Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Time Travel Tuesday: Christopher Columbus

Above is a painting of Christopher Columbus by Ridolfo Ghirlandaio

Here are some facts surrounding Christopher Columbus and his voyage to the Americas.

-Christopher Columbus was born in Italy in 1451.

-In 1492, after many years of trying to persuade them, Columbus was given permission, and some of the financing, to find a shorter trade route to India by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain.

-Columbus set out from Spain on August 3, 1492 with 90 crewmen and 3 ships: The Nina (officially named the Santa Clara, Nina was a nickname), the Pinta, and the Santa Maria.

-Land was spotted on October 12, 1492 and the ships landed on San Salvador Island in the Bahamas. During this first voyage, Columbus and his men also explored parts of Cuba and Hispaniola, as well as Haiti. The Santa Maria ran aground in Hispaniola on Christmas Day 1492 and had to be abandoned.

-Columbus left behind 39 men in a settlement he founded in Haiti, called La Navidad.

-Columbus returned to Spanish soil on March 15, 1493 and word of his discovery spread through Europe quickly. He was not the first to discover the Americas, but is credited with opening Europe's "eyes" to the "New World".

-Columbus made 3 more trips to the Americas (leaving Spain in September 1493, May 1498, and May 1502). He died in Spain in 1506 at the age of 55.

-Contrary to popular belief, Columbus never actually stepped on what is now North America or South America. In his 4 voyages to the Americas, he explored many of the Carribean Islands (Jamaica, Hispaniola, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Haiti) and some of the Central American shore (Panama, Nicaragua, Costa Rica).

Some books about Christopher Columbus:
-Christopher Columbus (Step Into Reading) by Stephen Krensky
-Follow the Dream: The Story of Christopher Columbus by Peter Sis
-Meet Christopher Columbus by James T. DeKay and John Edens

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