Francisco Vázquez de Coronado and the Seven Cities of Gold
In 1540, Spanish conquistador Francisco Vázquez de Coronado set out from northern Mexico with one of the largest expeditions ever assembled in the New World. The goal was to find and conquer the legendary Seven Cities of Gold – also known as Cibola and El Dorado.
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Matt Rutherford and the first solo, nonstop circumnavigation of the Americas
In 2011, Matt Rutherford set out to become the first person to ever sail around the Americas. He had a 40-year old, 27-foot long sailboat – the St. Brendan. As this was a solo voyage, he was alone. And as this was nonstop, he could not put into port, drop anchor, connect himself to another vessel, or beach the boat. In this 3-part series, we chronicle Rutherford’s voyage, plus do an extensive interview with the man.
Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliett
In 1673, French explorers Louis Joliett and Jacques Marquette went searching for the legendary ‘Big River’ that lies in the west – the Mississippi. Marquette – a Jesuit priest – and Joliett – a Canadian born trader, would find the great river and open up one of North America’s great waterways to Europe.
Captain James Cook in one history’s most famous explorers. He conducted three expeditions to the Pacific, opening up countless new lands to the western world – including New Zealand, Australia and all sorts of islands. In all of this, he would sail from the Arctic to the Antarctic – perhaps the most prolific naval explorer in history.
In the 1640s, Dutch explorer Abel Tasman would lead two important expeditions of discovery in the Far East. In the process, he would become the first European to reach Tasmania and New Zealand – and a bunch of South Pacific Islands. Check out this 2-part series.
Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen is considered one of the father’s of modern polar exploration. He would be the first person to cross Greenland, and make a famed effort for the North Pole. In doing so, he pioneered many tactics used by successful polar explorers to this day. But Nansen wasn’t just an explorer. He was a ground breaking scientist and a diplomat, and received a Nobel Prize for his humanitarian efforts later in his life.
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