• 1773

    In January, Captain James Cook crosses the Antarctic circle and circumnavigates Antarctica, though he doesn't sight land, deposits of rock seen in icebergs showed that a southern continent exists. His comment - "I make bold to declare that the world will derive no benefit from it".
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  • 1819

    Captain Thaddeus Bellingshausen a Russian naval officer in the Vostok and Mirny circumnavigates the Antarctic, first to cross the Antarctic circle since Cook.
  • 1821

    February the 7th. 1st known landing on continental Antarctica by American sealer Captain John Davis, though this is not acknowledged by all historians.
  • 1823

    British whaler James Weddell discovers the sea named after him and then reaches the most southerly point at that time 74° 15' S. No one else manages to penetrate the Weddell sea again for 80 years.
  • 1898

    March. Adrien de Gerlache and the crew of the "Belgica" become trapped in pack ice off the Antarctic Peninsula in the first scientific expedition to the continent. They become the first to survive an Antarctic winter(involuntarily!) as their ship drifts with the ice (they didn't enjoy it).
  • 1899

    Carsten Borchgrevink leads a British expedition that landed men at Cape Adare and built huts. This was the first time that anyone had wintered on the Antarctic landmass. Believed by some historians to be the first confirmed landing on continental Antarctica.
  • 1901

    Captain Scott, UK, leads his first Antarctic expedition to try to reach the South Pole, with Ernest Shackleton and Edward Wilson. They are forced to turn back two months later having reached 82 degrees south, suffering from snow blindness and scurvy.
  • 1907 - 1909

    1907 - 1909
    Ernest Shackleton leads expedition to within 156km / 97mls of the South Pole, turns back after supplies are exhausted.
  • 1909

    January, Australian Douglas Mawson reaches the South Magnetic Pole.
  • 1909

    December 14th. Norwegian Roald Amundsen leads a five man expedition that reaches the South Pole for the first time.
  • 1912

    January 18th. Britain's Captain Robert Falcon Scott reaches the South Pole to discover he has been beaten by Amundsen. All of the five man team (Scott, Bowers, Evans, Oates and Wilson), are to perish on the return journey only 11 miles from supply depot. Bodies are not discovered until November.
  • 1928

    Australian Sir George Wilkins and American Carl Benjamin Eielson are the first to fly over Antarctica around the peninsula region.
  • 1935

    Caroline Mikkelsen, Norway, is the first woman to set foot on Antarctica when she accompanies her husband, a whaling captain.
  • 1958

    1st July 1957 - 31st Dec 1958 International Geophysical Year 12 nations establish over 60 stations in Antarctica. The beginning of international cooperation in Antarctica and the start of the process by which Antarctica becomes "non-national".
  • March 2007 - March 2009

    March 2007 - March 2009
    International Polar Year - Actually Spans two years in order that researchers get the opportunity to work in both polar regions or work summer and winter if they wish.