On This Day

1502 in History

Events in History

  • Jan 1 Portuguese navigators discover Rio de Janeiro
  • Jan 20 The present-day location of Rio de Janeiro is first explored
  • Feb 12 Muslims in Granada forced to convert to Catholicism

DiscoveryVoyage of Discovery

Feb 12 Vasco da Gama sets sail from Lisbon, Portugal, on his second voyage to India

Explorer Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama
  • Feb 13 Nicolás de Ovando y Cáceres, new Governor of the Indies sets sail for the Indies with fleet of 30 ships, largest-ever fleet to the New World
  • Feb 25 Austrian emperor Maximilian I reformats government machine
  • Mar 11 Ismail I, founder of the Safavid dynasty, crowned Shah of Persia (rules till 1524)

DiscoveryHistoric Discovery

May 9 Christopher Columbus leaves Spain on his 4th and final trip to the New World

Explorer of the New World Christopher Columbus
Explorer of the New World
Christopher Columbus
  • May 11 Christopher Columbus begins 4th & last trip to the "Indies"
  • May 21 Portuguese explorer João Da Nova discovers St Helena
  • Jun 10 Crimean Khan defeats the Great Horde in battle near Worskla, leading to disintegration of the Great Horde
  • Jun 19 Emperor Maximilian I and England sign treaty of Antwerp
  • Sep 18 Christopher Columbus lands at Costa Rica on his 4th & last voyage
  • Oct 16 Storm ravages Friese coast
  • Oct 30 Vasco da Gama returns to Calicut, India for the second time.
  • Dec 31 Cesare Borgia (son of pope Alexander VI) occupies Urbino

Birthdays in History

Person of interestGregory XIII

Jan 7 Gregory XIII [Ugo Boncompagni], Italian pope (1572-85) who introduced the Gregorian (New Style) calendar in 1582, born in Bologna, Papal States (d. 1585)

  • Jan 10 Hendrik Niclaes, German mystic & founder of Christian sect "Familia Caritatis", born in Münster, Germany (d. 1570)
  • Feb 2 Damião de Góis, Portuguese philosopher (d. 1574)
  • Mar 20 Pierino Belli, Italian soldier and jurist (d. 1575)
  • Apr 25 Georg Major, German Protestant theologian, born in Nuremberg, Germany (d. 1574)
  • Jun 7 John III, King of Portugal and the Algarves (1521-57), born in the Palace of Alcáçova, Lisbon, Portugal (d. 1557)
  • Aug 4 Pieter Coecke van Aelst, Flemish painter and carpet designer
  • Sep 13 John Leland, English poet and antiquarian, born in London (d. 1552)

Weddings in History

  • Aug 8 Jacobus IV of Scotland marries Margaretha Tudor

Deaths in History

  • Feb 1 Olivier de la Marche, Flemish soldier & poet, dies at 77
  • Apr 2 Arthur, Prince of Wales, English crown prince, son of King Henry VII of England, 1st husband of Catherine of Aragon, dies from an unknown illness at 15
  • Apr 15 Jan IV of Chalon-Arnay, prince of Orange and lord of Arlay, dies at 59
  • May 6 James Tyrrell, alleged murderer of the Princes in the Tower (executed)
  • Jul 11 Francisco de Bobadilla, Spanish soldier and second Governor of the Indies (1499-1502), dies during a storm at sea (born about 1450)
  • Dec 23 Margaretha, English princess of Burgundy, dies at 57