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on the road today Amerigo Vespucci

Vespucci was the one person for whom

North and South America was named after. Vespucci had a

wonderful life and found many things on his voyages.

Amerigo Vespucci was born in Florence, Italy in March of

1451, and grew up in a considerable mansion near the river.

As a young boy, Amerigo's happiest moments studying the

stars. He excelled in mathematics and his hobby was

copying maps. His dream as a young boy was to travel and

get a better picture about what the Earth looked like.

Amerigo spent half of his life as a business man hoping to

strike it rich so he could explore. Amerigo was the third son,

there were two older brothers, Antonio and Girolamo, the

youngest was Bernardo. The parents were Stagio and

Elisabetta Vespucci. Italy, at this time was not yet a civilized

country. Italy was a bunch of city- states each self governed

and looking for money for it's own purposes and not for the

benefit of the country. Florence, where Amerigo was born

and grew up, was in the city-state governed by the powerful

Medici family. Later in Vespucci's life he ends up working

for this family helping govern the city-state. Italy, at this time

was not a good country as it is today. In 1492 Vespucci left

Florence for Seville, Spain because Italy had the monopoly

and didn't need, or want, exploration. Well into his forties,

around 1495, Vespucci became the director of a ship

company that supplied ships for long voyages. This was the

first opportunity Vespucci had to make voyages and he was

very happy about this, therefore he was only looking for

"new worlds" to discover and not money or rewards for

finding exotic places. In 1497 Vespucci said that he went on

a voyage to the "New World." Little is known about this

because there was not much evidence to support that he

actually made this voyage such as: journals, maps they used,

or any crew members journals about what happened. He

was said to be back in 1498. Later on down the road, after

this journey was said to take place people began to doubt

this and Columbus became known as the founder of the

"New World" even though he thought he was in India. In

1499 Vespucci was said to have made his second voyage

with Alonso de Ojeda as the captain. This voyage could be

backed by a great deal of evidence and is supposed to have

occurred. The watchman finally did spot land, the Cape

Verde Islands, and this is the first time anyone has been

purposely to the "New World." On this first journey

Vespucci explored the north eastern coast of South America

and also came in contact with Cuba, Hispaniola, and the

Bahaman Islands. Vespucci got back to Spain in 1500 and

told everyone about his findings of the land and the people.

On May 19, 1501 Vespucci left from the ports of the

sponsoring Spain on his third voyage. On this voyage

Vespucci was second in charge behind Gonocalo Coelho,

another one of Spains' explorers. They explored on this

expedition the Cape Santo Agostinho at the shoulder of

present day Brazil. This voyage was one of the less

successful because they explored only limited water area.

On the fourth, and last, voyage Vespucci explored more of

South America. In 1503, on this journey, led by Amerigo

Vespuccci himself, the captain and crew explored the south

eastern side of South America. They ran along the coast and

visited such places as Cape Soo Roque, Guanabara Bay,

Rio de la Plata, Cape Santo Agostinho, San Julian and

spotted the Falkland Islands. His crew returned back to

Spain in 1504 and told their story to mapmakers to put on

the maps. After the findings of the "New World" a

mapmaker suggested they call it America, after the knowing

founder. Martin Waldseemuller a German mapmaker was

one of the first to believe that Vespucci was the first

European to reach the "New World." In 1507, he suggested

they call it America and soon this name was used throughout

and eventually used officially in the naming of the continent.

Vespucci left a controversy when he died saying that he did

not make the voyage that started in 1497. Today scholars

still doubt that Vespucci made the voyage. Vespucci also

claimed, in his writings, that he captioned all the journeys

himself when he only captained one of the four reported

expedition. The results to Vespucci's findings was that North

and South America were named after him, and back in the

late 1400's and the early 1500's they would know that there

was a ... more

on the road today

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a child called it

Dave has experienced a truly extraordinary life. As a child, he endured the horrors of child abuse, which included physical torture, mental cruelty, and near starvation. Upon Dave's rescue, he was identified as one of the most severely abused children in California's history. At age 12, Dave's teachers risked their careers to notify the authorities and saved his life. Upon Dave's removal, he was made a ward of the court and placed in foster care until he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force at age 18. As a young adult Dave was determined to better himself--no matter what the odds.
As a member of the armed forces, Dave was hand-picked to midair refuel the highly secretive SR-71 Blackbird and the F-117 Stealth Fighter, which played a major role in Operations Just Cause, Desert Shield, and Desert Storm.
Some of Dave's distinctive accomplishments have been recognized through a number of awards, as well as personal commendations from Presidents Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and George W. Bush. Recently he was the recipient of The Points of Light Award for April 22nd, 2003. In 1990, he was the recipient of the J.C. Penney Golden Rule Award, making him the California Volunteer of the Year. In 1993, Dave was honored as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Americans. He joins a distinguished group of alumni which includes: John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Anne Bancroft, Orson Welles, Walt Disney, and Nelson Rockefeller. In 1994, Dave was the only American to be honored as one of The Outstanding Young Persons of the World. He also carried the coveted Centennial flame for the 1996 Olympics.
Dave's first book, A Child Called "It," and book, Help Yourself have both been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Dave is one of the only authors to have four books simultaneously on the New York Times Best Sellers List and the first author to have three books simultaneously on this list in trade paperback. Dave is the only author to have four #1 International Best Sellers.
Dave's incredible life story was featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show and The Montel Williams Show, among other Television and Radio programs.
Dave is one of the few personalities who pays homage to educators, social services, foster care, law enforcement, and volunteers--those who make a difference in the lives of children. On the road over 250 days of the year, Dave offers programs for corporate groups, human services, and youth-at-risk. Dave's experience includes: Juvenile Hall Counselor, Youth Service Worker, Troy State University--human services studies, National Advisor--Missing Youth Foundation, Board of Directors--Foster Care ILP, and Certified Correctional Custody Program Facilitator.
Dave's unique and intriguing outlook on life, coupled with his "Robin Williams" like wit and sense of humor entertain and encourage men and women to overcome any obstacle while living life to its fullest. Dave is a living testament of resilience, faith in humanity, and personal responsibility. This is what makes him one of the most exceptional and unequaled entities of today. As an author, presenter, Samaritan and an individual who speaks on the greatness of America, Dave has dedicated his life helping others . . . to help themselves.
Dave's fifth book, 'The Privilege of Youth', was published in January 2004. ... more

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