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Exploration of Land & Sea

Exploration of Land & Sea (0150-1986)

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Man's exploration of the world's enviroment by land, air and sea.

Man's natural urge to explore the his environment has led to the population of most of the world's surface.  Often these activities are intended to be purely peaceful or scientific in nature but inevitably end in some kind of exploitation of either the land or indigenous people.

This topic covers the peaceful and often ingenious attempt to explore the world over both land and sea using navigational and other technological aids developed for this purpose.

c.    0150  CEAbout this time the lateen sail was first used on the Mediterranean Sea.
    0271  CECompass invented in China.
    0875  CEAmazed travelers to China see toilet paper.
 13 Jun 1415  CEHenry the Navigator, the prince of Portugal, embarked on an expedition to Africa. This marked the beginning of Portuguese dominance of West Africa.
    1420  CEThe Portuguese reach the Madeira Islands.
    1420  CEPrince Henry the Navigator (1394-1460) of Portugal gathered cartographers, navigators and shipbuilders in a fortress in Sagres, Portugal, to invent navigation technology to reach India, China and the Americas.
    1420  CE(1420-1480) The Portuguese explored the west coast of Africa along the Gold Coast, so named because here could be found plenty of gold to buy pepper.
    1427  CEThe Portuguese reach the Azores.
    1480  CEFerdinand Magellan (1480-1521), Portuguese navigator, was born. He was assigned the task of finding a route to the Spice Islands.
   Aug 1487  CEBartolomeu Dias (Diaz), Portuguese explorer, set out from Lisbon.
  3 Feb 1488  CEBartolomeu Dias (Diaz) sighted the coast of Africa sailing north and realized that he had rounded the continent. He saw the southern tip on his return journey and named it the Cape of Good Hope. He continued north to the Great Fish River near present day Port Elizabeth, and then returned home.
    1488  CEBartolomeu Dias (Diaz) discovers Mosselbaai (Angra dos Vaqueros).
 17 Apr 1492  CEA contract was signed by Christopher Columbus and a representative of Spain's King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, giving Columbus a commission to seek a westward ocean passage to find the Indies (to Asia).
  3 Aug 1492  CEAlonzo Pietro, pilot, sailed with Columbus.
  3 Aug 1492  CEChristopher Columbus departed Palos, Spain, with the Santa Maria, the Pinta, and the Nina on a voyage that would take him to the present-day Americas. The Santa Maria was formally listed as La Gallicia and the Nina as Santa Clara. He sailed across the Ocean Sea, as the Atlantic was then called, and headed for Cipangu, i.e. Japan.
 12 Oct 1492  CEChristopher Columbus sights isle of San Salvador (Watling Island in the Bahamas).
 29 Oct 1492  CEChristopher Columbus discovers Cuba and claims it for Spain. He learns of maize (corn) from the Indians of Cuba.
   Oct 1492  CEChristopher Columbus notes the first recorded reference to tobacco.
   Oct 1492  CEThe first Spanish settlement in New World was founded by Christopher Columbus.
  5 Dec 1492  CEChristopher Columbus discovered Haiti (Hispaniola or El Espanola) at Mole Saint Nicolas. His flagship Santa Maria was wrecked off the coast and he established the settlement of La Navidad where he left 40 crew members with instructions to obtain gold and find its source. When he returned on his 2nd voyage he found the town burned and all the Spaniards dead.
  6 Dec 1492  CEChristopher Columbus landed on the island of Santo Domingo in search of gold. He landed on a Sunday and named the island Dominica.
 15 Mar 1493  CEChristopher Columbus returned to Spain, concluding his first voyage to the Western Hemisphere.
 25 Sep 1493  CEChristopher Columbus set sail from Cadiz, Spain, with a flotilla of 17 ships on his second voyage to the Western Hemisphere. He was accompanied by 13 clerics; Alvarez Chanca, a physician who left valuable accounts of the voyage; Juan Ponce de Leon; Juan de la Cosa, a cartographer; and Columbus's younger brother Bartholomew.
  4 Nov 1493  CEChristopher Columbus discovered Guadeloupe during his second expedition.
 10 Nov 1493  CEChristopher Columbus discovered Antigua during his second expedition.
  7 Dec 1493  CEChristopher Columbus left the ruined settlement of La Navidad and sailed east for a month till he reached the site that became La Isabela in the Dominican Republic.
    1493  CEChristopher Columbus on his 2nd voyage discovered the island of Puerto Rico. Juan Ponce de Leon was a member of Columbus' crew.
    1493  CEChristopher Columbus discovered a group of islands, now called the Virgin Islands, that he christened Las Once Mil Virgenes, in memory of St. Ursula and her 11,000 martyr virgins who were slaughtered by the Huns at Cologne in the 5th century.
    1493  CEChristopher Columbus sailed into St. Croix's Salt River Bay.
   Jan 1494  CEIn the Dominican Republic there was a failed rebellion against Columbus. The revolt was organized by Bernal de Pisa, the royal accountant, who was unhappy with the poor return of gold. Pisa was jailed and several others were hanged.
  5 May 1494  CEDuring his second voyage to the Western Hemisphere, Christopher Columbus first sighted Jamaica and commented on the daily rains. Columbus landed on the island of Jamaica, which he names Santa Gloria.
c.    1494  CEFather Ramon Pane wrote an account of the Taino religion at the request of Christopher Columbus.
    1494  CECarol Verardi in Basel published an illustrated report of the first expedition to the new world by Christopher Columbus.
 10 Mar 1496  CEChristopher Columbus concluded his second visit to the Western Hemisphere as he left Hispaniola for Spain. He returned to Spain to ask for more support for his La Isabela colony on Hispaniola.
   Apr 1496  CEBartolome Columbus moved the colony to a new settlement on the south coast, named Isabela La Nueva. It was established on the east bank of the Ozama River. Columbus established Santo Domingo in what is now the Dominican Republic.
  2 May 1497  CEJohn Cabot set sail from Bristol in England, in the 'Matthew', a ship less than 70 feet long, with a crew of 18 men.
 24 Jun 1497  CEJohn Cabot sights Newfoundland (Eastern Canada ) and claims it for England.
 24 Jun 1497  CEAfter 5 weeks at sea, John Cabot's crew sighted land somewhere in Newfoundland.
   Jul 1497  CEVasco da Gama, Portuguese explorer, sailed from Lisbon enroute to Calicut, India via the Cape of Good Hope.
  6 Aug 1497  CEJohn Cabot returned to England after his first successful journey to the Labrador coast.
  6 Aug 1497  CEJohn Cabot returned to England. Although he brought no spices or treasure back with him, he was able to map out the first details of the North American coast.
    1497  CEItalian navigator Amerigo Vespucci leaves for the first voyage to New World.
    1497  CEJohn Cabot departs from England for North America.
   May 1498  CEVasco da Gama reached Calicut, the chief Indian trading port. He was not welcomed by the Muslim traders who saw him as a Christian and competitor. He returned to Lisbon swearing revenge.
   May 1498  CEJohn Cabot in one of five ships set sail for America. King Henry approved a Cabot's second voyage and financed one ship. Four other ships were financed by merchants hoping to cash in on the new route to the Orient. Only one ship returned for repairs and the other four, with John Cabot as captain, disappeared and never returned.
  7 Jun 1498  CEChristopher Columbus left on his third voyage of exploration.
 31 Jul 1498  CEDuring his third voyage to the Western Hemisphere, Christopher Columbus arrived at the island of Trinidad.
    1498  CEChristopher Columbus arrives in Caribbean.
    1498  CEChristopher Columbus departs with 6 ships for 3rd trip to America.
    1498  CEPortuguese explorer Vasco da Gama arrives at Calcutta India.
    1498  CEVasco da Gama's fleet visits Mozambique Island.
  1 Jan 1500  CEThe Portuguese explorer Pedro Alverez Cabral discovered the coast of Brazil.
 23 Apr 1500  CEPedro Alvarez Cabal claimed Brazil for Portugal. The native population was later estimated to have been from 1 to 11 million people.
    1500  CEThe Indian population of Brasil numbered about 2.5 million before European settlement but that population today is less than 200 thousand
    1500  CEExplorer Pedro Alvarez Cabral departs with 13 ships to India.
c.    1500  CE(Between 1500-1600) In Honduras, the Lenca Indian chieftain Lempira withdrew to the high mountains to lead resistance against the Spaniards. According to legend he plunged to his death from a rocky outcrop near the summit of the highest peak.
c.    1500  CEPortugal settled the island of Sao Tome, 250 miles off the coast of Kongo. Most of the settlers were criminals deported from Portugal.
c.    1500  CEJuan de Bermudez of Spain first reported on the island of Bermuda.
    1500  CEChristopher Columbus, during his third expedition to the new world, engaged in a dispute with the ambassador plenipotentiary to Santo Domingo, on Espanola, he was arrested and returned to Spain in shackles, but was later released and forgiven by the Queen.
    1501  CEJoao da Nova Castell discovers the Ascension Islands.
    1501  CEThe Anglo-Portuguese Syndicate completed the first of five voyages to Newfoundland.
    1501  CEAmerigo Vespucci, Florentine navigator, explored the coast of Brazil on his second voyage to the New World.
    1501  CEGaspar de Corte-Real, Portuguese navigator, made the first authenticated European landing on the northern continent of the Western Hemisphere since c1000AD.
   Jan 1502  CEPortuguese explorers sailed into Guanabra Bay, Brazil and mistook it for the mouth of a river which they named Rio de Janeiro.
  9 May 1502  CEChristopher Columbus left Cadiz, Spain, on his fourth and final trip to the Western Hemisphere. He explored Central America, and discovered St. Lucia, the Isthmus of Panama, Honduras, and Costa Rica.
    1502  CEChristopher Columbus begins 4th and last trip to the 'Indies'.
    1502  CEPortuguese traders took peanuts from Brazil and Peru to Africa.
    1502  CEVasco da Gama founded the Portuguese colony at Cochin, China.
    1502  CEBartolome de Las Casas, soldier, sailed to Hispaniola. He participated in the conquest of Cuba and received a royal land grant. He later had a change of heart and became a Dominican priest. 2,500 colonists arrived at Hispaniola.
    1502  CEAmerigo Vespucci declared that South America is a separate continent after his second voyage.
    1502  CEVasco da Gama returned to Calicut, India. He bombarded the town, burned a ship full of Arab men, women, and children because its captain had offended him, and demanded that the Muslims turn over the trade to the Portuguese. Within a generation his demands were met.
    1502  CEAdmiral Jaoa de Nova, a Portuguese explorer, discovered St. Helena Island. It would soon become a garden site for fresh provisions to break the several month voyage between Portugal and Mozambique.
    1502  CEColumbus reached the coast of Honduras on his 4th voyage and passed south to Panama. He returned after suffering a shipwreck at Jamaica. Columbus brought back cocoa beans and chocolate drinks soon became a favorite in the Spanish court.
    1502  CESpain legalized slave shipments to the Americas.
 10 May 1503  CEColumbus stumbled across the Cayman Islands and dubbed them Las Tortugas after the numerous sea turtles.
    1503  CEChristopher Columbus spent a year shipwrecked and marooned in Jamaica before returning to Spain.
    1503  CEThe missionary Bartolome de Las Casa described the brutal destruction of a Taino Indian city, La Aleta.
 29 Feb 1504  CEAn eclipse occurred and helped Christopher Columbus subdue his rebellious Indian carriers.
 24 Jul 1505  CEOn their way to India, a group of Portuguese explorers sacked the city-state of Kilwa, East Africa, and killed the king for failing to pay tribute.
    1505  CEThe Portuguese settled Ceylon and their exploitation of the cinnamon forests led to a system of slavery and a monopoly on trade in this spice.
  1505  CEA well armed Portuguese fleet attacks Kilwa and then Mombasa. The Portuguese then attempt to monopolize the trade in the east African ports but were unable to maintain control. By the late 1500s, Swahili groups regained control of several ports from the Portuguese..
20 May 1506  CEChristopher Columbus died in poverty in Spain, still believing he discovered the coast of Asia. Columbus was the author of 'Books of Prophecies', later translated by Delno C. West.
 May 1506  CEChristopher Columbus selects his son Diego as his sole heir.
  1507  CEMartin Waldseemuller, German geographer working at a small college in Eastern France, labeled the New World 'America', for the first time in his book 'Cosmographiae Introductio', and gave Amerigo Vespucci credit for discovering it. Vespucci was in fact only a passenger or low officer on one of the ships captioned by others.
  1507  CEJohannes Ruysch produced the first printed map of America, as declared by the selling map dealer, R.B. Arkway, Inc. It is dotted with Asian place names. In 1995 it was for sale for $135,000.
  1508  CEAlfonso d'Albuquerque, Portuguese navigator, conquered Muscat in Oman.
  1508  CEPonce de Leon arrives and begins to colonise Puerto Rico. He was appointed by Spain and given a Spanish fleet which began to capture Bahamanian Tainos to work as slaves on Hispaniola. His settlement at Caparra, 2 miles south of San Juan Bay, was plagued by Taino Indians and cannibalistic Caribean Indians.
  1508  CESebastian de Ocampo, Spanish navigator, explored Cuba.
  1508  CESebastian Cabot, son of John Cabot, an accomplished mapmaker and navigator, with King Henry VII's support, set sail to discover western lands.
  1509  CESpanish conquistadores founded a colony at Darien on the Isthmus of Panama.
  1509  CESebastian Cabot arrived back in England only to find that King Henry VII had died and Henry VIII was King. The new King was not as supportive of Cabot's exploration as his predecessor.
  1510  CESunflowers from America were introduced by the Spaniards into Europe.
  1511  CEDiego de Velazquez, Spanish commander, occupied Cuba.
27 Mar 1512  CESpanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon sighted Florida.
  1512  CEGerard Mercator was born (1512-1592) (Gerhard Kremer) who becme a cartographer and mathematician
2 Apr 1513  CESpanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon landed in Florida. Juan Ponce de Leon, Spanish explorer, discovered Florida and planted orange and lemon trees there. He also discovered the Dry Tortugas, 10 small keys southwest of Key West.
8 Apr 1513  CEExplorer Juan Ponce de Leon claimed Florida for Spain.
25 Sep 1513  CEVasco Nunez de Balboa, Spanish explorer, crossed the Isthmus of Panama is the the first European to see the Pacific Ocean and claimed it for Spain. He was named governor of Panama and the Pacific by King Ferdinand.
29 Sep 1513  CESpanish explorer Vasco Nunez de Balboa discovered the Pacific Ocean.
  1513  CEJorge Alvarez, Portuguese commander, reached Canton, China.
  1514  CEDiego Columbus, son of Christopher, built the first seat of government in the Americas in Santo Domingo.
  1514  CESpanish soldiers conquered the natives of Cuba.
  1514  CE1,500 Spanish settlers went to Panama.
  1515  CEJuan Diaz de Solis, Spanish navigator, reached the Rio de la Plata in South America and discovered Argentina.
  1515  CEBartolome de Las Casas, Dominican priest, returned to Spain from Hispaniola to plead on behalf of the ill-treated native Indians.
  1515  CESpanish conquistadores founded Havana, Cuba.
  1515  CEBy this year the Taino Indians of what is now the Dominican Republic were practically annihilated in clashes with the Spanish.
  1516  CEThe first published account of the discovery of North America appeared in 'De Rebus Oceanicus et Novo Orbe' by the Italian historian Peter Martyr.
  1516  CEJuan Diaz de Solis, Spanish explorer, was killed on the coast of Argentina. He was eaten by natives.
  1517  CESir Thomas Pert reached Hudson Bay.
  1517  CEFrancisco Fernandez de Cordoba, Spanish explorer, discovered the Mayan civilization in the Yucatan, southeast Mexico.
  1518  CEVasco Nunez de Balboa, Spanish explorer, was wrongly charged with treason and beheaded.
  1518  CEJuan de Grijalva, Spanish explorer, named the area comprising of Mexico, Central America north of Panama, the Spanish West Indies, and south-west North America New Spain. He was also the first European to smoke tobacco, introduced to him by a native chief.
13 Mar 1519  CEThe Spaniards under Cortez landed at Veracruz. Cortez landed in Mexico with 10 stallions, 5 mares and a foal.
20 Sep 1519  CEPortuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan set out from Seville in Spain with 270 men and 5 ships on a voyage to find a western passage to the Indies and the Spice Islands. The members of this fleet would be the first to cicumnavigate the globe, although Magellan himself died en route.
8 Nov 1519  CEThe Aztec and their leader, Moctezuma, welcomed Hernando Cortez and his 650 explorers to their capital at Tenochtitlan. Cortez had defeated an empire of approximately 25 million people by 13 August 1521.
 Dec 1519  CEPortuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan reached the Bay of the Rio de Janeiro.
  1519  CEDomenico de Pineda, Spanish navigator, explored the Gulf of Mexico.
10 Jul 1520  CEThe explorer Cortes was driven from Tenochtitlan, Mexico, by Aztec leader Cuauhtemoc, and retreated to Tlaxcala.
28 Nov 1520  CEPortuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan reaches the Pacific Ocean after sailing down the coast of South America and passing through the straits of Magellan that now bear his name. To the south lies Tierra del Fuego which the early geographers wrongly assumed to be the edge of the southern continent (Antactica).
18 Dec 1520  CEMagellan beginning his crossing of the Pacific Ocean heading northwest.
  1520  CEMagellan sailed around the tip of South America and renamed the South Sea as the Pacific Ocean.
6 Mar 1521  CEPortuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan made landfall at the island of Guam in the Marianas.
9 Mar 1521  CEPortuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan sailed west, southwest towards the Philippines.
16 Mar 1521  CEPortuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan reached the Philippines.
27 Mar 1521  CEMagellan landed in the Philippines.
27 Apr 1521  CEPortuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan was killed by natives in the Philippines.
  1521  CEHernando Cortes conquered Mexico and while on reconnaissance in southeastern Mexico his soldiers were the first Europeans to discover the Aztec spice - vanilla.
  1521  CEFrancisco de Gordillo, Spanish explorer, sailed up the American Atlantic coast to South Carolina.
  1521  CEPonce de Leon was fatally wounded by Seminole Indians in Florida.
  1521  CEIn Puerto Rico the Caparra colony founded by Spanish conquistadores relocated to a barrier island at the entrance of San Juan Bay.
  1522  CESpanish navigator Juan de Elcano returns to Spain, completing the first circumnavigation of globe. The expedition begans under Portugeese navigator Ferdinand Magellan.
  1522  CEPascual de Andagoya, Spanish explorer, became the first European to set foot in Peru.
  1523  CEThe first marine insurance policies were issued in Florence.
17 Apr 1524  CEGiovanni da Verrazano, Florentine navigator, explored from Cape Fear to Newfoundland and discovered New York Bay and the Hudson River of present-day New York harbor. He was later eaten by natives.
24 Dec 1524  CEPortuguese navigator Vasco da Gama, who had discovered a sea route around Africa to India, died in Cochin, India. He had served as Viceroy in India.
  1524  CEGiovanni de Varrazano sights land around the area of the Carolinas.
21 Aug 1525  CEEstavao Gomes returned to Portugal after failing to find a clear waterway to Asia.
  1525  CEFrancisco Pizarro, Spanish conquistador, sailed from Panama to explore Peru.
  1526  CEHaving moved to Spain, Sebastian Cabot secured the Spanish ruler's support to find an easier and safer strait than Magellan's. In 1526, he set sail with four ships. He spent four years sailing off the east coast of South America.
  1527  CEHernando Cortez and his conquistadores completed the conquest of New Spain. They brought back to Spain tomatoes, avocados, papayas, and vanilla.
  1528  CEPánfilo de Narvaéz begins his expedition to explore Florida with 350 men.
  1528  CEEngland established its first colony in the New World at St. Johns, Newfoundland.
  1530  CEGonzalo Oviedo, a Spanish colonist, sent back the first reports and pictures of life in North America.
  1530  CEExplorer Sebastian Cabot returned to Spain in disgrace as he had not found a better passage around the continent.
  1531  CEThe Spaniards founded Puebla, on the route from Veracruz to Mexico City, to house demobilized conquistadors.
10 May 1534  CEJacques Cartier reached Newfoundland. He noted the presence of the Micmac Indians who fished in the summer around the Magdalen Islands north of Nova Scotia.
9 Jun 1534  CEJacques Cartier became the first man to sail into the mouth of the St. Lawrence River.
  1534  CELübeck accept free Dutch ships into East Sea.
  1534  CEJacques Cartier while probing for a northern route to Asia visited Labrador and said: 'Fit only for wild beasts... This must be the land God gave to Cain'.
19 May 1535  CEFrench explorer Jacques Cartier set sail for North America.
 Sep 1535  CEThe site of the city of Quebec was first visited by Jacques Cartier. It was an Indian village called Stadacona. Quebec is the oldest continuously inhabited settlement in what is now Canada.
2 Oct 1535  CEJacques Cartier first saw the site of what is now Montreal and proclaimed 'What a royal mountain' (or 'mount royal'), hence the name of the city. Having landed in Quebec a month ago, Jacques Cartier reached a town, which he named Montreal.
  1535  CEBishop Tomas de Berlanga discovers the Galapagos Islands.
  1535  CEDiego de Almagro explored Chile.
  1535  CEThe Spaniards founded a temporary settlement on the banks of the Rio de la Plata that 45 years later becomes the city of Buenos Aires.
  1535  CEFrancisco Pizarro founded Lima in Peru.
2 Feb 1536  CEThe Argentine city of Buenos Aires was founded by Pedro de Mendoza of Spain.
6 Jul 1536  CEJaques Cartier returned to France after discovering the St. Lawrence River in Canada.
  1536  CEJacques Cartier discovered the St. Lawrence River and explored as far as the site of Montreal.
  1536  CEA Spanish conquistador noted oil seeping in the countryside of Colombia.
  1536  CEThe first Spanish settlement was established in Buenos Aires, Argentina, but the colony failed. The cows and horses however thrived on the tall pampa grass and when new colonists arrived two decades later they found the thriving livestock.
  1537  CEGerhardus Mercator, Flemish geographer, established a business as globe and map maker.
  1537  CEJuan de Salazar, Spanish pioneer, founded Assuncion, the capital of Paraguay.
  1538  CEMercator used the name 'America' for the first time.
  1538  CEGonzalo Jimenez de Quesada, Spanish conquistador, founded Bogota, Colombia.
30 May 1539  CESpanish explorer Hernando De Soto landed at Tampa Bay in Florida in search of gold.
3 Jun 1539  CEHernando De Soto claimed Florida for Spain.
  1539  CEOlaus Magnus, Swedish ecclesiastic and historian, produced a map of the world.
23 Feb 1540  CESpanish explorer Francisco Vasquez de Coronado began his unsuccessful search for the fabled Seven Cities of Gold in the American Southwest. Antonio de Mendoza, Viceroy of Mexico, sent Francisco Coronado overland to search for the fabled Seven Cities of Cibola in present day New Mexico.
  1540  CEHernando de Soto discovers the Mississippi River.
  1540  CEAntonio de Mendoza, Viceroy of Mexico, sent a sea expedition under Hernando de Alarcon up the Gulf of California where they entered the mouth of the Colorado River and became the first Europeans to stand on California soil.
  1540  CEGarcia Lopez de Cardenas, a Spanish conquistador, became the first European to know the Colorado and the Grand Canyon.
  1540  CEFrancisco Vazquez de Coronado, Spanish explorer, introduced horses, mules, pigs, cattle, and sheep into the American southwest.
8 May 1541  CESpanish explorer Hernando de Soto discovered and crossed the Mississippi River, which he called Rio de Espiritu Santo. He encountered the Cherokee Indians, who numbered about 25,000.
23 Aug 1541  CEJacques Cartier landed near Quebec on his third voyage to North America.
  1541  CESpanish explorer Hernando de Soto observes the first recorded flood in America (Mississippi River).
  1541  CEJacques Cartier, a French Explorer, established a short-lived community at Quebec.
  1541  CEFrancisco de Orellana, Spanish soldier and explorer, descended the River Amazon from the Andes to its mouth in the Atlantic Ocean.
21 May 1542  CESpanish explorer Hernando De Soto died while searching for gold along the Mississippi River and was buried in river.
27 Jun 1542  CEJuan Rodriguez Cabrillo set out from the port of Navidad, Mexico, with 2 ships, the San Salvador and the Victoria, to 'discover the coast of New Spain'.
24 Aug 1542  CEIn South America, Gonzalo Pizarro returned to the mouth of the Amazon River after having sailed the length of the great river as far as the Andes Mountains.
28 Sep 1542  CECalifornia was discovered. Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, Spanish explorer, stepped ashore at the present day harbor of San Diego and named it San Miguel.
 Nov 1542  CECabrillo landed at the Channel Island, now known as San Miguel. His men got into a scuffle with local Indians and Cabrillo broke a leg. The party continued to sail north almost to present day Fort Ross.
  1542  CEAntonio da Mota, Portuguese explorer, became the first European to enter Japan.
  1542  CEExplorer Juan Cabrillo spotted the 534 foot rock at Morro Bay, Ca.
  1543  CEPortuguese ships landed on the Japanese Island of Tanega. The first European visitors to Japan introduced muskets and baked bread.
  1543  CEFilipino natives expelled Spanish conquistador, Ruy Lopez de Villalobos, a year after he had discovered and named them.
  1550  CEPrinted wallpaper is brought to Europe from China by traders.
  1553  CEIn London, 'The Mysterie and Compagnie of the Merchant Adventurers for the Discoverie of Regions, Dominions, Islands and Places Unknown' offered stock to finance a quest for a passage to the riches of the East.
10 Nov 1556  CEThe Englishman Richard Chancellor was drowned off Aberdeenshire on his return from a second voyage to Russia.
  1557  CESebastian Cabot, having returned to England from Spain to live as a mapmaker, died.
  1558  CEJohn Dee, English mathematician, invented two compasses for master pilots.
14 Aug 1559  CESpanish explorer de Luna entered Pensacola Bay, Florida.
  1559  CE1,500 Spanish settlers sailed from Vera Cruz to found a settlement on Pensacola Bay in Florida, but were repulsed by hostile Indians.
  1565  CEVenetian Fernand Berteli drew a large body of water in the St. Lawrence Valley on his map 'A Complete Description of the Whole Known World'.
  1565  CEFather Andres Urdaneta sighted land believed to be the California coast while sailing on the Manila to Acapulco trade route.
  1566  CESir Francis Drake visited an island off Roanoke, Va., with a ship full of Turkish prisoners. Only half the prisoners were recorded as taken back to England.
  1566  CEThe Spanish made contact with Calusa Indians at a major village in what is now Pineland, Florida.
  1567  CEAlvaro Mendana de Neyra, Spanish explorer, discovered the Solomon Islands.
  1569  CEGerhardus Mercator, Flemish geographer, produced his 'Map of the World' for the use of navigators using the 'Mercator projection' that is still in use today. He was the first to use the term 'atlas' for a collection of maps.
  1570  CEAnti-Portugese uprising on Ternate, Moluccas.
  1570  CE(1570-1612) The first modern atlas, Theatrum orbis terrarum, was published with 70 maps, by Abraham Ortelius of Amsterdam in 1570. The Flemish mapmaker compiled it using the best maps available and issued dozens of editions in this period.
19 May 1571  CEThe City of Manila in the Philippines was founded by Miguel Lopez de Lagazpi.
  1571  CESpanish troops under Miguel Lopez de Lagazpi occupy Manilla in the Phillipines.
  1572  CELuis Vaz de Camoes, Portuguese poet, published his epic poem about Vasco da Gama's voyages: 'Os Lusiadas'.
  1573  CEThe first European, Sir Francis Drake sees the Pacific (from Panama).
  1573  CEThe first maps in England were made by Christopher Saxton. He produced an atlas with 37 county maps and a large country map.
  1574  CEJuan Fernandez, Spanish navigator, discovered a group of islands, to be named after him, 400 miles off the west coast of South America.
  1576  CEMartin Frobisher, English navigator, discovered Frobisher Bay in Canada. He explored the Arctic region of Canada and twice brought tons of gold back to England that was found to be iron pyrite.
13 Dec 1577  CESir Francis Drake of England set out with five ships on a nearly three-year journey that would take him around the world. His mission was to find Terra Australis and raid their Spanish colonies on the west coast of South America. He returned with a 4,500% profit on his investment.
  1577  CEJavanese fled the spread of Islam and reached Bali where they kept alive early traditions of Indonesian music.
 Sep 1578  CEFrancis Drake passes through the Straights of Megellan only to find himself blown significantly southward due to a tremendous storm in the Pacific. This event proved that Tierra del Fuego was separated from any southern continent and the passageway came to be known as the "Drake Passage".
  1578  CESir Francis Drake renamed his flagship, the Pelican, to the Golden Hind. He ravaged the coasts of Chile and Peru on his way around the world.
  1579  CEBritish explorer Sir Francis Drake lands on the coast of California.
  1579  CEPortuguese explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo discovered San Diego Bay. His mate, Bartolome Ferrelo, continued exploring north.
26 Sep 1580  CEFrancis Drake returned to Plymouth, England, at the end of his voyage to circumvent the globe.
  1580  CESir Francis Drake rounded the promontory of what later became Cape Town, South Africa.
4 Apr 1581  CEFrances Drake completed the circumnavigation of the world.
  1581  CERobert Norman discovers that the dip of compass shows that Earth is a magnet.
  1582  CERichard Hakluyt, English clergyman and geographer, wrote 'Divers Voyages Touching the Discovery of America'.
  1582  CEMapmakers labeled New England in the New World as Norumbega.
5 Aug 1583  CEHumphrey Gilbert, English explorer, annexed Newfoundland in the name of Queen Elizabeth and founded the first English settlement in the New World. His colony disappeared. He drowned this same year at sea in a storm off the Azores.
  1583  CEDe Espejo explored along the Colorado River.
  1584  CESir Walter Raleigh founds first English colony in Virginia.
  1584  CEBritish explorer Sir Walter Raleigh renews Humphrey Gilbert's patent to explore North America.
  1584  CEWalter Raleigh, English explorer, courtier, and writer, sent settlers to the Virginia colony on Roanoke Island, naming it after the virgin queen.
13 Jul 1585  CEA group of 108 English colonists, led by Sir Richard Grenville, reached Roanoke Island, North Carolina. Roanoke Island near North Carolina became England's first foothold in the New World.
  1585  CEJohn Davis, English explorer, discovered the strait named after him between Greenland and Canada.
  1585  CEArchbishop of Mexico, Pedro Moya de Contreras, dispatched Spanish captain Francisco Gali to proceed to Manila from Acapulco, and 'to reconnoiter down the coast' on his return trip.
19 Jun 1586  CEEnglish colonists sailed from Roanoke Island, after failing to establish England's first permanent settlement in America.
  1586  CESpanish Captain Francisco Gali died in Manila and Pedro de Unamuno took command of his 2 ships to return to Acapulco.
18 Oct 1587  CESpanish Captain Pedro de Unamuno discovered California. He landed at a place he called Port San Lucas, later identified as Morro Bay City, while sailing from Macao to Acapulco with a crew of Luzon Indians.
  1587  CEThe first English child born in the New World. She was named Virginia Dare.
10 Sep 1588  CEThomas Cavendish returned to England, becoming the third man to circumnavigate the globe.
  1588  CEAn eye-witness account of the New World was provided by 'A Briefe and True Account of the New Found Land of Virginia', written by Thomas Harriot. It encouraged further settlement and investment.
  1589  CERichard Hakluyt wrote the 'Principle Navigations, Voyages and Discoveries of the English Nation'.
  1590  CEEarl Mauritius of Nassaus sails to Breda.
  1590  CEEarl Mauritius conquerors Breda 'turfschip of Breda'.
 Aug 1592  CEThe Englishman John Davis, in the 'Desire', discovered the Falkland Islands. This was a tragic expedition as the crew were forced to eat some 14,000 penguins which they were forced to kill for food. Once they reached the tropics, the penguin meat spoiled, and subsequently only 16 members of the original crew of 76 ever reached home shores.
  1592  CEGerard Mercator (1512-1592), mapmaker and founder of the mercator projection, died.
  1594  CECompany of Distant established for business on East-Indies.
  1595  CEJohn Smith on a whaling expedition mapped the eastern seaboard and named the area new England. The area had earlier been called Norumbega.
28 Jan 1596  CEEnglish navigator Sir Francis Drake died off the coast of Panama of a fever; he was buried at sea.
  1596  CEWillem Barents leaves Amsterdam for Novaya Zemlya.
  1596  CEThe Marquesas Islands were visited by a Spanish ship.
  1597  CEWillem Barents, Dutch explorer, died.
  1598  CECornelis de Houtman's fleet departs for the East Indies.
  1598  CEJacob van Necks merchant fleet departs for Java.
  1598  CEThe first opera was performed in Florence, Italy, in the 16th century. On Jul 3-5, 1998 Vienna celebrated the 400th anniversary of opera. Opera emerged as musicians sought to revive Greek theater.
  1599  CEJacob van Necks fleet leaves Bantam Java with pepper, clove and muskaat.
  1599  CEJacob Cornelius Van Neck returned to Holland from the Mascarene Islands. A narrative of the Dutch voyage first mentioned the dodo bird.
  1600  CEBritain's East India Company was founded.
  1601  CEJohn Lancaster leads the first East India Company voyage from London.
20 Mar 1602  CEShareholders formed The United (Dutch) East India Company. The company traded to 1798.
15 May 1602  CECape Cod discovered by English navigator Captain Bartholomew Gosnold.
21 May 1602  CEMartha's Vineyard first sighted by English navigator Captain Bartholomew Gosnold.
16 Dec 1602  CEThe Vizcaino expedition stopped at Monterey, Ca., and grizzly bears were seen feeding on a whale carcass. They left on 3 Jan.
  1602  CEBartholomew Gosnold camped for a few months in a party of 24 gentlemen and 8 sailors on Cuttyhunk Island, Mass.
29 Jul 1603  CEBartholomew Gilbert was killed in the colony of Virginia by Indians, during a search for the missing Roanoke colonists.
  1604  CEThe French explorer Samuel de Champlain landed on the island of St. Croix.
  1604  CEJuan de Onate, Spanish colonizer of New Mexico, explored along the Colorado.
  1605  CEThe American Indian Tisquantum, aka Squanto, was picked up by seafarer George Weymouth and taken to England. He spent 9 years there and returned to the New World as the interpreter for John Smith.
20 Dec 1606  CEVirginia Company settlers leave London to establish Jamestown.
26 Apr 1607  CEShips under the command of Captain Christopher Newport sought shelter in Chesapeake Bay. The forced landing led to the founding of Jamestown on the James River, the first English settlement.
13 May 1607  CEThe English colonists landed near the James River and founded the colony at Jamestown, Virginia (some sources claim May 14). In 1996 archeologist discovered the original Jamestown Fort and the remains of one settler, a young white male who died a violent death.
24 May 1607  CEEnglishman John Smith founds the colony of Virginia at Jamestown at the mouth of the James river. It becomes the first permanent settlement in North America.
15 Jun 1607  CEColonists in North America completed James Fort in Jamestown.
14 Aug 1607  CEThe Popham expedition reached the Sagadahoc River in the northeastern North America and settled there.
28 Sep 1607  CESamuel de Champlain and his colonists returned to France from Port Royal Nova Scotia.
29 Dec 1607  CEThe Native American Chief Powhatan, who spared John Smith's life after the pleas of his daughter Pocahontas, was born.
  1607  CEBritish colonists (John Smith) land at Cape Henry near James River in Virginia.
3 Jul 1608  CEFrench explorer Samuel de Champlain founds the French colony of Quebec as a trading post.
10 Sep 1608  CECapatin John Smith was elected president of the Jamestown colony council in Virginia.
  1608  CEBowling in Jamestown was banned after workers were found bowling instead of building the fort.
  1608  CESettlers in Jamestown, Virginia, shipped distilled tar back to its sponsors in England, the first manufactured item exported from the US.
12 Sep 1609  CEExplorer Henry Hudson sailed up the Hudson River.
28 Sep 1609  CEDelaware Bay explored by Henry Hudson for the Dutch East India Company.
  1609  CENavigator Henry Hudson discovers Manhattan island.
  1609  CENavigator Henry Hudson embarks on an exploration for Dutch East India Company.
  1609  CEHenry Hudson gave brandy to the local Indians and their chief passed out. The place was renamed 'Manahachtanienk', meaning 'where everybody got drunk'. Authorities say that 'Manhattan' came form an Indian word meaning 'high island'.
  1609  CEThe voyage to Virginia of Sir William Somers was blown off course and shipwrecked in Bermuda. William Strachey, secretary of the colony at Jamestown, Virginia, later sent a letter to England that described the event. The letter is thought by many to have been an inspiration for Shakespeare's 'Tempest'.
  1610  CEThe first Dutch settlers arrive from New Jersey, to colonize Manhattan Island.
22 Jun 1611  CEEnglish explorer Henry Hudson, his son and several other people were set adrift in present-day Hudson Bay by mutineers. He was never seen again.
  1611  CEHenry Hudson and his son set adrift in Hudson Bay by mutineers.
  1613  CEGerard Reynst appointed Dutch Governor-General of East-Indies.
  1614  CEPortuguese writer Diego do Couto wrote of a king in Cambodia who discovered an abandoned city during an elephant hunt in the middle of the 16th century. The report did not get published until 1958.
28 Jul 1615  CEFrench explorer Samuel de Champlain discovered Lake Huron on his seventh voyage to the New World.
20 Jan 1616  CEThe French explorer Samuel de Champlain arrived to winter in a Huron Indian village after being wounded in a battle with Iroquois in New France.
  1616  CEJacques Le Maire discovers Street Lemaire (Cape Receiver).
  1616  CEWalter Raleigh released from Tower of London to seek gold in Guyana.
  1617  CEThe Pilgrims decided to leave the Netherlands. They formed a partnership in a joint-stock company with a group of London merchants in a company called John Pierce & Assoc. They received a grant for a plantation in the Virginia colony but ended up landing in Massachusetts.
  1619  CEDutch settlement on Java changes name to Batavia.
  1619  CEIn England Tisquantum joined a new exploratory mission to the New England coast and returned to find that his tribe had been wiped out by the plague. It was he who later communicated with the first Pilgrims at Plymouth.
16 Sep 1620  CEPilgrim Fathers sail from Southampton in England in the Mayflower. The Pilgrims were actually Separatists because they had left the Church of England. The 4 children of William Brewster, who arrived on the Mayflower, were named Love, Wrestling, Patience, and Fear.
11 Nov 1620  CE41 pilgrims aboard the Mayflower, anchored off Massachusetts at Cape Cod, sign the Mayflower Compact for 'just & equal laws'.
20 Nov 1620  CEPeregrine White was born aboard the Mayflower in Massachusetts Bay, the first child born of English parents in present-day New England.
11 Dec 1620  CE103 Mayflower pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts. They called themselves Saints and others Strangers. One passenger died enroute and 2 were born during the passage. Their military commander was Miles Standish.
  1620  CEThe chronicle of the Pilgrims voyage to and settlement in America was begun by Nathanial Morton, keeper of the records of Plymouth Colony, based on the account of William Bradford, sometime governor thereof.
3 Jan 1621  CEWilliam Tucker was born. He is believed to be first American born African-American.
16 Mar 1621  CENative American chief visits colony of Plymouth. Samoset, an English speaking Indian, and his friend Tisquantum of the Wampanoag tribe, became friends with the Pilgrims.
1 Apr 1621  CEThe Plymouth, Massachusetts colonists created the first treaty with Native Americans.
5 Apr 1621  CEMayflower sails from Plymouth on a return trip to England. By this time 44 of the landing party had died and 54 people, mostly children, were left to build the colony.
3 Jun 1621  CEDutch West India Company receives charter for 'New Netherlands', later to become 'New York'.
 Oct 1621  CEThe first American Thanksgiving feast was held by Plymouth Colony Pilgrims in appreciation of assistance from members of the Massasoit tribe and celebration of the first harvest.
  1621  CEJan Pieterszoon Coen's fleet sets sail to the Moluccas from Jacarta.
  1621  CEJohn Pieterszoon Coen's troops land on Lontor, East Indies.
  1621  CEMassasoit & Pilgrims agree on league of friendship at Plymouth.
  1621  CEMiles Standish appointed first commander of Plymouth colony.
22 Mar 1622  CEThe Native Americans Powhattan Confederacy killed 350 colonists, a third of the Virginia population of European settlers, in apparent retaliation for the encroachment of these immigrants on Indian cornfields.
  1623  CEFire at Plymouth, Massachusetts destroys several buildings.
  1623  CEIn Massachusetts Governor William Bradford instituted private property so that the pilgrims could cultivate food at a profit. He assigned every family a parcel of land.
5 Mar 1624  CEClass-based legislation was passed in the colony of Virginia, exempting the upper class from punishment by whipping.
24 May 1624  CEAfter years of unprofitable operation, Virginia's charter was revoked and it became a royal colony.
  1624  CECaptain John Smith published his 'General Historie of Virginia'. His adventures are pictured in the book's engravings.
4 May 1626  CEDutch explorer Peter Minuit landed on what is now Manhattan island. Indians sold Manhattan Island for 60 guilders ($24) in cloth and buttons. The site of the deal was later marked by Peter Minuit Plaza at South Street and Whitehall Street.
7 Nov 1626  CEPeter Schager of Amsterdam informed the States General that the ship 'The Arms of Amsterdam' had arrived with a cargo of furs and timber from New Netherlands and that the settlers there had bought the Island of Manhattes for 60 guilders.
15 Nov 1626  CEThe Pilgrim Fathers, who settled in New Plymouth, bought out their London investors.
  1626  CEPeter Minuit becomes director-general of New Netherlands.
  1627  CETwo Portuguese Jesuits arrived in Bhutan, the first westerners to do so.
  1630  CEDutch fleet of 69 ships reaches Pernambuco Brazil.
  1632  CEThe French explorer Etienne Brule was killed by the Huron Indians for unknown reasons.
  1634  CEJohan van Walbeeck's fleet departs to the West-Indies.
  1635  CEEuropean ships carrying African slaves to the West Indies sank off the coast of St. Vincent. The surviving salves escaped and gradually intermarried with the island's Carib Indian natives.
  1637  CEPeter Minuit and the first Swedish immigrants to Delaware sail from Sweden.
  1638  CEDutchman Cornelis S Goyer takes possession of Mauritius which was uninhabited.
14 Jan 1641  CEDutch United East Indian Company (VOC) conquerors city of Malakka, ousting the Portugeese, with 7,000 killed
24 Nov 1642  CEDutch navigator Abel Janszoon Tasman discovers and names Antony Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania).
13 Dec 1642  CEDutch navigator and explorer Abel Janszoon Tasman arrived in present-day New Zealand. He fled after Maori cannibals feasted on the 'friendship party' he sent ashore.
  1670  CEFrench explorer Rene Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, explored the Great Lakes region of the New World.
21 Sep 1673  CEJames Needham returned to Virginia after exploring the land to the west, which would become Tennessee.
  1673  CELouis Joliet and Jacques Marquette begin exploring Mississippi.
 Apr 1675  CEAntonio de la Roché is blown south of Cape Horn and experiences the first sighting of South Georgia.
  1675  CERoyal Greenwich Observatory established in England by Charles II to provide navigational information to sailors.
  1680  CEFrench explorer Sieur de la Salle builds Fort Crevecoeur.
4 Mar 1681  CEEngland's King Charles II granted a charter to British Quaker William Penn making him sole propritor of an area of land that later became Pennsylvania. Penn laid out the city of Philadelphia as a gridiron about 2 miles long, east to west, and a mile wide.
9 Mar 1682  CEThe French explorer Rene Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, reached the Mississippi River. La Salle returned to France after having discovered the mouth of the Mississippi River. La Salle claimed lower Mississippi River and all lands that touched it for France.
  1683  CEWest Indian Company sells a third of Suriname.
  1684  CEFrench explorer Rene Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, set sail for what is now Louisiana with 4 ships commissioned from King Louis XIV. On the way one ship was lost to pirates, another broke apart on a sand bar and a third returned home. The 4th was sunk in a storm in 1686.
 Jan 1685  CEFrench explorer Rene Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, landed at Matagorda Bay, Texas. He thought that he was at the mouth of the Mississippi River but soon realized his mistake and went of looking for the river.
 Jan 1686  CEA storm arose and sank the ship, La Belle, of French explorer Rene Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, in Matagorda Bay, Texas. La Salle was off searching for the Mississippi River. The wreck was discovered in 1995 and in 1996 a skeleton was bound onboard.
19 Mar 1687  CEFrench explorer Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, the first European to navigate the length of the Mississippi River, was murdered by mutineers while searching for the mouth of the Mississippi, along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico in present-day Texas.
31 Mar 1693  CEJohn Harrison (1693-1776), Englishman who invented the chronometer, was born.
  1693  CEThe French explorer Francois Leguat spent several months on Mauritius and looked hard for a dodo bird, but found none.
  1697  CE3 Duch VOC-ships anchor at Dirk-Hartogeiland, Australia.
  1697  CEWillem de Vlamingh returns to Batavia after exploring 'South Land'.
  1700  CEThe Pacific island of New Britain is discovered.
  1701  CECaptain William Kidd (1645?-1701), born in Greenock, Scotland, was hung in London after conviction for piracy and murder.
  1709  CEScottish sailor Alexander Selkirk is rescued after being marooned on a Fernandez Island for 5 years. His story inspires the Daniel DeFoe desert island novel 'Robinson Crusoe'.
  1718  CEHundreds of French colonists arrive in Louisiana founding New Orleans.
  1722  CEDutch Navigator Jacob Roggeveen discovers Samoa and Easter Island.
  1728  CEDanish Navigator Vitus Bering explores the Bering Straits.
  1731  CEJohn Hadley (1682-1784), showed his new quadrant to the Royal Society. After the addition of a magnigying glass to read the scale and a telescope to take the bearing, it later became the sextant.
  1737  CEJohn Harrison invents the first stable nautical chronometer (clock), thereby allowing for precise longitude determination while at sea.
  1739  CEFrenchman Jean-Baptiste C Bouvet de Lozier discovers Bouvet. The island is not sighted again until 1808. Due to significant ice packs, the first landing did not take place until the American Morrell landed in 1822.
  1752  CEEast Indies invasion 'Geldermalsen' leaves at Malakka results in 92 killed.
  1761  CEBy this year British land grants in New England required that pine trees (most notably white pine), that were suitable as ship masts, be conserved and could only be cut under license by the crown.
  1765  CEAdmiral Nelson's sailboat HMS Victory runs aground.
  1766  CEJoseph Banks explored Newfoundland and Labrador charting waters and making collections.
  1768  CEJames Cook discovers and explores the east coast of Australia.
  1769  CEJames Cook lands in New Zealand.
  1769  CEDaniel Boone explores a route through the Cumberland Gap.
  1769  CEDaniel Boone begins exploring the Bluegrass State of Kentucky.
29 Apr 1770  CECaptain Cook's ship stood in Botany Bay which Cook originally called Sting Ray Harbor but the great collection of new plants by naturalists Joseph Banks and Daniel Charles Solander provoked him to change the name
  1770  CEBritish explorer James Bruce discovers the source of the Blue Nile.
  1770  CEAustralia was 'discovered' by James Cook when he arrives in New South Wales
  1771  CESamuel Hearne explores the Copper Mine River of Canada.
  1772  CEJames Cook crosses the Antarctic Circle and circumnavigates Antarctica.
  1772  CEYves de Kerguelen of France discovers Kerguelen Archipelago, India.
 Jan 1773  CECaptain James Cook and his crew become the first men to cross the Antarctic Circle.
  1773  CECaptain James Cook becomes the first to cross Antarctic Circle (66º 33' S).
  1774  CECaptain James Cook reaches a record 71º 10' S, 1820 km from S pole.
  1778  CECaptain James Cook discovers Maui and the Sandwich Islands (Hawaiian Islands).
  1778  CECaptain James Cook first sights Oregon coast, at Yaquina Bay.
  1778  CECaptain James Cook passes through Bering Strait.
  1778  CECaptain James Cook sights Cape Flattery, in Washington state.
14 Feb 1779  CECaptain James Cook was killed on Hawaii.
  1783  CEJoseph Montgolfier and Étienne Montgolfier launch the first unmanned hot air balloons.
  1783  CECharles & M.N. Roberts ascend 2,000' in a hydrogen balloon.
  1783  CEJean Pilƒtre de Rozier makes captive-balloon ascent.
  1783  CEPilstre de Rozier and Marquis d'Arlandes make the first free balloon flight.
  1783  CEThe first unmanned hydrogen balloon flight reaches 900 m altitude.
  1784  CERussian trappers established a colony on Kodiak Island, Alaska.
  1786  CEThe first ascent of Mt Blanc.
  1789  CEAlex Mackenzie explores the Mackenzie River in Canada.
  1790  CEThe Lifeboat is first tested at sea, by Mr Greathead, the inventor.
  1790  CERobert Gray's Columbia, completes the first American around world voyage.
  1792  CEThe Columbia River is 'discovered' and named by US Captain Robert Gray.
  1794  CEHonolulu Harbor is 'discovered'.
  1800  CEDutch East Indies Company dissolves.
  1800  CEJames Ross discovers North Magnetic pole.
  1804  CELewis and Clark began their expedition, setting out from St Louis for the Pacific Coast.
  1804  CELewis and Clark begin exploration of the Louisiana Purchase.
  1804  CEMungo Park leaves England seeking source of Niger River.
24 Jun 1805  CEThe Great Stoneface Mountain is found in New Hampshire.
  1805  CELewis and Clark first see the Rocky Mountains.
  1805  CELewis and Clark first sight Pacific Ocean.
  1806  CEExplorer Zebulon Pike sights Pikes Peak.
  1806  CELewis and Clark find skeleton of a blue whale in Oregon, measuring 105 feet long.
  1806  CELewis and Clark reach the Pacific coast.
  1806  CELewis and Clark return to St Louis from the Pacific Northwest.
  1810  CEJohn Jacob Astor organizes the Pacific Fur Company (Astoria, Oregon).
  1815  CEGeorge Evans 'discovers' Lachlan River, in Australia.
 Feb 1819  CEEnglishman William Smith is blown to the south while rounding Cape Horn and discovers the South Shetland Islands, claiming them for Great Britain in October.
  1819  CERussian explorer Fabian von Bellingshausen circumnavigated Antarctica.
  1819  CEAugustus Siebe invents a diving suit which receives air pumped down from the surface.
  1819  CEGodert baron van der de Capellen becomes Governor of Dutch-Indies.
  1819  CESavannah becomes first steamship to cross any ocean (the Atlantic) leaving from Savannah, Georgia.
  1819  CESir Stamford Raffles first lands in Singapore.
  1819  CESir Thomas Stamford Raffles founds freeport harbor, Singapore.
  1819  CEThe first whaling ship arrives in Hawaii.
27 Jan 1820  CERussian Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen becomes the first person to see the Antarctic continent.
 Jan 1820  CEThe Royal Navy sends Edward Bransfield, with Smith as pilot, to search the waters southeast of the newly claimed South Shetlands. As a result, it is claimed that he is the first to see the Antarctic Peninsula.
 Nov 1820  CEAmerican Nathaniel Palmer, on the 'Hero', claims to see the Antarctic Peninsula. Palmer was a member of a sealing fleet from New England. Only 19 years old, he was dispatched from the sealing grounds in the South Shetlands by his commanding officer to search for land to the south.
  1820  CEEdward Bransfield aboard Williams discovers Antarctica (UK claim).
 Jan 1821  CERussian Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen returns to the Antarctic waters and discovers Peter I Island and the Alexander Islands. He completes a circumnavigation of Antarctica being only the second explorer, after Cook, to do so.
 Feb 1821  CEAmerican sealer John Davis arguably becomes the first person to land on the continent. From Connecticut, Davis had been searching the South Shetlands for seals.
 Dec 1821  CENathaniel Palmer discovers the South Orkney Islands along with British sealer George Powell.
  1821  CEBellingshausen discovers Alexander Island off Antarctica.
 Feb 1823  CEEnglishman James Weddell sails to 74 degrees south. This is the farthest south yet reached and the penetrated sea bears his name today. Except for possibly Morrell, no one is able to penetrate this sea again for eighty years.
  1823  CEBritish Captain James Weddell reaches 74º 15' S, 1520 km from South Pole.
  1826  CEBaron Van der Capellen resigns as Governor of Dutch-Indies.
  1826  CEUSS Vincennes leaves New York to become the first warship to circumnavigate globe.
  1827  CEDutch Trade Company NHM gets opium monopoly on Java.
27 Dec 1831  CECharles Darwin (1809-1882)in Her Majesty's ship Beagle, a ten-gun brig, having been twice driven back by heavy southwestern gales, sailed from Devonport under the command of Captain Fitz Roy.
16 Jan 1832  CECharles Darwin in HMS Beagle, anchored at at Porto Praya, in St. Jago, the chief island of the Cape de Verd.
16 Feb 1832  CECharles Darwin in HMS Beagle reaches St-Pauls (1ºN, 29ºW).
29 Feb 1832  CECharles Darwin in HMS Beagle visits jungle near Bahia Brazil.
5 Jul 1832  CECharles Darwin in HMS Beagle, leaves the harbour of Rio de Janeiro.
26 Jul 1832  CECharles Darwin in HMS Beagle, anchored at Monte Video.
17 Dec 1832  CECharles Darwin in HMS Beagle, arrives at Tierra del Fuego and and entered the strait of Le Maire.
  1832  CECharles Darwin visits Fernando Noronha in Atlantic Ocean.
  1832  CEJohannes van den Bosch appointed Governor-General of Dutch-Indies.
5 Mar 1833  CECharles Darwin reaches Straits of Ponsonby, Fireland (Tierra del Fuego).
24 Jul 1833  CECharles Darwin in HMS Beagle, sailed from Maldonado.
3 Aug 1833  CECharles Darwin in HMS Beagle, arrives off the mouth of the Rio Negro.
31 Mar 1834  CEHMS Beagle anchors for the second time at Berkeley Sound, in the Falkland Islands.
13 Apr 1834  CECharles Darwin in HMS Beagle, anchored within the mouth of the Santa Cruz.
 May 1834  CECharles Darwin in HMS Beagle, entered the eastern mouth of the Strait of Magellan for a second time.
10 Jun 1834  CECharles Darwin in HMS Beagle, reaches the open Pacific, by way of the Straights of Magellan.
23 Jul 1834  CECharles Darwin in HMS Beagle anchors off Valparaiso, Chile.
  1834  CECharles Darwin in HMS Beagle arrives in Port San Julian, Patagonia.
4 Mar 1835  CECharles Darwin in HMS Beagle moves into Bay of Concepcion.
7 Mar 1835  CECharles Darwin in HMS Beagle sailed from Concepcion back to Valparaiso.
19 Jul 1835  CECharles Darwin in HMS Beagle, anchored in the Bay of Callao, at the seaport of Lima, Peru.
20 Oct 1835  CECharles Darwin in HMS Beagle, leave the Galapagos Archipelago for Tahiti.
15 Nov 1835  CECharles Darwin in HMS Beagle, reaches Tahiti.
26 Nov 1835  CECharles Darwin in HMS Beagle, leaves Tahiti headign for New Zealand.
19 Dec 1835  CECharles Darwin in HMS Beagle, reaches New Zealand.
30 Dec 1835  CECharles Darwin in HMS Beagle, leaves New Zealand heading for Sidney, Australia.
  1835  CECharles Darwin and Mariano Gonzales meet at Portillo Pass.
  1835  CECharles Darwin departs Santiago Chile on his way to Portillo Pass.
12 Jan 1836  CECharles Darwinin the HMS Beagle, reaches Sydney, Australia.
5 Feb 1836  CECharles Darwin in HMS Beagle, reaches Hobart Town in van Diemen's Land (later renamed Tasmania).
7 Feb 1836  CECharles Darwin in HMS Beagle, leaves van Diemen's Land (later renamed Tasmania).
6 Mar 1836  CECharles Darwin in HMS Beagle, reaches King George's Sound, close to the SW corner of Australia.
14 Mar 1836  CECharles Darwin in HMS Beagle, leaves Australia from King George's Sound, heading for Keeling Island.
1 Apr 1836  CECharles Darwin in HMS Beagle, arrived at the Keeling or Cocos Islands.
29 Apr 1836  CECharles Darwin in HMS Beagle, passed round the northern end of Mauritius.
8 Jul 1836  CEHMS Beagle anchors in Simons Bay, Cape of Good Hope.
2 Oct 1836  CEDarwin reaches the shores of England aboard HMS Beagle after being away for nearly 5 years.
  1837  CEThe first ascent of Mount Marcy (5,344 feet), the highest in Adirondack, New York.
  1838  CEWilkes' expedition to South Pole sails.
  1839  CEAden conquered by British East India Company.
  1839  CECharles Darwin elected as a member of Royal Society.
  1839  CEThe Cunard Steamship Company Ltd forms San Bonifacio.
 Jan 1840  CELt. Charles Wilkes, American leader of the United States Exploring Expedition, sights an area now known as Wilkes Land.
 Jan 1840  CEFrenchman Jules-Sebastian Dumont d'Urville discovers a stretch of Antarctic coastline which he promptly names for his wife, Adelie - 'Adelie Land'.
  1840  CEAmerican Charles Wilkes discovers Shackleton Ice Shelf, Antarctica.
  1840  CECharles Wilkes expedition discovers Antarctica (US claim).
 Jan 1841  CEUnder Sir James Clark Ross in Erebus and Terror, search for the South Magnetic Pole has been ordered by the British Royal Navy. He discovers Victoria Land and enters the sea which is known famously now as the Ross Sea. He discovers Ross Island, Mt. Erebus and the Ross Ice Shelf.
  1841  CEScottish James Ross sighted the Great Ice Barrier now named after him in Antarctica.
  1841  CEThe US 'Oregan Trail' is opened up and the first wagon trains of settlers left Missouri for Califonia.
  1841  CEJames Clark Ross, from Britain, is first to enter pack ice near Ross Ice Shelf.
  1843  CEThe first wagon train, with 1000 wagons departs Independence in Montana for Oregon.
  1843  CEUS and British settlers in Oregon Country choose governmental committee.
  1846  CEIda Pfeiffer, at the age of 48, begins a trip around world.
  1850  CEThe 'Investigator', the first ship to effect a northwest passage, leaves England.
  1851  CEThe Yosemite Valley is discovered in California.
  1858  CEThe Hudson Bay Company's rights to Vancouver Island are revoked and it cedes it's territory to Canada.
  1858  CESir Richard Burton and John Speake explore Lake Tanganyika, Africa.
  1859  CECharles Darwin published 'On the origin of species by means of natural selection' explaining that evolution is a simple change in the overall character of a population of either plants or animals.
  1865  CEThe CSS Shenandoah arrives in Melbourne, Australia.
  1869  CEThe first voyage down the Colorado River.
  1871  CEJournalist Henry Morton Stanley begins his famous expedition to Africa.
  1871  CEHenry Morton Stanley presumes to meet Livingston in Ujiji, Central Africa.
  1872  CEHMS Challenger sets sail on 3-year world oceanographic cruise.
  1875  CEVerney Cameron is the first European to cross equatorial Africa.
  1876  CEHMS Challenger returns from 128,000-km oceanographic exploration.
  1879  CEHenry Morton Stanley departs to the Congo.
  1879  CEKirland Warbler discovered on Andros Island in the Bahamas.
  1881  CEHenry Morton Stanley signs contract with Congolian monarch.
  1881  CESS Ceylon begins the first round-the-world cruise from Liverpool.
  1882  CEMatson founds his shipping company (San Francisco and Hawaii).
  1887  CEThomas Stevens becomes the first man to bicycle around the world. He rode from San Francisco to San Francisco over 21,700km.
 Nov 1892  CECaptain Carl Larsen of the 'Jason' lands near the Antarctic Peninsula on Seymour Island. Discovering a number of fossils, this becomes the first evidence of a prior warmer climate.
  1897  CEThe 6,960 metre (22,834 foot) Cerro Aconcagua mountian in Argentina is first climbed.
  1900  CESir Arthur Evans finds the old city of Knossus.
 Feb 1902  CEA Swedish geologist, Otto Nordenskjöld, and five crew members are left on Snow Hill Island where they spend two winters and during this expedition the first major sledge journey in Antarctica took place over some 400 miles . Their ship 'Antarctic' was crushed in the ice pack after leaving the crew on the island thereby creating two separate groups of explorers. The second crew was able to survive the winter and find their way back to Snow Hill Island where the whole party was rescued in 1903 by an Argentinean relief ship.
 Nov 1902  CERobert F. Scott, Edward Wilson and Ernest Shackleton strike out for the South Pole. Leaving McMurdo Sound heading south across the Ross Ice Shelf, two months later they find themselves at 82 degrees south suffering from snow blindness and scurvy. Forced to return home, they nonetheless cover 3100 miles.
 Oct 1908  CEExplorers Ernest Shackleton, Frank Wild, Eric Marshall and Jameson Adams attempt to reach the South Pole. Within 30 days they have surpassed Scotts effort in 1903. Reaching reaches 88º23' south within 97 nautical miles, the group is severely ill and undernourished requiring them to abandon their attempt on the pole.
  1908  CEFrederick A Cook claims to reach North Pole (he didn't).
  1908  CEThe first ascent of Mount Erebus, in Antarctica.
 Jan 1909  CEEdgeworth David, Douglas Mawson and Alistair Mackay reach the magnetic South Pole.
  1909  CEThe Great White Fleet, the first US fleet to circle the globe, returns to Virginia.
  1909  CENorth Pole reached by Americans Robert Peary, Matthew Henson and four others.
  1909  CEUniversity of Copenhagen rejects Cook's claim that he was the first to North Pole.
  1909  CEWord received, Adm Peary discovers North Pole 5 months earlier.
14 Dec 1911  CENorwegian Roald Amundsen and four team members reach the South Pole. Amundsen discovered a new route which took only 57 days. Letters are left for Scott, a Norwegian flag planted and then they return to the Bay of Whales.
  1911  CEPandora becomes the first 2-man sailboat to round Cape Horn west to east.
  1911  CERoald Amundsen sets out on race to South Pole.
  1911  CERoald Amundsens anchors at Walvis Bay.
  1911  CERobert Scott's expedition leaves Cape Evans for South Pole
18 Jan 1912  CEBritish explorer Captain Robert F Scott, Edward Wilson, Edgar Evans and Lawrence Oates reach the South Pole, only to discover that Roald Amundsen had gotten there before.
18 Jan 1912  CERobert F. Scott, Edward Wilson, Edgar Evans and Lawrence Oates reach the South Pole. Unfortunately, Amundsen had already been there and left a flag marking the spot. Terribly discouraged after a tortuous journey, all members perish on the return trip. Scott, Wilson and Bowers die in their tent after using up all fuel and food. The three are not discovered until November.
 Feb 1912  CECaptain Robert Falcon Scott (1868-1912), blizzard-bound in a tent 18 km from the South Pole, makes last entry in his diary 'the end cannot be far'.
 Apr 1912  CEScott's Northern Party give up hope of the Terra Nova arriving to pick them up before winter sets in. The six men must dig a cave out of a snow bank where they live for six months on penguin and seal meat.
 Dec 1912  CEDouglas Mawson must begin his lone trek across George V Land back to his base at Commonwealth Bay. Mawson's two companions had died and despite the tragedy, he makes it home. A new section of coast is discovered and radio is used for the first time in Antarctica.
  1912  CERoald Amundsen announces discovery of the South Pole.
3 Mar 1915  CENational Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NASA forerunner) created
 Oct 1915  CEErnest Shackleton's expedition ship, the 'Endurance', is crushed in the ice of the Weddell Sea after drifting for nine months. The 28 men must camp on the floating ice for five more months before an opening in the ice allows them to take to the boats for Elephant Island in the South Shetlands. Three members die but the rest were eventually rescued in 1917.
 Apr 1916  CEShackleton and five of his men leave Elephant Island in the lifeboat 'James Caird'. In 15 days they arrive at South Georgia. Unfortunately, they made land on the wrong side of the island and Shackleton, Tom Crean and Frank Worsley had to cross the island through difficult terrain to reach the whaling station at Stromness.
  1916  CEOn his fourth try, Shackleton reaches Elephant Island in the Chilean ship 'Yelcho' and rescues the 22 survivors from the 'Endurance'. They survived by turning the remaining life boats upside down and setting up living quarters beneath.
 Jan 1922  CEAt the age of 48, Ernest Shackleton dies of a heart attack. He was on board the Quest at the time and is buried in South Georgia.
16 Mar 1926  CERobert Huchings Goddard launches the first liquid fuel rocket
 Nov 1928  CEHubert Wilkins makes the first flight in the Antarctic region, flying from Deception Island in the South Shetlands in a Lockheed Vega monoplane.
28 Nov 1929  CEAfter a ten hour flight from their base at the Bay of Whales, Richard E. Byrd and three others become the first to fly over the South Pole.
  1929  CELt Cmdr Richard E Byrd sends 'My calculations indicate that we have reached the vicinity of the South Pole' (He was wrong).
 Nov 1935  CEAmerican Lincoln Ellsworth is the first to successfully fly across the continent.
  1935  CEExplorer 2 balloon sets altitude record of 72,000 feet.
  1935  CEKaroline Mikkelson is the first woman on Antarctica.
 Jan 1947  CEOperation Highjump is organized by the US Navy. A total of 4700 men, 13 ships and 23 aircraft are involved. A base is set up at Little America. Extensive mapping of the coast and interior is accomplished. Over 70,000 aerial photographs are taken.
 Dec 1947  CEAs a follow up to Highjump, Operation Windmill begins.
 Dec 1947  CEFinn Ronne, leader of a private American Expedition, is based on Stonington Island. Flying over the southern shores, he is the first to see the mountains of the western edge of the Filchner Ice Shelf.
  1951  CEDouglas D-558-II Skyrocket reaches 1,992 kph.
  1953  CEAnn Davidso is the first woman to sail solo across Atlantic. She arrives Miami.
  1953  CEEdmund P Hillary and Tensing Norkay are the first to reach the summit of Mount Everest.
  1954  CEThe first passage of McClure Strait, fabled Northwest Passage completed.
  1956  CEA new range of mountains is discovered in Antarctica, two are over 13,000 feet.
  1956  CEHannes Lindemann begins journey across Atlantic in a 17 foot craft.
  1958  CEEdmund Hillary reaches South Pole overland.
  1958  CEThe first surface crossing of Antarctic continent is completed in 99 days.
  1960  CEPiccard and Walsh in bathyscaph 'Trieste' reach 10,900 meters in the Mariana Trench.
  1960  CEUS atomic submarine USS Triton completes 1st circumnavigation of globe under water.
  1969  CEBritain's Trans-Arctic expedition makes the first crossing of Arctic Sea ice.
  1970  CEThor Heyerdahl crosses the Atlantic on reed raft Ra.
  1975  CEJunko Tabei is 1st woman to climb to the top of Mount Everest.
  1981  CEBritish team led by Ranulph Fiennes completes longest & fastest crossing of Antarctica, reaching Scott base after 75 days (2,500 miles)
  1986  CEWill Stegers expedition reaches North Pole
Note 1: Events described with text like this have been entered from one source but have not yet been verified against a subsequent source ( Explain ).
Note 2: The events are sorted in semi-chronological order according to what is factually known about the date of the event ( Explain ).
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