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Throwback Thursday: Christopher Columbus discovers "New World"

Throwback Thursday: Christopher Columbus discovers "New World"

COLUMBIA, SC (WACH) – This week’s Throwback Thursday focuses on one of the most important events in American History.

Christopher Columbus landed in the “New World” on this day after sailing the Atlantic Ocean from Europe.

Columbus initially thought he had reached east Asia. He claimed the land for Isabella and Ferdinand of Spain, who sponsored his attempt to find a western ocean route to China, India and the fabled gold and spice islands of Asia, according to History.com.

Columbus met with King John II of Portugal and tried to persuade him to back his “Enterprise of the Indies.” He was rejected and went to Spain, where again he was rejected at least twice by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella.

However, after the Spanish conquest of the Moorish kingdom of Granada in January 1492, the Spanish monarchs, flush with victory, agreed to support his voyage.

Columbus reached land on October 12, which was probably Watling Island in the Bahamas. Later that month, Columbus sighted Cuba, which he though was mainland China, and in December the expedition landed on Hispaniola, which Columbus thought might be Japan.

He established a small colony there with 39 of his men. Columbus then returned to Spain with gold, spices and “Indian” captives in March of 1493 and was received with the highest honors by the Spanish court. He was the first European to explore the Americas since the Vikings set up colonies in Greenland and Newfoundland in the 10th century.

Columbus died in Spain in 1506 without realizing the great scope of what he did achieve: He had discovered for Europe the New World.

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