On This Day
1939 – Norway claims Queen Maud Land in Antarctica.
Queen Maud Land (Norwegian: Dronning Maud Land)[note 1] is a c. 2.7 million square kilometre (1.04 million sq mi) region of Antarctica claimed as a dependent territory by Norway. The territory lies between 20° west and 45° east, between the claimed British Antarctic Territory to the west and the similarly claimed Australian Antarctic Territory to the east. On most maps there had been an unclaimed area between Queen Maud Land’s borders of 1939 and the South Pole until 12 June 2015 when Norway formally annexed that area. Positioned in East Antarctica, the territory comprises about one-fifth of the total area of Antarctica. The claim is named after the Norwegian queen Maud of Wales (1869–1938).
Norwegian Hjalmar Riiser-Larsen was the first person known to have set foot in the territory, in 1930. On 14 January 1939, the territory was claimed by Norway. On 23 June 1961, Queen Maud Land became part of the Antarctic Treaty System, making it a demilitarised zone. It is one of two Antarctic claims made by Norway, the other being Peter I Island. They are administrated by the Polar Affairs Department of the Norwegian Ministry of Justice and Public Security in Oslo.
Most of the territory is covered by the Antarctic ice sheet, and a tall ice wall stretches throughout its coast. In some areas further within the ice sheet, mountain ranges breach through the ice, allowing for birds to breed and the growth of a limited flora. The region is divided into the Princess Martha Coast, Princess Astrid Coast, Princess Ragnhild Coast, Prince Harald Coast and Prince Olav Coast. The waters off the coast are called the King Haakon VII Sea.
There is no permanent population, although there are 12 active research stations housing a maximum average[clarification needed] of 40 scientists, the numbers fluctuating depending on the season. Six are occupied year-round, while the remainder are seasonal summer stations. The main aerodromes for intercontinental flights, corresponding[clarification needed] with Cape Town, South Africa, are Troll Airfield, near the Norwegian Troll research station, and a runway at the Russian Novolazarevskaya Station.
Born On This Day
1862 – Carrie Derick, Canadian botanist and geneticist (d. 1941)
Carrie Matilda Derick (January 14, 1862 – November 10, 1941) was a Canadian botanist and geneticist, the first female professor in a Canadian university, and the founder of McGill University’s Genetics Department.
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49 Writers Blog: Dan Henry | Buckwheat Walking: A 2006 Trip Journal
Editor’s Note: Thank you to Dan Henry for offering this remembrance of Carlin “Buckwheat” Donahue. Dan writes, “Buckwheat was the founder of many fine events (such as the Skagway Belly Bounce), but is remembered by writers for being a co-founder of the North Words Writers Symposium, now in its 11th year, in Skagway on May 27-30, 2020. Buckwheat took his last walk on October 14, 2019. He is deeply missed.” Here is an excerpt from Dan’s journal describing the days he accompanied Buckwheat on part of his transcontinental walk.