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While in the service of Spain, the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan led the first European voyage of discovery to circumnavigate the globe.
John Cabot - Mini Biography (2:32)
Explorer Ferdinand Magellan, with the support of King Charles V of Spain, set out to circumnavigate the globe. He assembled a fleet of ships and despite huge setbacks, his own death included, proved that the world was round.
French navigator Jacques Cartier was sent by King Francis I to the New World in search of riches and a new route to Asia in 1534. His exploration of the St. Lawrence River allowed France to lay claim to lands that would become Canada.
Explorer and navigator John Cabot made a voyage in 1497 on the ship Matthew and claimed land in Canada—mistaking it for Asia—for King Henry VII of England.
French explorer Samuel de Champlain began exploring North America in 1603, establishing the city of Quebec in the northern colony of New France. He became the de facto governor of New France in 1620.
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In March 1521, the fleet anchored in Guam.
It is a lesser-known fact that Magellan became involved in a local war in the Philippines, where he was killed in battle on April 27, 1521. It's also largely unknown that it was the remaining members of his crew, namely Juan Sebastián del Cano, who actually completed the circumnavigation of the globe. The following year, on September 8, 1522, despite having almost lost their lives in their efforts, the remainder of Magellan's fleet returned to Spain,
thus proving that the globe was in fact round.
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Throughout the centuries, brave explorers have fearlessly traveled the globe and beyond to discover new lands, people, animal species, riches and glory. Ferdinand Magellan of Portugal proved the world is round with his mission to sail around the world. His fellow countryman Vasco da Gama commanded the first European ship around the southern tip of Africa to reach India by sea. Norseman Leif Eriksson is regarded as the first European to reach North America, nearly 500 years before Christopher Columbus, who is credited with discovering the “New World” of the Americas. Juan Ponce de León scoured Puerto Rico and Florida in his quest for the fountain of youth. Meriwether Lewis and William Clark blazed new trails during their Corps of Discovery Expedition across the western half of the United States. Traveling to new heights of discovery were mountain climber Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to reach the peak of Mount Everest, and U.S. astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first human to walk on the moon. These intrepid explorers and more have made an indelible mark on human history. See all Explorers.
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