November 22: A Victory for Vasco


Written by Matthew Mendez, Journalist

November 22, 1497 C.E. Portuguese navigator, Vasco da Gama, sails around the Cape of Good Hope in an attempt to reach the Indian subcontinent. With the ascent of King Manuel I to the Portuguese throne in 1495, the Portuguese nation grew hungry for the riches of the Orient. With a heart set on finding a route to the Indies, Manuel I commissioned da Gama to carry out his ambitions. With only four vessels to accompany him, da Gama set sail from Lisbon in July,  eventually rounding the Cape of Good Hope in late November. Having successfully braved the dangerous waters of the Atlantic, da Gama finally reached India in May, laying the foundations for eventual Portuguese imperialism in the East.

Photo credits to Seth Knoop