September 25, 1513: Conquistador Vasco Núñez de Balboa reaches the Pacific Ocean.
Before embarking on his expedition across the Isthmus of Panama, Balboa was the governor of Santa Maria de la Antigua, a colony he helped found in 1510. In September 1513, he led a large group of Spaniards and Indians to cross the dense and dangerous rainforests of Panama in order to reach the Pacific.
On September 25, Balboa and his party became the first Europeans to look upon this ocean, which he named Mar del Sur (“South Sea”), later to be renamed Mar Pacifico by Magellan. Upon sighting it, Balboa immediately claimed the ocean (and all lands touching it) to be the property of the Spanish empire.