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Celebrating The 500th Anniversary Of The First Use Of The Name "America"

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

CELEBRATING THE 500TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE FIRST USE OF THE NAME ``AMERICA'' -- (House of Representatives - July 11, 2007)


Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of this resolution authored by my good friend and colleague, Mr. Hastings of Florida, a resolution that commemorates the first use of the name ``America'' by European map makers.

When Italian photographer and navigator Amerigo Vespucci, the merchant, explorer and cartographer, set sail on his first westward bound voyage across the Atlantic, probably in the year 1497, he did so in search of a faster trading route to China. But in the course of his travels, he set foot instead in what is now the continent of South America.

From widely published letters attributed to him at the time, Europeans first came to know of the vast continents of this new world, lands that would come to play such a dominant role in the history of the Old World during the next four centuries.

From these letters, Amerigo's destiny as a namesake for our home on the world maps that followed was assured.

This resolution of Mr. Hastings reminds us that no matter where we live in the northern or southern hemisphere, we are Americans, united by a common history.

I thank my colleague from Florida (Mr. Hastings) for offering this resolution.

Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.


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