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JAMA 100 Years Ago
September 9, 2009


JAMA. 2009;302(10):1121. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1181

After centuries of vain striving, in which scores of expeditions have failed and hundreds of lives been lost, it is a remarkable coincidence that within one week the civilized world should have been electrified by news that the north pole had been discovered independently by two explorers, using different routes. The lure of the pole has never been wholly explainable by the hope of the discovery of valuable lands or scientific data of great practical importance, but there are very few persons who fail to appreciate the ambition of explorers. Men love to go where it is thought that human foot has never trod before, and it is human nature to view the inaccessible as a most important goal. As, little by little, most of the globe has been traversed, explored and added to the maps, the icy wastes of the North have called more and more loudly to be conquered. That the news of the discovery of the north pole came first from a physician gives the medical profession particular interest in this subject, which has filled the newspapers for days past.

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