John Cabot discovered the island of Newfoundland on June 24, 1497. Many people believe he landed at Cape Bonavista. Records from that time show that Cabot may also have landed on the shores of Labrador.
John Cabot was born in Genoa, Italy around the year 1450. He worked as a trader in what is now called the Middle East. He moved to England in 1484. He had heard about the riches of China and wanted to explore the world.
In 1496, King Henry VII gave Cabot the right to discover new lands. Cabot set sail that year. He had to turn back because of bad weather and no food. Cabot began his second trip on May 2, 1497. He sailed from Bristol, England in his ship, The Matthew. Cabot never got to China by sea. He found Newfoundland and its fishery. Some people say Cabot used a basket to dip fish from the sea.
Cabot was paid cash for discovering Newfoundland. He was also given a pension. He only collected that pension once. It is believed he drowned at sea.
In 1997, Newfoundland and Labrador will celebrate the 500th anniversary of John Cabot's landing in Newfoundland. Special events will be held across the province. Organizers plan to make 1997 a Come Home Year. Family and friends who have moved away will be invited to come home to help celebrate.
The government planned to put up a building to mark the anniversary. It was to be called the Caboto Building. The job was cancelled by the provincial government because of a lack of money. The Cabot Tower was built on Signal Hill in St. John's in 1897. It was built to mark the 400th anniversary of Cabot's discovery.
By Reg Hamilton
When John Cabot sailed in search of new land he set a course through unknown waters. See how you do through these unknown waters of history.
1. To discover the new world, Cabot had to sail the ocean blue. What was the name of his ship?
|Santa Maria:||Go to 10|
|Matthew:||Go to 5|
2. Unknown waters can be dangerous. How many voyages did Cabot make before discovering Newfoundland?
|One:||Go to 14|
|Two:||Go to 12|
3. You're lucky! Cabot set sail from Bristol, England on May 2, 1497. Drift on over to 11.
4. Right on course! King Henry VII gave Cabot the right to discover new lands in 1496. Splash on over to 9.
5. You're on a course of discovery. John Cabot did sail aboard the Matthew. Sail on over to 2.
6. Cast off. Cabot set sail from what English port in 1497?
|Plymouth:||Go to 13|
|Bristol:||Go to 3|
7. You slipped! Watch out for the icy deck. It would have been a nice Christmas gift for King Henry VII, but Cabot was back home celebrating Christmas in 1497. Back to 9.
8. Watch your head! King Henry VIII had plenty of wives and loved cutting off heads. Get back to 11 before you lose yours.
9. Here's an easy one to make sure you've got your sea legs. When did John Cabot discover Newfoundland?
|December 24, 1497||Go to 7|
|June 24, 1497||Go to 15|
10. Don't drop anchor! I don't think John would have sailed aboard The Santa Maria since it belonged to Christopher Columbus. Return to 1.
11. Who was the King of England when John Cabot discovered Newfoundland?
|King Henry VII:||Go to 4|
|King Henry VIII:||Go to 8|
12. Nice Sailing! Cabot made a second voyage in May 1497 after turning back a year earlier. Drift on over to 6.
13. Bad luck! You've lost your bearings. Remember the Pilgrims, who settled in the United States, set sail from Plymouth, England. Back to 6.
14. Be prepared to discover another answer. Cabot made his first voyage in 1496 but turned back because of bad weather and a lack of food. Back to 2.
15. Land Ahoy! You should have returned to port in 9 steps if you completed your voyage without any mistakes.
The correct route is 1-5-2-12-6-3-11-4-9-15