The Story

We are All Antarctica is a story about my father George W. Gibbs, Jr’s adventures as the first person of African descent to set foot on the continent of Antarctica. He sailed on the famous ship the USS Bear in 1939 to 1941 on Admiral Byrd’s III expedition to the South Pole. It was the first joint venture with the US military and private exploration. Gibbs went on to serve humanity in countless ways, paving the way for not only people of color in the community of Rochester, MN but for all people to become more human, serve their community and appreciate differences.

Through compassion, tenacity, faith and countless hours in the trenches, Gibbs’ life is a model for community service, equality and fun. As the lowest rank on the ship, he was honored for his contribution at a time when people with dark skin were considered less than human.

This story integrates my experiences with natural healing, the arts, the science of the ice, the metaphysics of the South Pole and the history of the expedition and its mystery.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

My Travel to Chile

Part of my research about the United States Antarctic Service Expedition (1939–1941) takes me to Valparaiso, Chile.  The USS Bear stopped at several port cities on the way back to the U.S., in 1940.  Today, while meeting with a colleague, we found an entry in my father's journal that talks about his adventures in Chile. I realized I'll be able to visit the area to see O'Higgins Hotel, in Vina Del Mar, built in 1936!  Admiral Byrd stayed there.  Here's another journal excerpt from George W. Gibbs Jr.,

April 23(1940) At Valparaiso Chile.  Was up this morning early to get the ship in shape for visitors and do my daily routine.  This morning at eleven we were anchored off from the dock about two hundred feet and I went ashore in a taxi.  Bought a watch and went to Vina Del Mar, which is eight miles from Valparaiso.  Went sight seeing and had dinner at the Hotel Higgins where the Admiral is staying.  In the U.S. it would have been impossible for me to be as welcomed (as I felt there).

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