Renee Braden

By Renee Braden, National Geographic Archives On the cold, wet night of January 13, 1888, (we say in an appropriately dignified tone) 33 gentlemen gathered in the original Cosmos Club located on Lafayette Park near the White House. Among them were trailblazing government scientists and proto-conservationists—men such as John Wesley Powell, Cleveland Abbe, Clarence Dutton, and Henry Gannett....

By Renee Braden, NG Archivist Happy birthday National Geographic! We’re 124 today, and as it happens, our founding day was a Friday the 13th as well. The founders, being of a decidedly scientific persuasion, rejected superstition and braved a cold, slushy night to arrive at the Cosmos Club to discuss the “advisability of organizing a...

Donald Macmillan, left, confers with A.W. Greely.   By Renee Braden When veteran Arctic explorer Captain Donald B. MacMillan set out on his 1923-24 expedition to northern Greenland and Ellesmere Island, he hoped to carry out an ambitious program of scientific research. But he also intended to discharge a very special duty. Within the hold...

By NG Archivists Cathy Hunter and Renee Braden Today the National Geographic Society celebrates 123 years of carrying out our mission to increase and diffuse geographic knowledge and to explore the world and all that’s in it. That very first gathering on January 13, 1888, is portrayed in a painting that hangs at NG headquarters...

By Cathy Hunter, Renee Braden, and Michael Jourdan Third in a three-part series commemorating Jacques Cousteau “In the middle ’50s, I saw the first of the Jacques Cousteau films, Silent World, and I wanted to do that–explore underwater using an Aqua-Lung. I used my paper route money to buy a ‘genuine French Squalle dive mask’...

By Cathy Hunter, Renee Braden, and Krista Mantsch Second in a three-part series commemorating Jacques Cousteau “Il faut aller voir.” (“We must go and see.”) – Jacques Cousteau Jacques-Yves Cousteau began his lifelong odyssey with the sea seeking a little adventure; by the end, he had inspired people around the globe to look more closely...

By Cathy Hunter, Renee Braden, and Krista Mantsch First in a three-part series commemorating Jacques Cousteau “The sea is everything. It covers seven-tenths of the terrestrial globe. Its breath is pure and healthy. It is an immense desert, where man is never lonely, for he feels life stirring on all sides. The sea is only...