1513 Four Hundred And Seventy-five Years Ago

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Lured by Indian tales of gold, the Spanish explorer Vasco Núñnez de Balboa led 190 men through dense, steaming jungles and rugged mountains across the narrow isthmus of Panama. On September 25, Balboa encountered the Pacific Ocean. According to the early Spanish historian Antonio de Herrera, Balboa “commanded his armie to halt, and himselfe went alone to the toppe, where, having sighted the Mar del Sur , he knelt down, and raising his hands to Heaven, pouring forth mighty praises to God for His great grace in having made him the first man to discover and sight it.”