On April 25, 1507, the term “America” was first used on a world map, referring to the huge mass of land in the Western Hemisphere. Martin Waldseemüller, a German cartographer, used the name “America” in honor of Italian navigator Amerigo Vespucci.
 
Vespucci, in addition to being a friend of Christopher Columbus, was an avid traveler who described his travels in letters and journals. These letters, along with the works of the Greek geographer Ptolemy, helped Waldseemüller define the landmasses in his book Introduction to Cosmography. (Waldseemüller’s America actually identified what is today South America. “Parias” is the name Waldseemüller identified with what is today North America.) In addition to this book, Waldseemüller published 1,000 copies of a woodcut world map. Both the book and the map were widely regarded, and the term “America” was eventually universally accepted.
avid
Adjective

enthusiastic.

cartographer
Noun

person who makes maps.

geographer
Noun

person who studies places and the relationships between people and their environments.

landmass
Noun

large area of land.

Noun

symbolic representation of selected characteristics of a place, usually drawn on a flat surface.

navigator
Noun

person who charts a course or path.

Western Hemisphere
Noun

area of the Earth west of the prime meridian and east of the International Date Line.

More Dates in History

April
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 1 2 3 4 5
More Events on this Date