National Geographic Celebrates 130 Years of Exploration

picture of National Geographic magazines

On January 13, 1888, members of D.C.’s scientific and intellectual circles gathered to consider organizing a society “for the increase and diffusion of geographic knowledge.” Ten months later, the first issue of National Geographic magazine was sent to 200 members. More than 13,000 grants followed, funding the ground-breaking work of Explorers like archaeologist Hiram Bingham, Arctic explorer Robert Peary, primatologist Jane Goodall and oceanographer Sylvia Earle.

Check out this video chronicling 130 years of National Geographic covers in under two minutes.

To honor our anniversary, National Geographic has launched a monthly digital series that will uncover rare artifacts from the Nat Geo vault. This month, the series reveals a video and images of a 115-year-old expedition to the North Pole.

Also check out this video focused on our history, touching on various accomplishments as we look to the future.

For anniversary content, please see below:

See 130 Years of National Geographic Covers in Under 2 Minutes

115 Years Ago, This Arctic Expedition Ended in Disaster

9 Photographs That Have Made History

130 Years of National Geographic

National Geographic Interactive Timeline

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Anna Kukelhaus Dynan,, 202-912-6724
Kelsey Taylor,, 202-912-6776