On August 3, 1492, Italian explorer Christopher Columbus started his voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. He ventured off from Palos de la Frontera, Spain with a crew of 90 men and three ships—the Niña, Pinta, and Santa Maria. Columbus imagined that the world was round, so then he could sail west to reach “the east” (the lucrative lands of India and China). That reasoning was actually sound, but the Earth is much larger than Columbus thought—large enough for him to run into two enormous continents (the “New World” of the Americas) mostly unknown to Europeans.
Columbus made it to what is now the Bahamas in 61 days. Queen Isabella of Spain to fund Columbus’s first voyage, it read, “By these presents, we dispatch the noble man Christoforus Colón with three equipped caravels over the Ocean Seas toward the regions of India for certain reasons and purposes.”
Christopher Columbus landed on an island in the Bahamas he called San Salvador—though the people of the island called it Guanahani. From there, Columbus and his men traveled around the Caribbean for five months, taking particular interest in the islands of Juana (now Cuba) and Hispaniola (the Dominican Republic and Haiti).
If you are off today, enjoy your day!