Brazil is one of the largest countries in the world with a population of over 192 million people. Brazil is famous for their excellent soccer teams and curvaceous women. For over 300 years, from the years 1500-1815 Brazil was a colony of Portugal, and it is for this reason the Brazilians speak Portuguese, unlike the rest of South America that speaks Spanish.
On this day April 23rd, in 1500, Pedro Ivares Cabral claims Brazil for Portugal. His upbringing isn’t well documented, but it’s known that he came from a lower noble family. As well, Cabral was incredibly tall – especially considering the time, standing at almost 6’ 3”.
Cabral was made commander and chief of a fleet of 13 ships sailing to India which left March 9, 1500. There were over 1500 men, 700 of which were soldiers. Aiming to sail around Africa, on April 21st, in 1500, his crew encountered seaweed. The day after Brazil was encountered, which Cabral called Monte Pascoal (Easter Mount) because it was Easter week. Cabral came into contact with the natives and lavished them with gifts. Cabral erected a massive cross, sent a fleet back to Portugal to give news of the discovery, and continued his route to India.