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Jan. 13, 1888 -- Thirty-three founding members meet at the Cosmos Club, Washington, D.C., to create "a society for the increase and diffusion of geographic knowledge."

October 1888 -- First issue of National Geographic magazine sent to 200 charter members.

1890-91-- First National Geographic Society-sponsored expedition maps the Mount St. Elias region, Alaska; discovers Mount Logan, Canada's highest peak.

Jan. 7, 1898 -- Alexander Graham Bell assumes National Geographic Society's presidency.

February 1903 -- Gilbert H. Grosvenor becomes editor of National Geographic.

January 1905 -- Grosvenor fills 11 pages of the magazine with photos of Lhasa in Tibet. Expecting to be fired, he is instead congratulated by Society members.

July 1906 -- Grosvenor publishes George Shiras III's pioneering flash photographs of animals at night; two National Geographic Society board members resign in disgust, claiming magazine is turning into a "picture book."

April 6, 1909 -- Robert E. Peary and Matthew A. Henson are the first to reach the North Pole in National Geographic Society-supported expedition.

1912-15 -- National Geographic Society-supported expeditions led by Hiram Bingham excavate Machu Picchu, lost mountaintop city of the Inca, in the Peruvian Andes.

1920 -- Gilbert H. Grosvenor becomes president of National Geographic Society (through 1954).

1926 -- National Geographic staff photographer Charles Martin and scientist W.H. Longley make first natural-color underwater pictures.

Nov. 29, 1929 -- Richard E. Byrd achieves man's first flight over South Pole; photographs 60,000square miles of Antarctica from the air.

1930 -- Melville Bell Grosvenor makes first published natural-color aerial photographs.
1941National Geographic Society opens its storehouse of photographs, maps and other cartographic data to President Roosevelt and the U.S. armed forces to aid war efforts.

October 1952 -- Magazine publishes first of many undersea articles by Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

August 1956 -- Magazine publishes deepest undersea photographs made to date, from 25,000 feet down in mid-Atlantic Romanche Trench.

September 1959 -- Color photographs begin to appear regularly on magazine cover.

September 1960 -- National Geographic reports discovery by Louis and Mary Leakey of manlike Zinjanthropus, more than 1.75 million years old.

1961 -- Jane Goodall begins study of chimpanzees in Tanzania's Gombe Stream Park using National Geographic Society funds.

February 1962 -- The magazine publishes its first all-color issue.

June 1962 -- John Glenn carries National Geographic Society flag on first U.S. orbital space flight.

May 1963 -- First Americans conquer Mount Everest in National Geographic Society-supported expedition.

1965 -- National Geographic television programming debuts with the National Geographic Special "Americans on Everest" on CBS.

1967 -- Dian Fossey begins long-term National Geographic Society-funded study of mountain gorillas in Rwanda.

July 1969 -- Apollo 11 astronauts carry National Geographic Society flag to the moon.

1975 -- National Geographic World replaces School Bulletin as young people's publication; circulation reaches 1.3 million by 1976.

April 1979 -- Mary Leakey reports discovery of 3.6 million-year-old footprints believed to be from the slow-walking ancestors of modern man, in the volcanic ash of a riverbed in Tanzania.

1984 -- Undersea archaeology pioneer George F. Bass, supported by the Society, discovers most extensive collection of Bronze Age trade goods ever found beneath the sea, in a 3,400-year-old shipwreck off southern Turkey.

1984 -- National Geographic Traveler, the travel magazine of the Society, is launched.

March 1984 -- Holographic image of an eagle appears on National Geographic cover, pioneering use of holograms in a large-circulation magazine.

1985 -- Under the leadership of Gil Grosvenor, the Society launches a Geography Education Program, with goal of improving geography instruction in school systems.

September 1985 -- Results of R.M.S. Titanic discovery announced at National Geographic Society by Robert D. Ballard.

May 1, 1986 -- Six members of Steger International Polar Expedition, including one woman, are first to reach North Pole by dog sled without resupply since Peary and Henson in 1909.

October 1986 -- Senior Associate Editor Joseph Judge reports after years of study that Christopher Columbus discovered the New World at Samana Cay in the Bahamas.

January 1988 -- Society celebrates its 100th birthday.

December 1988 -- Centennial issue with hologram cover devoted to topic "Can Man Save This Fragile Earth?"

January 1989 -- National Geographic Bee is launched. By 10th anniversary, 5 million students a year participate.

July 1989 -- Entire magazine is devoted to the subject of France on that country's bicentennial.

January 1993 -- Paul Sereno of the University of Chicago announces at Society headquarters the discovery of the world's earliest dinosaur.

April 1995 -- Japanese edition of National Geographic magazine begins. It is the first local-language edition of the magazine.

August 1995 -- National Geographic Television becomes a separate, taxable subsidiary company.

May 1996 -- A frozen mummy of an Inca girl, found on a summit in Peru, goes on display for the first time, in Society's Explorers Hall; a record 85,000 people view the exhibit.

June 1996 -- Society launches its website: www.nationalgeographic.com

August 1996 -- Mexico is the focus of the entire issue of the magazine.

July 1997 -- Discovery of eight ancient shipwrecks in the Mediterranean is announced at the Society by Robert D. Ballard.

August 1997 -- Paleoanthropologist Lee Berger describes the discovery in South Africa of the oldest footprints of modern humans ever found.

September 1997 -- "The Complete National Geographic: 108 Years of National Geographic Magazine" on CD-ROM is released.

September 1997 -- National Geographic Channels International is launched; by March 2007, it reaches over 230 million subscribers in 163 countries in 27 languages.

October 1997 -- National Geographic magazine's Spanish-language edition debuts in Spain.

November 1997 -- Latin American Spanish-language edition of National Geographic magazine begins.

February 1998 -- Italian-language edition of National Geographic magazine begins.

March 1998 -- Expeditions Council is created. In its first year, it contributes almost $1 million to fund expeditions to some of the most fascinating, little-known places on Earth.

April 1998 -- National Geographic produces its first large-format film, "Mysteries of Egypt."

May 1998 -- Robert Ballard's National Geographic-funded Midway mission finds U.S.S. Yorktown. The WWII carrier rests more than 3 miles under the Pacific.

June 1998 -- National Geographic announces discovery of fossil dinosaurs in China that have distinct feathers, cementing relationship between dinosaurs and birds.

June 1998 -- Hebrew-language edition of National Geographic magazine launches in Israel.

September 1998 -- Society makes millennial gift to United States and Canada — a new wall map of the world for every school.

October 1998 -- Greek-language edition of National Geographic magazine launches.

November 1998 -- Paul Sereno announces at the Society the discovery of a huge predatory dinosaur in the Sahara in the Republic of Niger, West Africa. Named Suchomimus tenerensis, the fish-eating dinosaur had a skull like a crocodile and foot-long thumbs.

January 1999 -- A team led by Ian Baker discovers a waterfall of the Tsangpo Gorge in southern Tibet. Legend since the 19th century, Hidden Falls measures 115 feet in height and was kept secret by Monpa hunters for hundreds of years.

March 1999 -- High-altitude archaeologist Johan Reinhard discovers three frozen mummies and exquisite Inca artifacts in a grave atop Argentina's Mount Llullaillaco, the world's highest archaeological site.

April 1999 -- Marine biologist Sylvia Earle launches exploration phase of the Sustainable Seas Expeditions, the Society's five-year project to explore and document U.S. marine sanctuaries.

April 1999 -- National Geographic Adventure magazine premieres. It draws on exclusive content generated by National Geographic Society explorers and adventurers around the globe.

June 1999 -- Expedition led by Robert Ballard discovers two ancient Phoenician shipwrecks in eastern Mediterranean Sea.

September 1999 -- Launch of local-language editions of National Geographic magazine in French, German and Polish.

November 1999 -- Renowned mountain photographer/explorer Bradford Washburn announces the revised elevation of the world's highest mountain. Mount Everest is now officially 29,035 feet (8,850 meters), 7 feet taller than the previously accepted height determined in 1954.

November 1999 -- Giant plant-eating dinosaur from the Sahara, Jobaria tiguidensis, is unveiled by paleontologist Paul Sereno at the Society. The primitive, long-necked dinosaur weighed an estimated 20 tons and grew to a length of 70 feet (21 meters).

November 1999 -- Robert Ballard announces evidence from a July 1999 expedition that supports the theory of a great flood in the Black Sea 7,000 years ago.

January 2000 -- Launch of National Geographic magazine in Korean.

April 2000 -- National Geographic assembles first class of Explorers-in-Residence to redefine exploration for the new millennium. They are Stephen Ambrose, Robert Ballard, Wade Davis, Sylvia Earle, Jane Goodall, Johan Reinhard and Paul Sereno.

May 2000 -- Launch of National Geographic magazine in Portuguese for Brazil.

August 2000 -- Using advanced Global Positioning System equipment, a Society-sponsored team pinpoints precise source of Amazon River on Nevado Mismi Mountain in Peru.

September 2000 -- Danish, Swedish and Norwegian editions of National Geographic magazine launch.

October 2000 -- First Dutch edition of National Geographic magazine is published.

November 2000 -- Robert Ballard announces discovery of well-preserved, 1,500-year-old wooden ship in Black Sea.

January 2001 -- The Society enters the 21st century with an added purpose: to encourage better stewardship of the planet.

January 2001 -- National Geographic Channel launches on cable and satellite television in the U.S.

January 2001 -- Chinese (traditional characters) and Finnish editions of National Geographic magazine launch.

February 2001 -- Discovery of 1,500-year-old tombs from Moche culture in Peru announced.

March 2001 -- Society-sponsored mega-trek across 2,000 miles of Africa by conservationist Michael Fay captures portrait of pristine wilderness.

March 2001 -- Grantee Meave Leakey announces discovery of 3.5 million- to 3.2 million-year-old fossils that belong to new genus of human ancestors.

April 2001 -- Portuguese edition of National Geographic magazine debuts.

May 2001 -- First Turkish edition of National Geographic magazine is published.

July 2001 -- Egyptian archaeologist Zahi Hawass is appointed National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence.

August 2001 -- Thai edition of National Geographic magazine premieres.

September 2001 -- National Geographic for Kids (now National Geographic Explorer) magazine debuts in 50,000 U.S. classrooms.

October 2001 -- Paul Sereno announces discovery of fossil remains of enormous crocodilian, Sarcosuchus imperator, which lived 110 million years ago in the Sahara.

December 2001 -- National Geographic Conservation Trust, new grant-making body to support conservation activities around the world, is launched.

March 2002 -- National Geographic announces it has located Sharbat Gula, the "Afghan Girl," who appeared on the cover of the June 1985 issue of National Geographic magazine. Her photograph became the most recognized in the magazine's 114-year history.

April 2002 -- National Geographic grantee Willy Cock announces discovery of thousands of Inca mummies in Lima, Peru.

May 2002 -- National Geographic's 50th Anniversary Everest Expedition reaches the top of Mount Everest. Team members include Peter Hillary, Jamling Norgay and Brent Bishop, sons of Everest pioneers.

July 2002 -- Robert Ballard announces discovery of what is believed to be the wreck of John F. Kennedy's wartime boat, PT 109, in the South Pacific.

July 2002 -- National Geographic releases its first feature film, "K-19: The Widowmaker," starring Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson.

July 2002 -- Mother-and-daughter paleontologists Meave and Louise Leakey are appointed National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence.

September 2002 -- National Geographic World magazine is renamed National Geographic Kids. Classroom magazine National Geographic for Kids is renamed National Geographic Explorer.

October 2002 -- Czech-language edition of National Geographic magazine debuts.

November 2002 -- National Geographic-Roper Geographic Literacy Survey of some 3,000 18- to 24-year-olds in nine countries showed young Americans were outperformed by most of their international counterparts. The U.S. scored second to last.

January 2003 -- Robert Ballard announces the discovery of the oldest shipwreck ever found in the Black Sea, dating from between the fifth and third centuries B.C.

March 2003 -- Hungarian edition of National Geographic magazine is launched.

May 2003 -- National Geographic magazine premieres in Romanian.

September 2003 -- National Geographic Speakers Bureau is formed, with more than three dozen journalists, photographers, adventurers and scientists in the program.

October 2003 -- Russian-language edition of National Geographic magazine debuts.
October 2003Historia National Geographic, a history magazine, launches in Spain.

November 2003 -- Croatian edition of National Geographic magazine premieres.

March 2004 -- National Geographic All Roads Film project launches, providing a global platform for indigenous and under-represented minority-culture filmmakers around the world to showcase their talents and cultures to a broader audience.

May 2004 -- National Geographic Home Collection of furniture debuts.

June 2004 -- Robert Ballard returns to Titanic to investigate the condition of the wreck
19 years after he discovered it.

June 2004 -- Society Chairman Gilbert M. Grosvenor celebrates his 50th anniversary at National Geographic and is awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

September 2004 -- First class of National Geographic Emerging Explorers is announced. Selected annually, they are gifted adventurers, scientists and researchers making an important contribution to world knowledge while still early in their careers.

October 2004 -- Honduras becomes first country to adopt National Geographic's Geotourism Charter, committing to be a sustainable destination, managing tourism development wisely. Geotourism is defined as tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place. Norway signs the Geotourism Charter in August 2005; Romania in September 2005.

January 2005 -- National Geographic teams with Siemens to sponsor a five-year project CT scanning ancient Egyptian mummies, including King Tutankhamun.

March 2005 -- Research grantee Dean Falk announces results of a sophisticated study of the brain of the fossil known as "Hobbit," a dwarf-like hominid discovered in Indonesia.

March 2005 -- Indonesian edition of National Geographic magazine debuts.

April 2005 -- National Geographic launches the Genographic Project, a five-year DNA study to map humanity's migratory journey through the ages, in partnership with IBM and the Waitt Family Foundation.

April 2005 -- Anthropologist and population geneticist Spencer Wells is appointed a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence.

May 2005 -- National Geographic sponsors two teams to recreate the face of King Tut using information from the CT scans obtained in January 2005. The reconstructed face is unveiled on the June 2005 cover of National Geographic magazine.

June 2005 -- National Geographic Feature Films partners with Warner Independent Pictures to market and distribute "March of the Penguins," the second-highest-grossing feature documentary film ever released.

September 2005 -- National Geographic magazine publishes a special Katrina issue on the hurricane and its aftermath. It is the most accelerated issue of the magazine ever produced — on newsstands just over three weeks after the hurricane hit.

November 2005 -- National Geographic magazine launches in Bulgaria.

November 2005 -- The December 2005 cover story of National Geographic magazine unveils "Godzilla," a fossil sea monster discovered off Argentina by National Geographic research grantee Zulma Gasparini. News of the sea monster appears in media around the world.

February 2006 -- National Geographic acquires Hampton-Brown, leading publisher of English-as-a- second-language materials.

April 2006 -- National Geographic, in collaboration with the Maecenas Foundation for Ancient Art and the Waitt Institute for Historical Discovery, announces discovery, translation and authentication of ancient codex containing Gospel of Judas.

April 2006 -- National Geographic magazine launches in Slovenia.

May 2006 -- National Geographic establishes its Fellows program to encourage flow of ideas between the Society and field experts.

July 2006 -- National Geographic World Music debuts, offering consumers a soundtrack to the world. Worldmusic.nationalgeographic.com showcases international artists and musical performances in an interactive and immersive online environment.

October 2006 -- Paleoanthropologist and National Geographic research grantee Zeresenay Alemseged announces find of fossil of world's oldest infant, dating from 3.3 million years ago, in Ethiopia.

October 2006 -- National Geographic wins the 2006 Prince of Asturias Award for Communicationand Humanities.

October 2006 -- With support from Lindblad Expeditions, National Geographic launches Young Explorers Grants Program to help budding scientists, conservationists and explorers aged 18-25 get a start in their careers.

November 2006 -- Serbian-language edition of National Geographic magazine debuts.

January 2007 -- National Geographic launches its first Arabic-language magazine with National Geographic Junior in Egypt.

January 2007 -- Grantee Mike Parker Pearson announces discovery of the remains of houses of the builders of Stonehenge.

March 2007 -- As part of its mission to inspire people to care about the planet, National Geographic acquires "The Green Guide," a comprehensive Web site (www.thegreenguide.com) and bimonthly newsletter offering practical advice on how to lead a more environmentally sensitive life.

April 2007 -- National Geographic magazine debuts in Orthodox Hebrew.

July 2007 -- National Geographic magazine launches a Chinese (simplified characters) edition in China.

September 2007 -- National Geographic fellow Chris Rainier and grantee David Harrison announce top hotspots around the world where languages are disappearing most rapidly. Enduring Voices Project, a program to document and revitalize vanishing languages, is launched.

November 2007 -- Explorer-in-Residence and grantee Paul Sereno unveils 100 million-year-old dinosaur, Nigersaurus taqueti, whose bizarre anatomy reveals it grazed like a Mesozoic cow.

December 2007 -- Grantee Phillip Manning announces discovery of an extraordinarily preserved, mummified dinosaur in North Dakota. Much of the animal's tissues and bones were still encased in an uncollapsed envelope of skin.

May 2008 -- National Geographic and international polling firm GlobeScan unveil the Greendex, a global research project that measures and monitors consumer behaviors that impact the environment. Conducted among consumers in 14 countries in 2008, it will be repeated annually to monitor progress toward environmentally sustainable consumption.

May 2008 -- Grantee Mike Parker Pearson announces dating of human remains at Stonehenge shows that burials took place at the monument for some 500 years — a discovery that goes to the heart of the question surrounding Stonehenge: Why was it built?

July 2008 -- Archaeologists funded by National Geographic announce discovery of the remains of George Washington's boyhood home at Ferry Farm near Fredericksburg, Va.

August 2008 -- Explorer-in-Residence Paul Sereno announces discovery of a Stone-Age graveyard in the Sahara, providing an unparalleled record of life when the region was green.

September 2008 -- National Geographic launches Foods of the World, an online marketplace, where consumers can experience and share the world's food and cultures.

September 2008 -- Explorer-in-Residence Paul Sereno announces discovery of Aerosteon, a 10-meter-long, meat-eating dinosaur in Argentina that had a bird-like breathing system.

November 2008 -- National Geographic opens its first global retail store on London's Regent Street.

December 2008 -- National Geographic opens its first Asian retail store in Singapore.

January 2009 -- National Geographic Music, the Society's music division, launches Nat Geo Music label.

September 2009 -- Explorer-in-Residence Mike Fay announces results of 1,800-mile walk though the California coast redwoods.

September 2009 -- Explorer-in-Residence Paul Sereno announces discovery of tiny Tyrannosaurus rex, Raptorex kriegsteini in northeastern China.

October 2009 -- National Geographic magazine launches in Lithuania.

November 2009 -- "Terra Cotta Warriors: Guardians of the First Emperor" exhibit opens at National Geographic Museum, with 15 terracotta figures, the largest number ever to travel to the United States.

November 2009 -- Explorer-in-Residence Paul Sereno announces discovery of suite of five ancient crocs, three of them new species, in the Sahara.

March 2010 -- National Geographic opens its first store in Spain, at Malaga Airport.

April 2010 -- National Geographic magazine publishes special single-topic issue on freshwater.

April 2010 -- National Geographic store opens in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

October 2010 -- National Geographic Al Arabiya, the Arabic-language edition of National Geographic magazine, launches. It is published in 15 countries across the Middle East and North Africa. This brings the number of local-language editions of the magazine to 33.

October 2010 -- National Geographic publishes the ninth edition of its signature "Atlas of the World."

November 2010 -- National Geographic opens its second Spanish store, in Madrid.



Barbara Moffet
National Geographic Society

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