Hernando de Soto was at one time so popular in the USA that a car brand was named after him (DeSoto, made by the Chrysler corporation).
Spanish explorer and conquistador Hernando de Soto died on this day in 1542. He is best remembered for being the first European to explore the inland parts of what are now the USA and the first one who is documented to have crossed the Mississippi. All in all, he crossed thousands of kilometers.
De Soto’s exact path remains unknown, but it can be reasonably claimed that he visited the lands that are now part of the U.S. states of Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, and Arkansas. He probably also visited what is now Texas, and may have penetrated farther north, to what are now North Carolina and Tennessee. De Soto died on the banks of the Mississippi River, thousands of kilometers away from his birthplace in the Spanish province of Extremadura, and was given a burial in the river itself.
Hernando de Soto was at one time so popular in the USA that a car brand was named after him (DeSoto, made by the Chrysler corporation). A total of 2 million of these cars were produced from 1928 until 1961.