On January 13, 1888, a small group of explorer and scientists, 33 in all, gathered at the Cosmos Club in Washington, DC. (A place where DC members of the famed Explorers Club, including World Footprints, meet today.) They proposed to organize a society “to increase and diffuse geographic knowledge while promoting the conservation of the world’s cultural, historical, and natural resources.” Two weeks later, they incorporated the National Geographic Society. Alexander Graham Bell, the Society’s second president, proposed a magazine, sales of which would help fund the Society’s activities.

Today, the National Geographic Society support a diverse, international group of change-makers who use the power of science, exploration, education, and storytelling to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world.