Christopher Columbus

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Christopher Columbus was the first recorded explorer to discover North America.

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Who was Christopher Columbus?

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Christopher Columbus
Picture of Christopher Columbus
(Source: Library of Congress)
Christopher Columbus was born in 1451 in Genoa, Italy. He went to sea as a young boy, and spent most of his life at sea.

Columbus knew the world was round. He believed that by sailing west, instead of current route east around the coast of Africa, he would the East and the Spice Islands.

He moved to Portugal trying to get money to support his journey. He eventually got support from Ferdinand and Isabella, the king and queen of Spain.

Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria
Replicas of the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria
(Source: Library of Congress)
In 1492 Columbus set sail from Palos, Spain with three ships: the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria.

 

Why did he come to America?

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Christopher Columbus Map carved in Wood
Map carved in wood showing Islands Columbus named on his Journey
(Source: Library of Congress)
Columbus wasn't actually looking for America. He was looking for a shorter route to the far east. There he would find valuable silks and spices.

 

Where did he land?

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Columbus landing on island
Picture of Columbus landing on the shore of the Bahamas
(Source: Library of Congress)
Columbus actually landed on a small island in the Bahamas which Columbus named San Salvador.

Columbus thought he had landed on the Spice Islands near India. This is why he named the people he met Indians.

Columbus died in 1506 still believing that he had found a new route to the East Indies.

 

Books about Christopher Columbus

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  Books on Christopher Columbus

 

Links to other sites on Christopher Columbus

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For a daily history lesson see AccentHistory.net http://www.accenthistory.net
  http://www.nmm.ac.uk/ei/fact/
columbus.html

http://metalab.unc.edu/expo/
1492.exhibit/c-Columbus/columbus.html

 

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