The initiative of a new professional holiday was announced by the members of the Russian Federation Council in December 2012, in particular, by the President's Special Representative for International Cooperation in the Arctic, president of the Polar Explorers Association Arthur Chilingarov. He said, "Polar explorers are now not only researchers at high latitudes. They are all whose life and work are connected with the study and development of Polar Regions. There are about two million polar explorers in the country."
The date for the celebration was chosen to be 21 May due to the first scientific research expedition of drifting polar station "North Pole-1", which began its work 21 May 1937. The station stayed on the ice for 274 days. During this time it was taken by the drift, passed through the Strait between Greenland and Spitsbergen in the Greenland Sea and went down to the stream about 2050 kilometers. Under the influence of a strong compression, the floe on which the station stayed repeatedly broke. It was decided to shut down the station and evacuate people.
The station researchers collected unique scientific material: the first time in history it became possible to obtain reliable data on the North Pole nature and on the processes occurring in the area. Weather reports from the station "North Pole-1" gave short-term forecasts and built the ground for important conclusions about the atmospheric processes’ nature in the Arctic. The reliable experimental data on the atmosphere and ocean parameters in the central regions of the Arctic were obtained for the first time.
In 2015, new Russian drifting station "North Pole - 2015" was opened at the same place where the legendary "North Pole-1" was located.
Source (in Russian): RIA News http://ria.ru/spravka/20140521/1008426894.html#ixzz3agBBCPrF