Why Famous: Juan Ponce de León first arrived in the Caribbean with Columbus' 2nd voyage in 1493.
In 1502 he served under the new governor of Hispaniola, Nicolás de Ovando and was involved with the massacre of the local population of Taínos. Later he became the governor of the eastern part of Hispaniola.
In 1508 he founded the first European settlement in Puerto Rico, Camparra.
In 1513 with a royal contract he was the first known European to discover Florida, which he named. A popular myth asserts that another part of his exploration was a search for the 'fountain of youth'.
- 1508-08-08 Spaniard Juan Ponce de León founds Caparra the first European settlement in Puerto Rico
- 1513-03-27 Spaniard Juan Ponce de León and his expedition first sight Florida
- 1513-04-02 Explorer Juan Ponce de León claims Florida for Spain as the first known European to reach Florida