Today in History: March 29

We took risks, we knew we took them; things have come out against us, and therefore we have no cause for complaint, but bow to the will of Providence, determined still to do our best to the last … Had we lived, I should have had a tale to tell of the hardihood, endurance, and courage of my companions which would have stirred the heart of every Englishman.Captain Robert Falcon Scott

The final entry in Robert Falcon Scott’s diary is dated March 29, 1912, 104 years ago today. His expedition to the South Pole, begun in 1910 with his ship’s departure from Wales, had become by 1911 a race with Roald Amundsen’s team to be the first to reach the Pole. In January 1912, Scott and four others reached the South Pole only to find a tent and a month-old note from Amundsen stating that he had beaten Scott. The return journey, now one of defeat, stretched on for weeks. Scott and his team started to slow their travels due to frostbite, found that supplies left for them had evaporated in the cold, and missed a meeting by weeks with the remainder of his team. (The team had abandoned hope for them and returned to their ship, where they waited and waited for Scott.) One of Scott’s companions committed suicide simply by stepping outside their tent and standing in the harsh conditions outside: “I am just going outside and I may be some time,” were his last words, Scott wrote.

Scott made his final entry in pencil: “Every day we have been ready to start for our depot 11 miles away, but outside the door of the tent it remains a scene of whirling drift. I do not think we can hope for any better things now. We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker, of course, and the end cannot be far. It seems a pity but I do not think I can write more. R. Scott. Last entry. For God’s sake look after our people.”

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Eric Idle is 73 today and that is worth singing about:

 

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Senator Eugene McCarthy was born 100 years ago today. Sam Walton was born 98 years ago today.

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The right-wing television host John McLaughlin is 89 today. Sir John Major is 73. Vangelis is 73 today.

 
Walt “Clyde” Frazier is 71 years cool today. Bud Cort is 68. Christopher Kennedy Lawford is 61. Earl Campbell, the Tyler Rose, is 61 today. Marina Sirtis is 61. Christopher Lambert is 59 today. Perry Farrell is 57. Amy Sedaris is 55 today. Elle Macpherson is 52 today. John Popper is 49. Lucy Lawless is 48 today. Jennifer Capriati is 40.

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