125 Years of National Geographic

On January 13, 2013, the National Geographic Society will celebrate its 125th anniversary and its evolution from a small scientific body to one of the world’s largest educational and scientific organizations committed to inspiring people to care about the planet. The Society has shared some images that represent those moments of discovery and will continue in its 126th year, to provide a front-row seat to what’s happening at the extremes of exploration – bringing everyone along for the ride through its storytelling and photography. You can even “hangout” with some of it’s more prominent explorers Jane Goodall, James Cameron and Robert Ballard, on the anniversary date, 1 p.m. EST. (via)

Photo above: 1909 | CANADA – National Geographic funded Cmdr. Robert E. Peary’s 1909 expedition to the North Pole. Whether Peary and his assistant, Matthew Henson, reached the Pole or not, they came closer to that goal than anyone before them. (Photo © Robert E. Peary Collection, NGS)

1909 | ALASKA, UNITED STATES – Washing his films in iceberg-choked seawater was an everyday chore for photographer Oscar D. Von Engeln during the summer months he spent on a National Geographic-sponsored expedition in Alaska. (Photo by Oscar D. Von Engeln)

1948 | AUSTRALIA – National Geographic magazine’s “Australia man,” photojournalist Howell Walker, types away in his “office” at Inyalark Hill, where he spent a week with Charles Mountford, leader of the Arnhem Land expedition. (Photo by Howell Walker)

1957 | SOUTH POLE, ANTARCTICA – National Geographic magazine’s Thomas Abercrombie, first correspondent to reach the South Pole, flies the Society’s flag from the Pole while reporting on the International Geophysical Year of 1957-58. (Photo by Thomas J. Abercrombie)

1964 | TANZANIA – A touching moment between primatologist and National Geographic grantee Jane Goodall and young chimpanzee Flint at Tanzania’s Gombe Stream Reserve. (Photo by Hugo van Lawick)

1969 | THE MOON – Astronaut Buzz Aldrin walks on the Moon’s Sea of Tranquility, his visor reflecting Neil Armstrong and the lunar module Eagle. The Apollo 11 astronauts carried the National Geographic Society flag with them on their journey to the Moon. (Photo credit: NASA)

1991 | NORTH ATLANTIC – Rusted prow of the R.M.S. Titanic, which sank in the North Atlantic after hitting an iceberg in April 1912. (Photo by Emory Kristof)

1994 | BOTSWANA – Renowned wildlife filmmakers and National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence Dereck and Beverly Joubert photograph an elephant at extremely close range in Botswana’s Savuti region, one of Africa’s last unspoiled wildernesses. (Photo by Beverly Joubert)

1995 | INDIA – By setting off a camera trap, a female tiger captures her own image in Bandhavgarh National Park. (Photo by Michael Nichols)

ANTARCTICA – An emperor penguin, outfitted with a Crittercam camera system designed by marine biologist and National Geographic staff member Greg Marshall, becomes an unwitting cameraman for a National Geographic documentary. (Photo by Greg Marshall)

2009 | WASHINGTON STATE, UNITED STATES – Sunset falls on Gifford Pinchot National Forest, named for the founder of the U.S. Forest Service and National Geographic Society board member. (Photo by Scottyboipdx Weber/National Geographic My Shot)

MONGOLIA – Research scientist and National Geographic Emerging Explorer Albert Lin gallops across the steppes of northern Mongolia as he searches for Genghis Khan’s tomb and other archaeological sites. (Photo by Mike Hennig)

UGANDA – A lion climbs a tree to sleep, in Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth Park. (Photo by Joel Sartore)

BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA – In a moss-draped rain forest in British Columbia, towering red cedars live a thousand years, and black bears have white coats. They are known to the local people as spirit bears. (Photo by Paul Nicklen)