Why it Should be Celebrated
Who was Christopher Columbus?
- Christopher Columbus was an Italian sailor who had a quest to prove that one could sail west all of the way around the world to Asia.
- His trip was funded by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain.
- He arrived at the dawn of Oct 12, 1492, though he didn't land in Asia: he landed in the Carribean Sea, and he explored the islands for three months before returning to Spain.
- He went back three more times, and because he came to the Americas, he started the Columbian Exchange, an exchange of goods, people, life, and disease between the Old World and the New World. Without his arrival, the world would be very different.
- He died in 1506, still believing he had made it to Asia. Though he was harsh to the natives, and he wasn't the first to "discover" America, his arrival made America, and the rest of the world a different place.
- The holiday is celebrated on the second Monday of October because that was when he landed in America.
History of Christopher Columbus and his First Voyage
- August 1492: Set out of Spain on the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria with about 90 sailors on a quest to find Asia on a western route
- October 7: sailors catch sight of flocks of birds flying southwest. Changed rout to follow them.
- October 12 2pm: Lookout on Pinta spotted white cliffs in moonlight. The had reached land. Columbus thought he was in East Indies, but they were actually in the Caribbean sea.
- Columbus explored the West Indies for three months, discovering signs of gold and people which he thought were Indians. He returned to Spain.
- Because of his success, he was funded to go back on three more voyages.
- 1506: Columbus died, still convinced he had made it to Asia.