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"First Woman on the Ice" (working title) Trailer Part 2

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Uploaded on Sep 25, 2007

A feature length documentary, shot on digital video, describing the Ronne Antarctic Research Expedition. In January 1947, this small, impoverished scientific expedition sailed from Texas. Aboard their 183-foot tug christened Port of Beaumont were 40 dogs, 3 prop planes and 22 crew. Their mission was an ambitious one: map a quarter-million square miles of territory from the air, determine if the Antarctic was one contiguous continent and conduct an array of field work in meteorology, geology and astrophysics. More remarkable than the difficulties they would overcome or the knowledge they would bring home were the two women numbered among their crewñthe first such expedition ever to include women.
Edith Maslin "Jackie" Ronne was a 28 year-old Baltimore native on leave from her job at the State Department. Two years earlier, she had married Finn Ronne, a Navy captain 20 years her senior. By 1947, Finn had successfully organized the third and last privately funded expedition to Antarctica. Jackie accompanied him to Texas to bid farewell. Jennie Darlington, 22, had married Harry Darlington, the chief aviator, a few months earlier. Their time together in Texas was their ìhoneymoon.î Finn prevailed upon Jackie to sail with him as far as Panama to assist with administrative work. Jackie asked Jennie to join her so she wouldnít be the only woman aboard. Jackieís administrative tasks multiplied and in Valparaiso Chile, Jackie agreed to accompany the expedition the whole way. Over the unanimous objections of the crew, Jackie and Jennie became the first women to winter in the Antarctic. Jackie served as expedition secretary, filed stories under her husbandís byline for the North American Newspaper Alliance, and helped scientists gather data. Jennie's accomplishments were more personal. She returned bearing the first child conceived in the Antarctic.
Conquest of Antarctica was a risky enterprise fueled by personal pride and nationalist fervor. The men attracted to Polar exploration frequently had greater courage and curiosity than commercial or government support. They were, by necessity, dogged and egotistical. Finn Ronne was no exception. A Norwegian from a family of seagoing men, his father had sailed with Amundsen on his conquest of the South Pole and with Admiral Byrd. Finn sailed with Byrdís Second Antarctic expedition (1933-35) and the U.S. Antarctic Service Expedition (1939-41). For fourteen years, he nurtured the ambition to lead his own expedition.

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