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Two Americans Raise Stars and Stripes on Mount Everest

May 2, 1963 - Two men of an American expedition have raised the Stars and Stripes on the summit of Mount Everest. They reached the ice-crusted top — between 5 and 6 miles above sea level — at 1 p.m. today, an expedition spokesman announced. The expedition is headed by Norman G. Dyhrenfurth, 44, of Santa Monica, Cal. The initial announcement did not identify the two men. However, in England, Sir John Hunt, an Everest veteran, said that Luther G. Jerstad of Eugene, Ore., and Richard Pownall of Denver, had been in position with two Sherpas for the final dash to the peak. A native mountaineer, Tensing Norgay, and New Zealand’s Edmund Hillary (now Sir Edmund) — members of a British and Commonwealth expedition — made the first successful conquest of Everest on May 28, 1953. President Kennedy hailed the success, terming it an extreme feat of human endurance. “I am most pleased to learn of the success of the American expedition on Mount Everest,” the President said. “These American climbers, pushing human endurance and experience to their farthest frontiers, joined the distinguished group of British and Swiss mountaineers who have performed this feat. I know that all Americans will join me in saluting our gallant countrymen.”


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