Monday, October 10, 2016

Happy Columbus Day

Happy Columbus Day. Here are a few things you may not have known about Columbus.

Christopher Columbus was born in 1451 in Genoa, Italy. He began sailing when he was only 15 years old.

When he set sail for the expedition, he was given three ships by the city of Palos.

He set sail in August of 1492. It was 35 days before a sailor spotted land.

The names of the three ships were the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria.

His crew consisted of 90 men.

The goal of the expedition was to chart a western sea route to India and China, as well as to the islands in Asia with spices and gold.

When Christopher Columbus landed in the Bahamas in 1492, he was the first European since the 10th century to have the opportunity to explore the Americas.

The Santa Maria did not make the return trip to Spain because it ran aground on Christmas Day. 40 men had to stay behind because there was no room on the other two ships. They stayed behind on the island Hispaniola.

Christopher Columbus made the voyage to the New World three times.

He died when he was 55, in 1506, only two years after his last trip to the New World.

Contrary to popular belief, it was not Columbus’ intent to prove the earth was round.  Most educated people of this time already believed that.  He was actually looking for a western route to Asia.

Amerigo Vespucci, for whom America is named, was the first person to realize the lands Columbus found were not part of Asia but of some entirely new land.

Columbus lobbied multiple European countries, seeking to find financial backing for his voyage.  Portugal, England and France refused him, believing his calculations were incorrect and hat the voyage would take considerably longer than Columbus was projections (they were right!).  After nearly a decade, he finally found success with the monarchs of Spain.

Most everyone knows that Columbus made his historic voyage utilizing three ships – the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria.  But did you know that only two of those ships returned to Spain.  On Christmas Day in 1492, the Santa Maria ran aground on a coral reef and had to be abandoned.  Because of this, there wasn’t room for all the crewmen to make the return voyage – 40 of them were left behind on the island of Hispaniola.  When Columbus returned the following Fall, none of those men were found alive.

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