My birthday


“Polar explorer ERNEST SHACKLETON (1874-1922) is today’s go-to fearless leader, although he didn’t discover the South Pole or cross the Antarctic continent. What he did do made such feats pale in comparison. In 1914, his ship, The Endurance, was crushed by pack ice, stranding his Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition beyond hope of radio or rescue. Shackleton led twenty-seven men on a nearly two-year journey across shifting ice floes, treacherous oceans, and uninhabited island edges. Their adventure culminated in a near-suicidal 800-mile lifeboat journey across the roughest seas in the world, as well as an impromptu, inexperienced traverse of an uncharted and glacier-ridden mountain range. The story of The Endurance involves so much suspension of disbelief (even though it’s all true) that every film about it has fallen short, and every written account has been crushed by the packed action. In 1917, when he returned everyone under his care alive, a nation shrugged and got back to the business of slaughter. But Shackleton’s irrepressible optimism and perseverance outlasted his era, and today his adventure is recognized for what it was: the most excellent.”

Ernest Shackleton by Peggy Nelson, 2011; part of the ongoing HiLo Heroes series on

About Ernest Shackleton

Polar Explorer. Leader of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, 1914-1917.
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