Sunday, March 28, 2010
In 1497, Amerigo Vespucci discovered a new continent when he landed in present day South America. During this time, map makers were trying to decide on a new name for Vespucci’s continent. Famous German map maker, Martin Waldseemuller, created a map signifying this new continent as “America” in honor of Amerigo Vespucci. The map maker chose the Latin version of Amerigo because he wanted to have the new name of the continent end in an “a” similar to other continents like Africa and Asia. The name “America” and other derivatives of Amerigo caught on and became very popular in naming the “New World”. Names like Americus, Liberty and Independence followed and became synonymous with the spirit of freedoms being found in this new land.
Photo courtesy of Library of Congress