Hernando De Soto – a Spanish conquistador who explored and claimed for Spain most of what is now the southeastern United States. He was also the first to see the Mississippi River.
John Cabot - an Italian explorer who lead an expedition sailing west across the Atlantic Ocean. Many believe his ship likely reached what is now Newfoundland and Labrador Canada.
Christopher Columbus- an Italian explorer who convinced the King and Queen of Spain that he could sail west from Europe to reach Asia. He landed in the islands off the coast of North America – San Salvador.
Marco Polo - a young Italian explorer who wrote a book which tells of his travels to Cathay (known as China today) In his book he wrote about many Chinese inventions and brought back goods like silk to Italy.
Vasco Nunez de Balboa - an Italian sailor who wanted to find a western route to Asia. He searched the coast of North and South America He is best known for crossing the Isthmus of Panama to the Pacific Ocean and the 1st European to lead an expedition to reach the Pacific.