Today in Latin American History
Thor Heyerdahl and His Crew Traveled from Peru to Polynesia in 1947
Today in Latin American history, Thor Heyerdahl and five crew mates set out from Peru on the Kon-Tiki to prove that Peruvian natives could have settled Polynesia in 1947.
Heyerdahl and a small team went to Peru, where, with the help of dockyard facilities provided by the Peruvian authorities, they constructed the raft out of balsa logs and other native materials in an indigenous style as recorded in illustrations by Spanish conquistadores.
The trip began on April 28, 1947. Heyerdahl and five companions sailed the raft for 101 days over 6900 km (4,300 miles) across the Pacific Ocean before smashing into a reef at Raroia in the Tuamotu Islands on August 7, 1947. The crew made successful landfall and all returned safely.
Other events that occurred on this day:
- Today in LatAm history, pre-Columbian Mexican ruler and poet Nezahualcoyotl who led the Acolhua was born in 1402
- Today in LatAm history, American troops landed in the Dominican Republic to “forestall establishment of a Communist dictatorship” and to evacuate U.S. Army troops in 1965
- Today in LatAm history, Argentine footballer Diego Simeone who manages Atletico Madrid was born in 1970
- Today in LatAm history, Mexican footballer Francisco Palencia
who played for the National team & Cruz Azul was born in 1973