National Geographic celebrates 130 years of exploration


National Geographic celebrated 130 years of discoveries, innovation and impact on Saturday, Jan. 13. To commemorate the occasion, National Geographic colleagues in Washington, D.C., gathered on Friday for a birthday celebration hosted by Gary Knell, President and CEO of the National Geographic Society; Jean Case, Chairman of the National Geographic Society Board of Trustees; and Declan Moore, CEO of National Geographic Partners.

In his toast, Gary read two lines from the mission laid out by the 33 founders of the National Geographic Society on Jan. 13, 1888, which included “the increase and diffusion of geographic knowledge.” He said the founders would be proud of today’s colleagues, who are striving to achieve that mission in the 21st century.

“For 130 years, the fearless men and women of the National Geographic Society have passionately believed in the power of science, exploration and storytelling to change the world,” Jean said in her cupcake toast. “And it’s as true today as it’s ever been before.”

Declan noted that during its birthday weekend, National Geographic would likely surpass 5 billion likes on its Instagram account. “If [the founders] could only have imagined that the power of the storytelling that we do reaches as many as those 82 million people and drives that level of engagement, which is a real testament to how it resonates and is making a difference,” he said.

To celebrate its 130 years of exploration, National Geographic has created an interactive timeline cataloging many of the Society’s significant achievements over the years. The National Geographic Society has also created this video focused on the nonprofit’s rich history:

Additionally, on National Geographic’s Facebook page, you can see a video showing 130 years’ worth of National Geographic magazine covers in 90 seconds.

Congratulations to all our colleagues at National Geographic!