The White House
June 16, 2003
I send greetings to the international community gathered in Antarctica as you celebrate Midwinter’s Day on June 21, 2003.
Since the signing of the Antarctic Treaty on December 1, 1959, scientists from around the globe have cooperated peacefully to push the outer bounds of human knowledge and understanding. By working together to study Antarctica and its interactions with the rest of the planet and to explore the darkness beyond our world, these brave individuals serve as shining examples of the promise and hope of mankind.
I commend the researchers for your commitment to discovery and innovation, and I encourage you to continue to use your God-given talents and genius to make the world better for all of us.
Laura joins me in sending our best wishes for a memorable celebration.
George W. Bush
MIDWINTER MESSAGE TO U. S. ANTARCTIC PROGRAM COLLEAGUES IN THE ANTARCTIC
This Midwinter’s Day, 2003, highlights the long and serious commitment each of you has made to the world’s continuing goals for science and peace in Antarctica. We here at U.S. Antarctic Program headquarters know that this special day marks a turning point not just for the Sun but also for your own passage through a year of significance and change.
Your personal commitment is at the core of our ability to derive scientific understanding from a unique and difficult region. I wish you continued success through the remainder of the winter and a safe return home.
Office of Polar Programs
National Science Foundation
Arlington, Virginia 22230
The White House
Midwinter’s Day 1979
Fifty years ago a scratchy, indistinct radio transmission from Little America brought to us the news that Richard E. Byrd had flown over the South Pole and opened the last unexplored continent on earth to man’s pursuit of knowledge and discovery.
Twenty years ago twelve nations met in Washington, D.C., and signed a document called the Antarctic Treaty. With no precedent, these nations agreed to set aside their differences and to open Antarctica to peaceful, free and cooperative scientific inquiry. Today, people from many nations work side by side in Antarctica throughout the year–proving that Antarctica still is a continent open to men and women who, like Admiral Byrd and his party, dare to probe the frontiers of knowledge for the benefit of all mankind.
On this Midwinter’s Day you in Antarctica should be proud of your work and tenacious in your friendships, for both transcend national boundaries and illustrate what can be accomplished when men and women of courage are free to cooperate and learn. Your work in Antarctica adds not only to our store of knowledge, but also to our faith in the persistence of the human spirit. With your help, this vast and fascinating area of earth remains open to peaceful scientific investigation.
I send you my best wishes at this midpoint in the austral winter. I applaud your dedication, and I am confident that your work will extend what we know of the world around us. I hope that you will share with others around the world the knowledge and the personal rewards you are gaining from your experience.