Matthew Henson, born on August 8, 1866, one of the world's greatest explorers. Henson’s mother died and his father experienced trouble with the Ku Klux Klan so the family moved to Washington, DC.


When Henson was a teenager he saw a sign advertising a ship captain looking for young men to go to sea. Henson figured he had nothing to lose and signed up. That was the beginning of Henson's sailing career. For the rest of his teenage years, Henson sailed around the world. He learned mathematics, navigation, the operations of a ship and how to read books and maps and by the time he was 21, Matthew Henson was an experienced sailor.


When met engineer and explorer Robert Peary he was only had already been around the world.” Peary was so impressed that he made Henson his trusted assistant and fellow explorer. Peary's dream was to reach the North Pole and first man in the world to do it and he wanted Henson to be right there with him. On the last attempt,  April 9th, 1909, six men made a mad dash for the top of the North Pole. Matthew Henson, was first followed by four Eskimos pulling Robert Peary on a sled (his feet were frostbitten), becoming the first men in the world to reach the North Pole. In 1954, a year before Henson died, President Dwight D. Eisenhower presented him with an award acknowledging his great accomplishment. Matthew Henson died on March 9,1955.

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