jan 27, 1820 - Discovery of
In the 1800s, the search for the theoretical continent Terra Australis was still an ongoing mission. Since James Cook's expedition in 1770, many others, including Cook himself, had gotten very close to the coasts of the South Pole, even discovering some of the outlying islands, but none of them had managed to actually reach Antarctica itself.
Eventually it was a Russian expedition in 1820 that finally encountered the last continent on Earth. Led by two Russian captains, it was members of the crews aboard the Vostok and Mirny that gave the first confirmed sighting of the Antarctic mainland on 28th January. Over the next year these ships circumnavigated the entire frozen continent mapping and charting it's coastlines along with various islands.
It is thought by most historians that the first landing on Antarctica was made in February 1821 by an American seal-hunter, but most of the expeditions made to the continent throughout the rest of the 19th Century either consisted of just sailing around it's coasts or visiting and naming the various islands. Exploration into the actual interior of Antarctica itself would not occur until late into the 1890s.
Added to timeline:
History of Human Civilization
This is a rough history of human migration, advancement, and...