People, Aug. 18, 1958

While rubbernecking in Manhattan in his billowy red robes of office and a three-cornered black hat, the Lord Mayor of Bristol, England, Fitzroy Chamberlain, dropped an unlikely footnote to history. Historians, said he, are hopelessly unjust in attributing the name America to Italian Mapmaker and Merchant Amerigo Vespucci (1451-1512). The eponym in truth: a fine English lad named Richard Amerycke. In the Bristol view of history, Amerycke, a customs collector, saw to it that Italian Explorer John Cabot, who discovered Cape Breton Island in 1497 and claimed it for the British crown, received...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!