For Christmas, my wife got me the book, Stuff Every American Should Know, by Denise Kiernan and Joseph D'Agnese, published by Quirk Books in 2012. The first chapter reminds me of my grade school education, where students learn how America got its name.
Though Lief Eriksson reached the continent about 400 years earlier, Christopher Columbus sailed from Spain to what is now the Bahamas and is credited as discovering America in 1492.
Though it's debated how many trips he made to the continent, Amerigo Vespucci first sailed from Italy to what is now Brazil in 1499 or 1497 at the earliest. Vespucci believed he had discovered a new continent — a claim Columbus never made.
Believing that Vespucci was the original discoverer, German mapmaker Martin Waldseemuller printed the first map with the word "America" in 1507.
This book (available on Amazon) has some fascinating tidbits that I will share in some upcoming blog posts. I recommend it.
History is alive in the lab.