A wall of National Geographic magazine covers at the 125th Anniversary Exhibit in Washington, DC. For me, working at National Geographic is a dream come true, and this year especially, I feel a real sense of honor to be contributing in my own small way to the great legacy of the Society.
The beginning of this year marked the 125th anniversary of the founding of the Society, when,  on January 13, 1888, 33 men gathered at the Cosmos Club in Washington, DC and laid out the charter to establish a geographical society in the United States of America.I wonder if any of those founding fathers had any idea that their little club would grow into the force of global inspiration that it is today. A bathing beauty enjoys Kenilworth Gardens in Washington, DC, photographed on autochrome in January 1928 for National Geographic, but never published. Now in this month of October, we commemorate the 125th anniversary of the first issue of National Geographic magazine.
Holding the original October 1888 issue of National Geographic Magazine in anticipation of our 125th Anniversary Expedition around the world. Having traveled around the world last year, I already know that this trip is going to be simply amazing.
Alas, the plane has numbered seats and weight restrictions, I imagine, leaving me to represent all of you on this expedition of a lifetime.
So many NG articles inspired so many of my trips; I have well over 5 million air miles so NG is also a money maker for airlines. I have a great stack of National Geographic that I just can’t bring myself to get rid of.
I visited the National Geographic 125th anniversary exhibition and it was truly one of the best exhibitions I have ever seen.
Magazines tend to shout their hot pink sans serif headlines, boasting the highest, remotest, southernmost, fanciest, nicest, cheapest, most sophisticated, most beautiful, and most wonderful; in short—the best. But who decides these things, and what exactly constitutes the very best travel experience?
What I do know is that traveling for the past three weeks aboard our private jet has ruined me for life. Given that it’s impossible to accurately caption the full breadth of extreme wonder that comes from such exotic travel, I shall merely show you the final, full-length film of our incredible voyage from Washington, DC to London and beyond. In just 24 days, we visited 12 different countries, flying more than 20,000 miles on four different continents. Isn’t this the real gift of exploration?—To return to the familiarity of home but to never forget the tremendous and the newly discovered charms of the open road; to call something “the best”—not because you have completed some exhaustive survey of every possible trip and destination, but because at that moment, when the color and dazzle of that unique place encircles you, it is the best. As a writer who travels for a living, I am not shy to prolong that endless cycle of superlatives, because they honestly reflect the true excitement of traveling with National Geographic Expeditions. Book:Featuring show-stopping imagery and thrilling behind-the-scenes tales, National Geographic 125 Years captures the heart of National Geographic's fascinating history, from its earliest days as a scientific club to its growth into one of the world's largest geographic organizations. Mark Collins Jenkins is the former chief historian of the National Geographic Society's archives. From a pioneering ascent of Everest to advancements in aerial, underwater, and space photography, the National Geographic Society has been exploring the world for 125 years. This photo of the Dalai Lama’s palace was part of the first stand-alone photographic series in the Geographic.
From 1912 to 1915 National Geographic supported Hiram Bingham’s expeditions to excavate Machu Picchu. This image of a flower garden in Ghent, Belgium, published in 1914, was the magazine’s first natural (not hand-tinted) color photograph. Equipped with cameras encased in waterproof housing and pounds of highly explosive magnesium flash powder for underwater illumination, William Longley and National Geographic photographer Charles Martin made the first underwater color photographs.
National Geographic assistant editor Melville Bell Grosvenor made the first aerial color photograph in 1930. In 1935 the aeronauts aboard the National Geographic-Army Air Corps Explorer II balloon set a new altitude record for manned flight: 72,395 feet. The July 1943 issue of National Geographic was the first to feature a photograph on the cover: the American flag. In the 1960s National Geographic photographer Bates Littlehales, with the help of marine biologist Walter Starck, designed OceanEye, a Plexiglas bubble-encased housing, to allow photographers to use Nikon cameras underwater. When naturalist George Schaller found snow leopard tracks in the mountains of Pakistan he knew he was onto something special. Inspired by a remora clinging to the side of a shark, Greg Marshall invented the National Geographic Crittercam in 1986.
Take a closer look at the small wonders of our world, including a gecko's toe, tiny planets, and the littlest cyborg. The evening’s theme, “A New Age of Exploration,” echoed the yearlong celebration of the Society’s 125th anniversary. The evening concluded with an announcement of philanthropic commitments from nine families and one organization in support of the work of the National Geographic Society. Additional support for the gala was provided by Bank of America, Fox International Channels, GEICO, Cengage Learning, National Geographic Channels, PetSmart, Southwest Airlines and SVM Foundation. The gala was the culmination of the two-day National Geographic 2013 Explorers Symposium, #LetsExplore, an annual gathering of National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence, Fellows, Emerging Explorers, grantees and others affiliated with the Society to share updates of their research and fieldwork.
The Red Bull Stratos pilot is an expert parachutist previously best known for completing an unprecedented freefall flight across the English Channel using a carbon wing.
Baumgartner set a record for history’s lowest BASE jump (from Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer statue), twice set world records for the highest BASE jump from a building (Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur and Taipei 101 tower) and even landed his canopy inside a cave in Croatia. Baumgartner is the winner of the BAMBI “Millennium” Award and Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year, among other honors.
Buffett has traveled to more than 115 countries documenting the challenges of preserving biodiversity while providing adequate resources to meet the needs of a growing global population.
On March 26, 2012, explorer and filmmaker James Cameron made history by completing the first-ever, single-pilot dive to the Challenger Deep, the deepest place on the planet.

Cameron has written, produced and directed a number of award-winning films that have blazed new trails in visual effects and set numerous box office records, including “Avatar” and “Titanic,” the two highest-grossing films in history.
National Geographic Society Explorer-in-Residence and Rosemary and Roger Enrico Chair for Ocean Exploration Sylvia Earle is an oceanographer, explorer, author and lecturer. Her special focus is on developing a global network of areas on land and in the ocean to safeguard the living systems that provide the underpinnings of global processes, from maintaining biodiversity and yielding basic life support services to providing stability and resiliency in response to accelerating climate change. Earle’s more than 100 national and international honors include France’s 2013 Legende de la Planete Medal, the 2011 Royal Geographical Society Gold Medal, the 2011 Medal of Honor from the Dominican Republic, the 2009 TED Prize, the Netherlands Order of the Golden Ark, Australia’s International Banksia Award, Italy’s Artiglio Award, the International Seakeepers Award, the International Women’s Forum, the National Women’s Hall of Fame, Academy of Achievement, Los Angeles Times Woman of the Year, and medals from Explorers Club, Philadelphia Academy of Sciences, Lindbergh Foundation, National Wildlife Federation, Barnard College and Society of Women Geographers. Born and raised in Sudbury, Ontario, Trebek earned two degrees in philosophy from the University of Ottawa. Trebek has won five Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Game Show Host and is nominated for the award again this year. In addition to his hosting duties, Trebek has a long-standing commitment with numerous charities and educational organizations.
Edward Osborne Wilson is generally recognized as one of the leading scientists in the world.
For over a century, National Geographic has inspired millions to fall in love with the world. In some ways, this special birthday is even more personal for me, because I blame National Geographic entirely for my incurable wanderlust.
To this day, I cannot pick up a copy of National Geographic and not be hit with a powerful drive to walk out the door and head off to some rare corner of the globe to discover their faraway life.
Honestly, I’ve been waiting all year for this trip, giddy with the very same wanderlust I had as a child, pinching myself at the destinations that lie in wait (London! Though you won’t get your passport stamped or your swimsuit wet, I truly hope that all of you will follow along for the next 24 days, as I explore some of the most intriguing and beautiful (and exotic!) parts of the globe, paying homage to the reason all of us are here . I think so many of us did reports on countries with old National Geographic subscriptions and then got an idea we had to go to that place. Seeing those covers up close all together and remembering the ones that have inspired me makes me remember why I travel. First-class floating about the globe is not my usual modus operandi, but for National Geographic’s 125th Anniversary, it was just the thing to explore some of the rarest corners of Earth. Looking back at the life-changing journey that we have just made, I can smile contentedly, thrilled with fresh memories of the coral in Palau or the campfires in the Kalahari—and I can say, without any exaggeration, that this trip, above all others, was the best expedition I have ever been on.
The book reveals how much we've come to know about our fascinating world through the pages and unforgettable imagery of National Geographic, and taps key voices from the forefront of ocean and space exploration, climate science, archaeology, mountaineering, and many other disciplines to peer with us over the horizon and see where we are heading in the future.Organized thematically, chapters focus on major accomplishments in each of the three realms of Earth, Sea, and Sky (featured on the National Geographic flag). George Shiras’ images of deer, birds, and other animals were the start of a long tradition at the magazine.
From that altitude Albert Stevens took the first photograph showing the curve of the Earth and the first color photographs taken from the stratosphere. Two members of the team were also the first to traverse Everest by ascending the difficult western slope and descending the established South Col route. In 1971 National Geographic was the first to publish photographs of the “ghost cat of the Himalaya.” Later, National Geographic funded the first thorough study of the snow leopard. The remote, lightweight video cameras have been placed on sharks, penguins, and lions to reveal glimpses of wild behavior. Co-chairs for the evening were Lucy and Henry Billingsley, Rosemary and Roger Enrico, Julie and Lee Folger, Gayle and Ed Roski Jr., Tricia and Frank Saul and Donna and Garry Weber.
These contributions and additional proceeds from the gala are part of $35 million in new gift commitments since Jan.
This year, the National Geographic Society celebrates its 125th anniversary and its evolution from a small scientific body founded in 1888 “to increase and diffuse geographic knowledge” to one of the world’s largest educational and scientific nonprofit organizations, committed to inspiring people to care about the planet. 14, 2012, Felix Baumgartner stepped onto a platform the width of a skateboard on a capsule hovering 127,852.4 feet above Earth. A licensed gas balloon pilot, he has earned private helicopter licenses in Austria and the United States and a commercial European helicopter license. Buffett grew up in Omaha, Neb., and has been active in agriculture, business, conservation, philanthropy, photography and politics. He received the Aztec Eagle Award in 2000, the highest honor bestowed on a foreign citizen by the government of Mexico. TheDEEPSEA CHALLENGER submersible, which was designed and engineered by Cameron and his team, achieved 35,787 feet (about 7 miles) during the first manned scientific exploration of the deepest point in the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench.
Cameron has led eight marine expeditions, including a forensic study of the Bismarck wreck site and 3-D imaging of deep hydrothermal vent sites along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, the East Pacific Rise and the Sea of Cortez.
Her research concerns marine ecosystems with special reference to exploration, conservation and the development and use of new technologies for access to and effective operations in the deep sea and other remote environments.
He also has been the moderator of all 10 National Geographic World Championships, the biennial international geography competition that this year will take place in St. Interested in a broadcasting news career, he joined the Canadian Broadcasting Company, where he covered national news and special events for radio and television. In 2011, he received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. With World Vision, he has traveled to many Third World countries, taping reports on the group’s efforts on behalf of children around the world.
He is also known as one of the foremost naturalists in both science and literature as well as a synthesizer in works from pure biology to the social sciences and humanities. I read (or flipped through), every single issue of National Geographic and World magazines. Every longing I have for a place on the globe can be traced back to a particular story, image, or cover of National Geographic. Some of you have traveled with me online now for years, and I sincerely wish you could be by my side as we celebrate the very thing that we all love, National Geographic.

I love traveling online with you Monica, always appreciate your thoughtful words and comments to you.
We heard firsthand from some of National Geographic’s greatest experts (some of whom are quoted in this film), and we all returned home far more inspired and knowledgeable than when we left. As a filmmaker myself, I appreciate the courage and tenacity it takes to tell a story of a foreign land to your home people.
Author Mark Collins Jenkins presents the subject matter chronologically, focusing on great leaps forward that dramatically changed our understanding of the planet, from summiting Everest to landing on the moon to discovering Titanic. Although he claimed that his team made it, questions remain about whether they actually reached the correct geographic location. Cameron and Earle were recognized for their critical efforts in ocean exploration and conservation, and Wilson was honored for his lifelong commitment to the planet’s rich diversity through his research and writing. 1, 2013, to honor the Society’s 125th anniversary and support a wide range of individuals leading research, exploration and conservation efforts that are fueling new discoveries and innovations. Millions of people around the world watched as the Austrian BASE jumper prepared to jump into thin air.
After sharpening his parachute skills as a member of a Special Forces demonstration team for the Austrian military, he supported himself by repairing motorcycles before becoming a skydiving professional. In 2002, he was recognized by the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture as one of the most distinguished individuals in the field of agriculture. He has made more than 80 deep submersible dives, 51 of them in Russian Mir submersibles, to depths of up to 16,000 feet, including 33 to the Titanic.
She is a Founding Ocean Elder, IUCN Patron of Nature, patron of ARKive and member of the 2013 World Bank Blue Ribbon Panel for the Ocean. In Zambia, Trebek and his family adopted a village and helped build a school, three homes for teachers and a medical facility.
He is acknowledged as the creator of two scientific disciplines (island biogeography and sociobiology), three unifying concepts for science and the humanities jointly (biophilia, biodiversity studies and consilience), and one major technological advance in the study of global biodiversity (the Encyclopedia of Life).
National Medal of Science, the Crafoord Prize (equivalent of the Nobel, for ecology) of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the International Prize of Biology of Japan; and in letters, two Pulitzer Prizes in nonfiction, the Nonino and Serono Prizes of Italy and COSMOS Prize of Japan. I grew up watching National Geographic Explorer on television, reading National Geographic books, and competing in the National Geographic Bee. We have gawked at the gripping photos on every page, and then defined a standard of photography that never falls short.
Kigali!), in awe that 125 years after our first explorers, we can simply jet from place to place without a thought beyond which appetizer we’ll choose for dinner. Allowing us to experience places, people, foods, etc.that we might not get to see otherwise. Sidebars feature famous names including Jared Diamond, Sylvia Earle, Buzz Aldrin, Bob Ballard, Jane Goodall and more, contributing thoughts about big questions of exploration, key frontiers in research, and enduring mysteries. Don Walsh, who, with late Swiss oceanographer Jacques Piccard, was the first to reach the ocean’s deepest point, the Mariana Trench, in 1960. These commitments include a $1 million pledge by Alex Trebek to create an endowment for the National Geographic Bee, a competition he hosted for the last 25 years. Wine was provided by Iron Horse Vineyards, which is donating proceeds from each publicly sold bottle of its 2008 Ocean Reserve Blanc de Blancs to National Geographic’s initiative to restore the ocean’s health and productivity.
In 2005, he received the Will Owen Jones Distinguished Journalist of the Year Award, and in 2007, was appointed a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Against Hunger on behalf of the World Food Programme. The DEEPSEA CHALLENGE expedition was the result of a more-than-seven-year engineering effort by Cameron and his team. Additionally, he serves on the board of the National Geographic Society Education Foundation.
Trebek was first noticed by American viewers in 1973 when he hosted the NBC game show “Wizard of Odds.” After several other hosting roles, Trebek was chosen as host of “Jeopardy!” and quickly became a pop culture icon. For his work in conservation, he has received the Gold Medal of the Worldwide Fund for Nature and the Audubon Medal of the Audubon Society. Buffett for his contribution to conservation, the Adventurer of the Year Award to BASE jumper Felix Baumgartner for his 2012 feat of accelerating through the speed of sound in freefall to advance aerospace research, and the Alexander Graham Bell Medal to National Geographic Bee moderator and “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek for his 25 years of service to the Bee and his commitment to geography education. Buffett has served in a number of public positions, including on two Office of the United States Trade Representative committees and as chairman of the Nebraska Ethanol Authority and Development Board. In 2011, Buffett received the Triumph of Agriculture Exposition Agri Award, the World Ecology Award and the George McGovern Leadership Award. The expedition is featured in the June 2013 edition of National Geographic magazine and will be the subject of a 3-D feature film.
He has been honored with a coveted star on both the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the prestigious Canadian Walk of Fame in Toronto, making him one of only a handful of people honored by both the United States and Canada. He is currently Honorary Curator in Entomology and University Research Professor Emeritus at Harvard University.
No mere insidera€™s account of internal affairs, National Geographic 125 Years focuses on the impact that the National Geographic Society has made on the world and how it has reported and reflected a dramatically changing planet. Cameron also received the Explorer of the Year Award for his record-setting solo dive to the deepest point of the ocean in 2012. With that jump, the then-43-year-old completed his seven-year quest to become the first person to accelerate through the sound barrier without a vehicle, setting numerous records and providing valuable scientific research data in the process. Honors in 2012 included the National Farmers Union Meritorious Service to Humanity Award, the Columbia University Global Leadership Award, an honorary doctorate from Pennsylvania State University, the Leader in Agriculture Award from Agriculture Future of America and a Special Service Award from the Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development. Special galleries between each of the sections focus on storytelling techniques pioneered by National Geographic, including photography, television, and digital reportage.

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