Exploring National Geographic


National Geographic exhibit "A New Age of Exploration: National Geographic at 125." (Rebecca Hale/National Geographic /REBECCA HALE)

One of the most arresting elements of the exhibit “A New Age of Exploration: National Geographic at 125” are more than a thousand National Geographic magazine covers at the entrance. The new, interactive exhibition at the National Geographic Museum includes galleries on ancient civilizations, paleontology, wildlife, oceans and the environment, and celebrates a long history of exploration. The covers offer a window into the around-the-world journeys taken by the National Geographic Society’s scientists, photographers and journalists, and they capture some of their most memorable and haunting moments.

33 Founders began the National Geographic Society on Jan. 13, 1888. The exhibit contains their interactive portraits.

48 Stars in the American flag appeared on the magazine’s first illustrated cover in July 1942. It featured the line “Buy U.S. War Savings Bonds and Stamps” underneath. The first cover with a photograph was the July 1959 issue, which also featured an American flag.

1086 Issues of National Geographic magazine were used to construct a visitor’s archway at the entrance to the exhibit (1,445 issues have been published through June, but the exhibit doesn’t include all of them).

1985 Featured the famous “Afghan Girl” on the June cover. The photo of the 12-year-0ld refu­gee, Sharbat Gula, taken in Pakistan, gained worldwide recognition and remains one of the magazine’s most iconic. Gula was located and identified 17 years later and was once again featured on the magazine’s cover, in April 2002.

1888 The first issue of National Geographic magazine was published in October, and featured only text, which continued to be the case for the next half-century.

60 million People around the world read National Geographic magazine — which is published in 38 languages — every month.

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