Amerigo Vespucci Birth Anniversary

Many people have had a great influence upon our world. Some have changed it in a generally good way, such as Abraham Lincoln. Others have affected the world negatively, such as Adolph Hitler. Still others have changed the world thoroughly, their changes resounding through time, such as Christopher Columbus. One other has changed the world thoroughly, and though all know his name, few know who this actually is. This man is Amerigo Vespucci or, as known to the Spanish, Americo Vespucio.

Amerigo Vespucci
Amerigo Vespucci (March 9, 1454 – February 22, 1512) was an Italian explorer, financier, navigator and cartographer who first demonstrated that Brazil and the West Indies did not represent Asia's eastern outskirts as initially conjectured from Columbus' voyages, but instead constituted an entirely separate landmass hitherto unknown to Afro-Eurasians. Colloquially referred to as the New World, this second super continent came to be termed "America", deriving its name from the feminized Latin version of Vespucci's first name.

In 1507, Martin Waldseemüller, a German cartographer, produced the first world map showing the Americas as separate continents. He based this new off of Vespucci's travels, giving the continents the new title of America, after Vespucci. This name quickly spread, giving the both North and South America their names.
Amerigo Vespucci was a man whose works thoroughly changed the course of history. By suggesting that the lands that Columbus discovered and that he explored were actually not part of Asia but instead their own continent, Vespucci gave his name to these lands. While there is controversy on whether he deserved this grand remembrance, Vespucci certainly did contribute heavily to the finding and exploration of the New World. He will now be remembered forever through his namesake.