Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS

Montage of images and link description. Alone on the Ice Imagemap: linked to kids and home
The Film and More
Imagemap(text links below) of menu items
The American Experience
The Film & More
Interview Transcripts | Further Reading

Norman Vaughan on: How He Learned of the Expedition
Norman Vaughan Q: Tell me how you first learned about Byrd's expedition and what you decided you wanted to do when you read about it.

NV: I was studying at Harvard College one night and the door opened and in came the Boston Transcript, the evening paper of the city, and there with banner headlines it said, "Byrd to the South Pole." I read it and at that moment I decided I wanted to go. I said to my roommates, look at this, I've got to go. And one of them said how in the world can you go, if you don't know Byrd. I answered by saying I don't know but I'm going to go and I'm going to tell you what I'm going to do. And I left right away and that very next morning I was at Admiral Byrd's house in Boston and that's how I started.

I approached Admiral Byrd's house with the expectation of meeting him and this buxom gal came to the door, and when I asked for an appointment she put her arms akimbo and said, if you don't have an appointment nobody gets by me. And she really meant it and so she blew right there, all the thoughts I had the previous evening and night about going across the tundra of Antarctica and I just thought I'd never make it. But I turned around and started down the sidewalk and had a new idea and that was to find the journalist who had written that story about Admiral Byrd because I know he could get back to see him and I found him. I asked him to help me reach my message to Commander Byrd. And with some interest first, and a great deal of interest later, he said he would do that.

back to Interview Transcripts | next

Program Description | Enhanced Transcript | Reference

The Film & More | Special Features | Timeline | Maps | People & Events | Teacher's Guide
The American Experience | Kids | Feedback | Search | Shop | Subscribe

©  New content 1999 PBS Online / WGBH

Exclusive Corporate Funding is provided by: