Magellan Killed

Today in History, April 27, 1521:

Explorer, navigator Ferdinand Magellan is killed by a poison arrow in the Philippines.

The Portuguese Magellan convinced Spanish King Charles I to bankroll an expedition to locate a passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific through the Americas. The Spaniards he led were not loyal to him; at one point he had to put down a mutiny.

He did, however succeed in finding the passage, around the southern tip of South America, now the Strait of Magellan. It took his small fleet 38 days to sail the strait, and 99 days to sail across the vast Pacific (which he named) to Guam. Continuing on towards the Spice Islands,

Magellan stopped in the Philippines, where he allowed himself to become involved in a squabble between tribes…during which he was shot by a poison arrow. His shipmates abandoned him, leaving him to die.

They then continued on to the Spice Islands, filled their cargo holds with spices, and completed the first circumnavigation of the Earth. Guess the lesson is if you’re taking on a big task…stay on task and try to pick people that can be loyal to you.

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