TITLE: Library of Congress Officially Received 1507 Waldseemuller World Map
SPEAKER: James H. Billington, Steny Hoyer, Angela Merkel
EVENT DATE: 04/30/2007
FORMAT: Video + Captions
RUNNING TIME: 36 minutes
TRANSCRIPT: View Transcript (link will open in a new window)
The 1507 world map by Martin Waldseemuller is often called "America's Birth Certificate," because it is the first document on which the name "America" appears. German Chancellor Angela Merkel officially transferred the map to the Library of Congress in April 2007. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer accepted the map on behalf of the U.S. government, and Merkel, Hoyer and Librarian of Congress James H. Billington delivered remarks at the ceremony. The Library of Congress had purchased the map for $10 million in 2003.
Speaker Biography: James Hadley Billington was sworn in as the Librarian of Congress on September 14, 1987. He is the 13th person to hold the position since the Library was established in 1800. For more information, visit www.loc.gov/about/welcome/bio/graphy.html
Speaker Biography: Congressman Steny H. Hoyer of Mechanicsville represents Maryland's Fifth Congressional District, which includes Calvert, Charles and St. Mary's counties and portions of Prince George's and Anne Arundel counties. Now serving as House Majority Leader, Congressman Hoyer is charged with managing the House Floor as well as scheduling legislation to be considered on the Floor. He also plays a key role in helping House Democrats determine their legislative agenda and political strategy, and building support for the Party's positions and delivering the Democratic message both in Washington and nationally. Prior to being elected Majority Leader, Congressman Hoyer served two terms as the Democratic Whip. Congressman Hoyer is now serving in his 14th term in the House of Representatives and is the longest-serving House Member from Southern Maryland in history, as well as the highest-ranking Member of Congress in Maryland history.
Speaker Biography: Germany's first woman chancellor, Angela Merkel, was born in Hamburg in 1954. In 1978 Merkel gained a physics doctorate and then worked as a chemist at a scientific academy in East Berlin. Merkel joined the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in 1990 - just two months before German reunification. Only a few months later she was minister for women and youth in Helmut Kohl's cabinet. In April 2000, Merkel was chosen to lead the CDU after a party slush fund scandal. In the summer of 2005 pundits regarded her as favorite over Gerhard Schroeder to become German chancellor in the September election. The election was incredibly close. Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) got 35.2% - just three seats more than Gerhard Schroeder's Social Democrats (SPD).