Famous birthdays, deaths and events of 1497
- February 16 - Philipp Melanchthon, German humanist and reformer (d. 1560)
- February 6 - Johannes Ockeghem, Flemish composer (b. c. 1410)
- May 10 - Amerigo Vespucci allegedly leaves Cádiz for his first voyage to the New World.
- May 20 - John Cabot sets sail from Bristol, England, on his ship Matthew looking for a route to the west (other documents give a May 2 date).
- June 17 - Battle of Deptford Bridge
- June 24 - John Cabot lands on North America in Newfoundland; the first European exploration of the region since the Vikings.
- June 24 - Cornish traitors Michael An Gof and Thomas Flamank are executed at Tyburn, London.
- July 8 - Vasco da Gama sets sail on first direct European voyage to India.
- December 16 - Vasco da Gama rounds the Cape of Good Hope, the point where Bartolomeu Dias had previously turned back to Portugal.