MANTEO, N.C. (AP) — The U.S. Ambassador to the Czech Republic will unveil a North Carolina highway historical marker honoring the first known Jewish person to arrive in the New World in 1585.
Ambassador Stephen King will unveil the marker honoring Joachim Gans Friday at the Fort Raleigh Historic Site in Manteo. Gans was an expert metallurgist in Prague who headed the first science center in the New World. The center was located on what’s now the grounds of the historic site.
He initially came to England to help the country get more copper from its ore and do it more efficiently. When Sir Walter Raleigh sent 108 people to the New World in 1585, he included Gans, whose presence reassured investors skeptical about the commercial prospects in North America.