After sailing through the dangerous straits below South America that now bear his name, Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan enters the Pacific Ocean with three ships, becoming the first European explorer to reach the Pacific from the Atlantic.
On September 20, 1519, Magellan set sail from Spain in an effort to find a western sea route to the rich Spice Islands of Indonesia. In command of five ships and 270 men, Magellan sailed to West Africa and then to Brazil, where he searched the South American coast for a strait that would take him to the Pacific. He searched the Rio de la Plata, a large estuary south of Brazil, for a way through; failing, he continued south along the coast of Patagonia. At the end of March 1520, the expedition set up winter quarters at Port St. Julian. On Easter day at midnight, the Spanish captains mutinied against their Portuguese captain, but Magellan crushed the revolt, executing one of the captains and leaving another ashore when his ship left St. Julian in August. On October 21, he finally discovered the strait he had been seeking.
The Magellan–Elcano voyage. Victoria, one of the original five ships, circumnavigated the globe, finishing 16 months after Magellan’s death.
Also on this day,
1582 | William Shakespeare marries Anne Hathaway
Eighteen-year-old William Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway, age 26, pay 40 pounds for a wedding license in Stratford-upon-Avon. Six months later the couple will have a daughter, followed later by twins. Scant details will be known about the Bard’s marriage.1943 | ‘Big Three’ allied leaders Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin meet in Tehran
US President Franklin Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, the so-called ‘Big Three,’ come together to discuss strategies for winning the war against the Nazis. The Tehran Conference is the first time Roosevelt and Stalin meet in person.1974 | John Lennon joins Elton John in NYC
After losing a bet, John Lennon performs three songs with Elton John at New York’s Madison Square Garden, including Lennon’s hit ‘Whatever Gets You Thru the Night.’ It would be one of Lennon’s final performances, and his last in front of such a large audience.
Start date: Nov 28, 1943
End date: Dec 01, 1943
The Shah of Iran (center), pictured to the right of Joseph Stalin at the Tehran Conference (1943)