Peary Or Cook: Who Discovered The North Pole?

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After the armistice Peary’s health failed. His final public appearance came in January, 1919, at a National Geographic Society program honoring Stefansson for his arctic explorations. Later that year Peary wrote his last article; in it he stated, “The next war will be fought and won in the air.”

He died on February 20, 1920, and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Covering the casket on its trip to the place of burial was the flag that Mrs. Peary had made for her husband years before—the flag he had carried on all his arctic trips and the one he had planted on top of the igloo at the North Pole.

John Edward Weems is associated with the University of Texas Press. He is the author of a book on the Peary-Cook controversy, Race for the Pole, published by Henry Holt.