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Wednesday, 10 March 1452 07:10

Ferdinand II of Aragon

Profession: King of Aragon

Nationality: Spanish

Why Famous: One of the so-called Catholic Monarchs, Ferdinand married Isabella I of Castile, and their marriage began the process of Spanish unification.

Together they sponsored the voyages of Christopher Columbus to the New World where he discovered the Americas, and later completed the centuries-long process of Reconquista, the recapture of Muslim-held territories on the Iberian peninsula.

He also formed the Spanish Inquisition with his wife, initially to find and punish heretics among the Muslims and Jews who had converted to Catholicism and to maintain orthodox Catholicism within their empires.

He was also King of Naples, King of Castile through his wife's reign and King of Navarre by conquest.

Born: March 10, 1452

Birthplace: Sada Palace, Sos, Kingdom of Aragon

Star Sign: Pisces

Died: January 23, 1516 (aged 63)

Friday, 03 July 2020 07:04

God Bless America!

Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, 22 April 1451 23:44

Isabella I of Castile

Profession: Queen of Castile

Nationality: Spanish

Why Famous: Isabella's marriage to Ferdinand II of Aragon created the partnership of the 'Catholic Monarchs', and their union helped lead directly to the eventual unification of Spain. In office she reorganized the government, lowered considerably the crime rate and had the Kingdom relieved of its debt.

Together with her husband they sponsored Christopher Columbus' 1492 voyage where he discovered the New World and completed the Reconquista by annexing Granada, ending centuries of Muslim rule over areas in the Iberian peninsula. She also formed the Spanish Inquisition with her husband, initially to find and punish heretics among the Muslims and Jews who had converted to Catholicism and to maintain orthodox Catholicism within their empires.

Their grandson, King Charles V, would eventually reunify Spain based on their marriage and claims.

Born: April 22, 1451

Birthplace: Madrigal de las Altas Torres, Kingdom of Castile

Star Sign: Taurus

Died: November 26, 1504 (aged 53)

Thursday, 02 July 2020 23:32

September 3, 1501

Nicolás de Ovando y Cáceres appointed Governor of the Indies by Spanish Queen Isabella I.

Monday, 15 July 1501 23:27

July 15, 1501

Portuguese explorer Pedro Cabral arrives back in Lisbon after successfully discovering Brazil and returning from India.

Monday, 20 May 1501 23:22

May 20, 1501

Joao da Nova Castell discovers Ascension Islands.

Wednesday, 16 January 1501 23:11

January 16, 1501

Portuguese navigator Pedro Álvares Cabral and 6 ships begin their return voyage to Lisbon.

Thursday, 02 July 2020 22:52

Vasco da Gama

Profession: Explorer

Nationality: Portuguese

Why Famous: Vasco da Gama was the first European explorer to reach India by sea, helping to establish Portugal as a colonial power and changing the previous dependence Europe had on trade overland.

Vasco da Gama left Portugal with 4 ships on his first voyage in 1497, rounded the Cape of Good Hope and travelled up the African coast. Arriving in the trading port of Calicut, India in May of 1498 he was warmly received, though failed to establish permanent relations.

After an arduous journey home he returned to Portugal in August of 1499 to a hero's welcome, including the noble title of Dom.

In 1502, Vasco da Gama made a second less successful voyage to Calicut with the aim of subduing the town with a fleet of fifteen ships. This voyage was marked by acts of cruelty, including looting and burning a Muslim pilgrim ship with pilgrims inside.

After this, Vasco da Gama fell out of favor, until 1524 when he was appointed Indian Viceroy, However, 3 months after arriving again in India, Vasco da Gama died of malaria.

Died: December 24, 1524
Cause of Death: Malaria

Thursday, 02 July 2020 22:42

Portuguese Discover Brazil

Pedro Álvares Cabral was chosen by the Portuguese crown to lead a major expedition to India in 1500. A fleet of 13 ships and an estimated 1500 men left Portugal to follow in the footsteps of Vasco da Gama's earlier expedition in search of new trade routes.

It is still unclear today whether Cabral's journey into the west Atlantic was deliberate or not but on the 22nd April 1500 land was spotted at what Cabral christened Monte Pascoal in what is now modern Brazil. The expedition went on to spend about 10 days exploring the coast and interacting with indigenous peoples. Cabral claimed the lands for the Portuguese crown under the conditions of the Treaty of Tordesillas, agreed with Spain which granted Portugal sway over undiscovered lands along the meridian of 370 leagues.

The rest of the expedition was equally momentous. Cabral lost six of his ships in a storm off Mozambique before reaching India, where he battled with locals and competing Arab merchants before loading up with spices and returning home in July 1501.

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