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Conquistador Juan de Oñate established the colony of New Mexico for Spain. During his governorship, he vainly sought the mythical riches of North America.
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Born in Zacatecas, Mexico in 1550, Juan de Oñate’s request to conquer and govern New Mexico was approved in 1595. In 1598 he crossed the Rio Grande at El Paso. From there he sent out small parties in all directions to search for treasure that did not exist. In a last attempt to recover his prestige, he led an expedition west to the Colorado River and south to the Gulf of California, but he still found no gold. He resigned in 1607.
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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.
Famous Explorers 61 people in this group
Famous People Named Juan 12 people in this group
Famous Mexicans 56 people in this group
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