CARACAS, Wednesday April 01, 2009 | Update
Norwegian expeditionary Roald Amundsen reached the South Pole 36 days in advance to the British mission headed by Robert Scott. Another explorer, US Hiram Bingham, found the ruins of the Inca city of Machu Picchu inside the Peruvian jungle. The theft of Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa from the Louvre Museum on August 21st astounded the world. The La Gioconda portrait was found two years later in Florence. The Moroccan city of Agadir is the backdrop of an impasse among Germany, France and England
Norwegian Roald Amundsen (left), the head of the first expedition that reached the South Pole, and Lieutenant Undahl pose for the picture outside a cabin (Photo: AP)
Roald Amundsen, a Norwegian expeditionary, arrived in the
South Pole on December 14th, 1911, along with four of his
expedition fellows. They became the first human beings who
reached the austral milestone.
However, this was a sour success for the adventurers, because their original goal had been the North Pole.
When US Robert Peary overtook them in 1909, Amundsen headed instead for the South Seas to hoist the Norwegian flag in the southernmost point on the planet.
They walked almost 3,000 kilometers for four months throughout the Antarctic to make it. Experts claimed that they were so well equipped that they even gained weight. One hundred dogs were trained to pull the heavy sleighs.
Another explorer, British Robert Scott, also joined the venture, but arrived at the finish line 36 days later, on January 1912, and died on his way back.
1911 is also the year of a third explorer, US Hiram Bingham, who found the Inca city of Machu Picchu in the Peruvian jungle. Bingham, a teacher of History at the renowned Yale University, searched for years the last capital city of the Inca Empire, Vilcabamba the Great; therefore, the discovery of the fortress was quite a surprise. The metropolis of more than 3,000 stairs, with temples built with stones which fit together with pinpoint accuracy and without using mortars, was abandoned and in ruins when the mission arrived. However, irrigation and water storage worked and there were traces of the terrace sowing system.
Other salient news in the year was the theft of Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa on August 21st from the Louvre Museum. French poet Guillaume Apollinaire was accused of being the perpetrator and was shortly detained. However, Italian painter Vincenzo Pemgie was found in possession of La Gioconda two years later in Florence, on December 1913. The painter intended to return the work to the city where the portrait's author was born.
The Moroccan city of Agadir filled the headlines of world major newspapers for being the backdrop of an impasse among Germany, France and England for a share of power in Morocco. After 151 days of tensions, Kaiser William waived his ambition on Morocco in exchange of about 150 square kilometers in the French Congo. Another African colony, Libya, changed hands; formerly part of the Ottoman Empire, it would be managed by Italy.
George V became emperor of India. He was presented a crown valued at 60,000 pounds.
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