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September 20, 1519 – Magellan begins historic sea voyage


Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan
Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan
-Earning the Spanish King’s approval for his voyage, Portugese explorer Ferdinand Magellan set sails on September 20th, 1519, en route to make histroy. A fleet of five vessels was outfitted and sailed from Sanl?car de Barrameda, Spain, with about 250 men on September 20, 1519. Magellan sailed through familiar waters along the west coast of Africa and then south to the equator.
Magellan and his crew were the first Europeans to sail around the world, proving that the world was round. From 1519 to 1521 Magellan searched for a western route to the Moluccas, or Spice Islands. He was killed on April 27, 1521 when he interfered in a dispute between indigenous people in the Philippines. Only two of his ships continued to the Spice Islands. The two ships then made separate return voyages, and only one, commanded by Juan Sebasti?ndel Cano, completed the trip back to Spain.
Magellan set out to reach the East Indies by sailing westward from Europe, which no one was sure could be done. He intended to return by the same route, but after his death his crews found that the prevailing winds required them to keep sailing west, around the world.