Today In Fact, 3 January

The Portuguese for most of the 15th Century had been inching down the West African coast seeking a route to the East that would allow them access to Indian spices and gold.

On this day in 1488, Bartholomew Diaz, the leader of a three-ship expedition sighted land and landed in what was to become Mossel Bay. Diaz erected the first stone cross here, a Padrao making his crew the first people to round the Cape by ship and the first Europeans to set foot in South Africa.

– Posted by Douglas Racionzer (