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Today in history! In 1953 A ski-modified U.S. Air Force C-47 piloted by Lieutenant Colonel Joseph O. Fletcher of Oklahoma and Lieutenant Colonel William P. Benedict of California becomes the first aircraft to land on the North Pole. A moment later, Fletcher climbed out of the plane and walked to the exact geographic North Pole, probably the first person in history to do so. We say “probably” because two previous visitors, Robert Perry and Dr. Frederick Cook, both separately claimed to have reached the pole by land. In 1911 Congress formally recognized Perry’s claim. Recent studies show that neither reached the exact North pole, but Perry was closest, missing the mark by some 30 miles. Joining Fletcher at the pole was Dr. Albert Carry, who, in 1961, would become the first person to stand on both poles, when he reached the South pole by motorized vehicle.