The Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum celebrated its golden anniversary with a party replete with all the accoutrements you might expect from an Arctic affair — and perhaps one or two you didn’t see coming.
In addition to the party hats and Polar Bear-shaped cookies, you could plunge your hands first into blubber gloves and then into ice water (to demonstrate how marine mammals keep warm) and take in the bullet that passed through two walls and explorer Donald MacMillan’s shoulder. Tamer activities included helping Robert Peary pack for the Pole.
When the Arctic Museum first opened in 1967, Bowdoin College President James S. Coles was joined by Arctic explorer Donald B. MacMillan, his wife Miriam, and Marie Peary Kuhne, daughter of Arctic explorer Robert E. Peary, for the dedication.
The museum began with a collection of 745 objects, most donated by the MacMillans. Fifty years later, party-goers celebrating a half-century of Arctic archives moved about the event taking in the exhibitions currently on display — just a slice of the more than 40,000 objects, photographs, and films that now compose the Arctic Museum’s collections.