4th December, 1674 Marquette founded the first European settlement
19th November, 1875 was born Hiram Bingham
18th November, 1832 was born Nils Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld
14th November, 1963 the island Surtsey was founded
11th November, 1729 was born Louis Antoine comte de Bougainville
27th December, 1793 was born English traveler Alexander Laing
On the 27th of December, 1793 was born explorer Alexander Gordon Laing. This man became the first European who was able to visit closed to non-Muslims African city of Timbuktu. On the map you can see that the city is located in the heart of the continent in the north central part of Mali, at a distance of 13km from the Niger River.
In 1820 Laing served as adjutant of the governor-general of the British colonies in West Africa. During the first expedition in 1822 Laing identified and marked on the map source of the Niger, and also denied a misconception that it is connected to the river Nile.
During the second expedition in 1826 the traveler crossed the Sahara to reach Timbuktu. However, it had killed him. Finding out that the intruder is a Christian militant Tuareg beat him with sticks and plundered the baggage. But this was not all mishaps of Englishman on African soil. On the way back Lang was attacked by fanatics led by the leader of the tribe Zoute, who offered to buy his own life at the cost of conversion to Islam. The officer refused to comply with these conditions, declaring that he preferred death to apostasy, for which he was strangled by slaves, and his body was left in the desert sands. All maps and diaries were lost.This Day in History 27-12-2013