Fun Fact November 29, 2021.

On this date in 1929, American explorer Richard Byrd and three companions make the first flight over the South Pole, flying from their base on the Ross Ice Shelf to the pole and back in 18 hours and 41 minutes. At 3:29 p.m. on November 28, 1929, Byrd, the pilot Bernt Balchen, and two others took off from Little America in a 1928 Ford Tri-motor airplane named the Floyd Bennett, headed for the South Pole. Magnetic compasses were useless so near the pole, so the explorers were forced to rely on sun compasses and Byrd’s skill as a navigator.  The plane reached the pole at around 1 a.m. on November 29. They flew a few miles beyond the pole and then to the right and the left to compensate for any navigational errors. Byrd dropped a small American flag on the pole, and the explorers headed for home, safely landing at Little America at 10:11 a.m.  Byrd made a total of five flights over Antarctica, his last in 1955, mapping more than 500,000 miles of the frozen continent.  Byrd died in 1957.  Listen to the podcast here;