Accession number: 1993.95.15
The 1920s was marked by adulation of national heroes in various fields—aviator Charles Lindbergh, home run king Babe Ruth, and Grand Slam golfer Robert Tyre Jones, Jr. Another hero of the 1920s was Richard Evelyn Byrd, a scion of one of Virginia's most famous families. Lieutenant (later Admiral) Richard E. Byrd reputedly was the first man (along with crew member Floyd Bennett) to fly over the North Pole on May 9, 1926. Some experts dispute that Byrd actually reached the North Pole, but at the time his claim was universally accepted. No one doubts that he and his crew were the first men to fly over the South Pole on November 28–29, 1929.
Byrd was not a "Lone Eagle" like Charles Lindbergh. Byrd organized complex expeditions that integrated all the latest technologies, and he raised money from wealthy investors, just as the Virginia Company of London had done in 1607.
Pictured here wearing a reindeer fur parka, Byrd strikes the kind of heroic pose that the media wanted to generate interest in the explorer and his Antarctic expeditions.
Read an article about Richard Byrd (From VMHB, Volume 110, Number 2)