Today in History: Christopher Columbus reaches the New World

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A Day In History: October 12th


On this day in 1492, Italian explorer Christopher Columbus discovered the New World. The Italian explorer first found a Bahamian island, thinking he had reached East Asia. That same day, his expedition went ashore and he claimed the land for Isabella and Ferdinand of Spain.

The pair sponsored Columbus' attempt to find a western ocean route that went to China, India and Asia. On August 3, 1392, Columbus set sail from Spain with three boats: the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria. He reached land on October 12, and later that month, he sighted Cuba, which he thought was mainland China.

He led four expeditions during his lifetime, and he discovered various Caribbean islands, the Gulf of Mexico and both South and Central American mainlands. With that being said, he never accomplished his original goal of finding a western ocean route that went to the cities of Asia.

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