Today in History, December 16: 1497 – Bartolomeu Dias! Remember his name from history class? Probably not. In 1488 Dias, a Portuguese explorer, discovered the Cape of Good Hope and sailed around the Horn of Africa…he named it the Cape of Storms…and after his crew bucked up, turned back for home. In 1497 Vasco da Gama, another Portuguese explorer, and whose name you probably remember, made the same trip, but kept going…opening up India and the Orient to European trade by sail. Portugal (and it’s economy) would rule Asian trade for a century as a result.