Commemorate the National Geographic Society's 125th anniversary in 2013 with this new book featuring showstopping imagery and thrilling behind-the-scenes tales. No mere insider's account, the book focuses on the impact that the Society has made on the world and how it has reported and reflected a dramatically changing planet. Below is a list of 125 highlights from the Society's 125-year history.

1 1888: The National Geographic Society is founded on January 13.
2 1888: The first issue of National Geographic is published in October.
3 1890: Storms prevent summiting of Alaska’s Mount St. Elias during the first National Geographic field expedition, but the team discovers and names Mount Logan, Canada’s highest peak.
4 1896: National Geographic becomes an “illustrated monthly” magazine.
5 1899: Gilbert H. Grosvenor becomes the Society’s first full-time employee. He soon becomes Editor of National Geographic, remaining so until 1954.
6 1903: Elsie Bell Grosvenor (Gilbert Grosvenor’s wife) designs the National Geographic flag using blue, brown, and green stripes to signify sky, earth, and sea.
7 1905: Gilbert Grosvenor prints 11 full-page photos of Lhasa, Tibet, in the January issue. Membership soars in response to the emphasis on photography.
8 1906: The July issue includes 74 wildlife photographs by former congressman George Shiras III, inaugurating a tradition of innovative wildlife photography.
9 1909: The National Geographic Society, a sponsor of Robert E. Peary’s Arctic expedition, defends his claim of having been first to the North Pole.
10 1910: The February issue of National Geographic debuts a new cover bordered in oak leaves and acorns and crowned with laurel. Its buff color will evolve into the bright yellow rectangle that frames the magazine today.
11 1910: National Geographic publishes its first “color” photos, hand-tinted scenes of the Far East.
12 1913: Hiram Bingham’s illustrated report on Machu Picchu, Peru, is published. Excavation of the Inca city marks the Society’s first full-fledged foray into archaeology.
13 1914: The magazine’s first full-color photograph, “A Flower Garden in Ghent,” is published in the July issue.
14 1916: National Geographic deeds tracts of giant trees near the heart of Sequoia National Park in California to the National Park Service for safekeeping.
15 1916: On Alaska’s Katmai Peninsula, Robert Griggs discovers a spectacle of roaring steam vents he dubs Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes. Thanks to his reporting, the valley becomes the kernel of Katmai National Park.
16 1920s: Neil Judd excavates New Mexico’s Pueblo Bonito ruins. Helping him date the site, A. E. Douglass pioneers the use of dendrochronology, or tree-ring dating.
17 1922: Botanist Joseph Rock publishes the first of his many Geographic articles about China.
18 1925: Donald B. MacMillan’s Arctic expedition is the first use of aircraft and radio in polar exploration.
19 1920s: Geographic photographers begin accumulating a series of color “firsts”: first color photos made underground (of Carlsbad Caverns), first color aerial photo (from a dirigible).
20 1926: In the Dry Tortugas, Charles Martin and ichthyologist William Longley ignite a pound of explosive flash powder to make the first color photos underwater.
21 1927: Charles Lindbergh is honored with the National Geographic Hubbard Medal for his solo crossing of the Atlantic.
22 1928: The Society supports volcanologist Thomas Jagger to explore Pavlof Volcano on the Alaska Peninsula and to map 550 square miles of previously uncharted territory.
23 1929: Richard E. Byrd and three men of the Society-sponsored Byrd Antarctic Expedition become the first explorers to fly to the South Pole.
24 1932: The first motorized crossing of Asia from the Mediterranean to the Yellow Sea, the Citroën-Haardt Trans-Asiatic Expedition, is covered for the magazine by Maynard Owen Williams.
25 1930s: Distinctive hand-lettered fonts and other design elements become a signature look of National Geographic’s map supplements.
26 1934: William Beebe and Otis Barton complete the world’s deepest manned dive in a two-ton steel bathysphere off the Bermuda coast, setting a record unbroken for 15 years.
27 1935: The National Geographic-Army Air Corps stratosphere balloon Explorer II sets a new manned altitude record, rising some 14 miles above the Earth. The record stands for 21 years.
28 1935: Bradford Washburn explores and maps almost 5,000 square miles of unsurveyed Canadian territory, discovering 19 previously uncharted peaks.
29 1937: The first rolls of Eastman Kodak’s new 35mm color film, Kodachrome, begin coming in from photographers in the field.
30 1938-1946: Matthew Stirling finds 11 colossal stone heads, practically unearthing the previously unknown Olmec civilization, which thrived centuries before the more famous Maya.
31 1945: The New York Times praises the Society for its map supplements from 1939-1945, providing the geographic background to World War II.
32 1947: Maurice Ewing surveys the Mid-Atlantic Ridge systematically for the first time by tossing TNT overboard and letting out hydrophones to pick up the sonic echo of the underwater detonations.
33 1948: Anthropologist Charles P. Mountford directs the largest expedition ever undertaken in Australia.
34 1948: Ornithologist S. Dillon Ripley leads the first expedition permitted to enter parts of Nepal in a century. He discovers the spiny babbler, a bird thought to be extinct.
35 1948: Arthur Allen finds the nesting grounds for the bristle-thighed curlew. Though often seen in the South Pacific, it lays its eggs 6,000 miles away in the Alaskan tundra.
36 1949-1956: The NGS-Palomar Observatory Sky Survey is conducted. It’s the first photographic mapping of the entire night sky as seen from the Northern Hemisphere.
37 1952: George Van Biesbroeck observes a slight shift in starlight passing near the corona of the eclipsed sun. This is the “Einstein Shift” predicted by Albert Einstein, and helps confirm the theory of relativity.
38 1952: National Geographic publishes its first photos by Jacques-Yves Cousteau, co-inventor of scuba and pioneer of underwater research and archaeology.
39 1956: Pictures of fish and coral reefs by staff photographer Luis Marden appear in the February issue, revolutionizing art and the technique of underwater photography.
40 1958: The Bones of the Bounty, Luis Marden’s record of his discovery of the Bounty remains, airs on NBC—the first National Geographic film to air on TV.
41 1959: Pioneering wildlife biologists Frank and John Craighead begin their three-decade Society-supported studies of grizzly bears.
42 1959: A photo of the new 49-star U.S. flag commemorating Alaska’s statehood marks the debut of photographs on the National Geographic cover.
43 1950s: Harold Edgerton, inventor of high-speed strobe photography, tests designs for deep-sea cameras from the deck of Jacques Cousteau’s Calypso.
44 1957-1966: One of the largest Maya sites on the Yucatán Peninsula, Dzibilchaltún, is excavated by archaeologist E. Wyllys Andrews.
45 1959: Fossil finds in Tanzania’s Olduvai Gorge by Louis and Mary Leakey will prove Africa was the cradle of humankind. It’s the beginning of the Society’s support of paleoarchaeology.
46 1960: As the space age dawns, the Society provides special assistance to NASA. Geographic photographers make iconic images from the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo projects.
47 1960-1973: Insights into squid, octopuses, and sailfish result from Society support of Gilbert Voss, who also reveals how human activities are damaging the world’s coral reefs.
48 1961: At the suggestion of Louis Leakey, the Society supports Jane Goodall, whose work with chimpanzees in Tanzania will become a landmark project in animal behavior studies.
49 1961: With only a single scuba dive under his belt, archaeologist George Bass arrives in Turkey to pioneer the new discipline of underwater archaeology.
50 1962: November’s “Helicopter War in South Viet Nam” article features the first photos published of U.S. soldiers engaged in combat in Viet Nam.
51 1962: Inventor Edwin Link’s Society-supported Man-in-Sea Project proves that submarine compression chambers allow scuba divers to work underwater for extended time periods.
52 1962: Jacqueline Kennedy accepts a copy of The White House, the first comprehensive guide to the famous U.S. residence, published by the National Geographic Society.
53 1963: The first edition of the National Geographic Atlas of the World is published. It features 127,000 place-names, more than any American atlas at that time.
54 1963: An American team that includes the Geographic’s Barry Bishop summits Mount Everest.
55 1963-65: Excavations in Newfoundland directed by Norwegian archaeologist Helge Ingstad prove Norsemen visited North America five centuries before Columbus.
56 1965: Americans tune in to the first National Geographic Special, Americans on Everest, on CBS.
57 1965: The August issue of National Geographic’s tribute to the late Winston Churchill includes a flexible record of Churchill’s speeches bound into the magazine.
58 1966: Nearly 40 percent of the U.S. TV audience watch the Society’s Voyage of the Brigantine Yankee. It debuts the now famous theme music, the “National Geographic Fanfare.”
59 1966: Nicholas Clinch leads the American Antarctic Mountaineering Expedition to the top of Vinson Massif, Antarctica’s highest peak.
60 1966-1988: Society support allows Kenan Erim to excavate Aphrodisias in Turkey, one of the finest sites in classical archaeology.
61 1967: Dian Fossey begins her 18-year study of mountain gorillas in Rwanda.
62 1967: A groundbreaking map of the ocean floor introduces Geographic readers to the notion of plate tectonics.
63 1968: After many years of Society efforts, California’s Redwood National Park is signed into law.
64 1969: Apollo 11’s Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set foot on the moon, carrying with them the hopes of humanity (and a tiny National Geographic Society flag).
65 1970: National Geographic presents an unsparing look at pollution in a December cover story that inaugurates an era of hard-hitting photojournalism.
66 1971: Biruté Galdikas, a protegee of Louis Leakey, begins her long career studying Borneo’s endangered orangutans.
67 1971: Working in the Red Sea with marine biologist Eugenie Clark, David Doubilet launches his career as one of National Geographic’s preeminent underwater photographers.
68 1976: Haunting songs of humpback whales are studied by Roger Payne, one of the first scientists to identify individual cetaceans by the markings on their flukes.
69 1974-1988: Working in the rain forests of Peru and Colombia, Alwyn Gentry collects plant specimens, hundreds of which are new to science.
70 1975: Revealing the marvels of the human body, the Society’s first special on PBS, The Incredible Machine, breaks viewership records.
71 1975: World magazine (later renamed National Geographic Kids) replaces an aging National Geographic School Bulletin. By year’s end its circulation reaches 1.3 million.
72 1975: Donald Johanson (discoverer of the hominid fossil “Lucy”) returns to Ethiopia to find 13 additional fossil individuals, dubbed the First Family of Hominids.
73 1975: Fred and Norah Urquhart’s team discovers the wintering grounds of the eastern population of North America’s monarch butterflies in Mexico.
74 1977: Thanks to a National Geographic photo team, scientists discover the first hydrothermal vents deep in the Pacific Ocean’s Galápagos Rift.
75 1978: Mary Leakey uncovers the world’s oldest hominid footprints, left in volcanic ash some 3.6 million years ago.
76 1979: In a pressurized hard-shell diving suit, Sylvia Earle strolls on the seafloor off Oahu, Hawaii, some 1,200 feet beneath the surface—the first human to walk untethered at such depth.
77 1981: Writer Rowe Findley's "Eruption of Mount St. Helens: Mountain with a Death Wish," published in the January issue, becomes one of the most popular articles in National Geographic history.
78 1981: A special 13th issue of National Geographic is published on the topic of energy.
79 1982: Herculaneum, a Roman town that disappeared when Vesuvius erupted in A.D. 79, is excavated by anthropologist Sara Bisel.
80 1984: Steve McCurry takes several photos of a young Afghan in a Pakistan refugee camp, not realizing that the girl with the haunting eyes would become an icon of the Geographic.
81 1984: The Society launches a new magazine, National Geographic Traveler.
82 1984: Society President Gilbert M. Grosvenor creates the National Geographic Society Education Foundation.
83 1984: Sandstone exposures near Lake Turkana in Kenya surrender the first nearly complete skeleton of Homo erectus.
84 1985: The Society launches a new TV series, National Geographic EXPLORER.
85 1985: From Society headquarters, undersea explorer Robert Ballard announces the discovery of the resting place of the Titanic.
86 1986-1991: Katy Payne and Joyce Poole discover a hidden means of elephant communication: Far-flung herds stay in touch via infrasonic rumblings.
87 1986: After watching a remora riding on the back of a shark, engineer Greg Marshall conceives the Crittercam, a camera system that can relay an animal's-eye view of the world.
88 1987: In Sipán, Peru, archaeologist Christopher Donnan discovers the richest pre-Columbian tomb ever found.
89 1987: Geography Awareness Week is established by a joint resolution of Congress.
90 1989: The Society holds the first National Geographic Bee, hosted by Alex Trebek.
91 1995: Archaeologist Johan Reinhard discovers the “Ice Maiden,” the mummified remains of a young girl buried 500 years ago on a Peruvian mountaintop.
92 1995: National Geographic Japan marks the magazine’s expansion into local languages.
93 1996: National Geographic gains unprecedented access to the White House to film Inside the White House.
94 1996: Polar explorer Will Steger, having completed a 116-day trek across Arctic pack ice, becomes the first National Geographic explorer-in-residence.
95 1996: launches.
96 1996-1997: National Geographic Channel launches internationally. The channel’s U.S. debut follows in 2001.
97 1999-2008: In an ancient Maya palace in Cancuén, Guatemala, archaeologist Arthur Demarest finds remains of men, women, and children likely massacred around A.D. 800.
98 2000: Martin Wikelski pioneers bird and insect studies by fixing tiny radio receivers to migrating songbirds and dragonflies.
99 2000-2004: Paleontologist David Lordkipanidze finds hominid fossils up to 1.8 million years old at Dmanisi in the republic of Georgia.
100 2000: Michael Fay completes his epic Megatransect across 1,200 miles of African rain forest. One result: Ten percent of Gabon’s land will be preserved for a chain of national parks.
101 2000: National Geographic’s cover story on Bolivia’s Madidi National Park raises awareness about the region’s biodiversity and threats from development.
102 2000: The 40-foot-long skeleton of Sarcosuchus, dubbed the SuperCroc, is unearthed in the Sahara by paleontologist Paul Sereno.
103 2001: Meave Leakey discovers a new genus of hominid, Kenyanthropus platyops.
104 2001: Sebastian Junger interviews anti-Taliban leader Ahmad Shah Massoud shortly before Massoud is killed on the eve of 9/11. The show airs on the new National Geographic Channel.
105 2002: Archaeologist Guillermo (Willy) Cock discovers thousands of Inca mummies in Lima, Peru.
106 2003: Archaeologist William Saturno’s important discovery of a pristine Maya mural in Guatemala is announced in National Geographic.
107 2003: Dog Whisperer With Cesar Millan debuts on the National Geographic Channel.
108 2004: Michael Fay and Peter Ragg complete their Megaflyover of Africa. Their work spawns a habitat map and hundreds of images uploaded to Google Earth.
109 2005: Spencer Wells launches the Genographic Project, hoping to find clues to the human past hidden in our genes.
110 2005: Dean Falk’s endocast studies of an elfin hominid skull found in Indonesia indicate that Homo floresiensis was indeed a separate species.
111 2005: Grantees Tim Samaras and Carsten Peter take the first photos from inside the cone of a tornado.
112 2005: Stephen Richards and Bruce Beehler discover a “lost world” in New Guinea’s Foja Mountains with hundreds of different plant and animal species, 40 of them previously unknown.
113 2005: Marine ecologist Enric Sala inaugurates his Pristine Seas initiative, prompting creation of marine reserves in Costa Rica and Chile.
114 2006: The National Geographic film March of the Penguins wins an Academy Award for best documentary feature.
115 2006: U.S. President George W. Bush creates the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument, long championed by Explorer-in-Residence Sylvia Earle.
116 2006: National Geographic reveals the only known surviving copy of the Gospel of Judas. Initial interpretations of the text suggest that Jesus may have planned events leading to his death.
117 2007: Photographer James Balog documents the shocking speed at which ice on Earth is vanishing in his Geographic cover story, “The Big Thaw.”
118 2007: On their “Language Hotspots” map, K. David Harrison and Greg Anderson identify languages in danger of extinction.
119 2009: Explorers-in-Residence Dereck and Beverly Joubert spearhead the Big Cats Initiative to raise awareness of the decline of the world’s big cats.
120 2009: Albert Yu-Min Lin searches for Genghis Khan’s tomb.
121 2010: The National Geographic World Atlas iPhone app is downloaded more than one million times. The first downloadable, interactive edition of National Geographic debuts as well.
122 2011: Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner becomes the first woman to summit all 14 of the world’s 8,000-meter peaks without using supplemental oxygen.
123 2011: The National Geographic documentary Restrepo, a film about an Army deployment to a remote valley in Afghanistan, is nominated for an Academy Award.
124 2011: Krithi Karanth receives the Society’s 10,000th grant; she will study conflicts between wildlife and humans in India.
125 2012: Explorer-in-Residence James Cameron completes the first solo trip to the ocean’s deepest spot, the Mariana Trench.

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