This day is arguably the most important date in the history of human mountain climbing. Namely, on that day, the first people in history conquered Mount Everest, the highest peak of the world – Edmund Hillary and his Nepalese Sherpa, Tenzing Norgay. Edmund Hillary was a New Zealander and he gained his first experiences in climbing on the mountains of New Zealand (where the famous scenes from The Lord of the Rings were filmed). Hillary was a humble man and did not want to show off. He said that he and Tenzing Norgay reached the top at the same time (in his book Tenzing admitted that Hillary was the first to set foot on the top). They came on the summit on this day at 11:30 am. Hillary took the camera and made the famous photo of Tenzing holding his ice-ax.
When Tenzing wanted to photograph Hillary, he refused, so his unprecedented success was not recorded on photographic film. They made only a few more photographs of their surroundings in order to prove that they were really on the top. They stayed there for only 15 minutes. The news of their exploits reached England on the very day of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, and she knighted them (but apparently the Indian government refused to give permission for Tenzing Norgay to receive British knighthood). Later, Queen Elizabeth II, who is also the ruler of New Zealand, made Edmund Hillary a Knight Companion of the Order of the Garter. Hillary spent a large part of the rest of his life helping the Sherpa people. Thanks to his aid, schools and hospitals for Sherpa were built in Nepal.