I was unable, over a week ago, to announce & wish the National Geographic Society a happy 135th anniversary!
At the Cosmos Club in Washington, D.C., on January 13, 1888 ~ the 32 Founders with, and convened by, Gardiner Greene Hubbard, eminent scientist and 1st President of N.G.S. - -
* painting by Stanley Meltzoff, c. 1963
the 33 founders were:
Original seal of the Society:
flag of the Society, representing Land, Sea, and Sky:
about the creation of the Society's flag:
The flag of the National Geographic Society has been a symbol of adventure and discovery for most of this century. In addition to flying high at headquarters in Washington, D.C., Society flags have been carried on innumerable expeditions to the far-flung reaches of the globe and beyond.
In 1903 the Society, then 15 years old, finally had a stable financial base and growing membership. The Board of Managers determined that the Society needed its own flag. Editor Gilbert Hovey Grosvenor and his wife, Elsie May Bell Grosvenor (daughter of Alexander Graham Bell), had studied the many flags found around Washington and thought most were too cryptic to be easily identified from a distance.
“In Washington we’d been watching parade after parade with notables...and the flags were so complicated...the bystander from the sidewalk couldn’t tell what it was. Clearly, what the Society needed was a simple and dignified standard, both attractive and instantly recognizable,” recalled Dr. Grosvenor.
Mrs. Grosvenor volunteered to come up with a design. She created the now famous tricolor. The colors, representing sky, earth, and sea, express the wide range of the Geographic’s interests.
The flag first went on assignment with the 1903 Ziegler Polar Expedition to the Arctic. Since then it has been on hundreds of Society expeditions, including treks to both the North and South Poles, the 1935 Explorer II Stratosphere flight, the climb to the summit of Mount Everest with the late Dr. Barry Bishop, and on all of the Apollo missions. Perhaps the flag’s greatest journeys were to the moon with Michael Collins, Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong, and down to the RMS Titanic with Dr. Robert Ballard. Someday it may accompany astronauts to Mars.
Also of interest --->
~ Scott S.
Well done Scott!
I was at National Geographic's 135th anniversary celebration in Washington, DC. It wasn't at the same scale as the centennial or the quasquicentennial but enjoyable nevertheless.
Richard, nice, that's a very nice opportunity to be in-attendance for something like that. I would have loved to have been there in 1988!