception, the Society published its first issue
of National Geographic magazine.
Geographic quickly became known for its stunning and pioneering
photography The Society used its revenues from the magazine to sponsor expeditions
and research projects that furthered humanity's understanding of
natural phenomena. National Geographic has
been instrumental in making possible some of the great achievements in
exploration and science.
It funded Robert Peary journey to the North Pole,
Richard Byrd fly over the South Pole, Jacques Cousteau and Jane Goodall wild chimpanzees. Today, the National Geographic Society is one of
the world's largest non-profit scientific and educational
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