Columbus Day Fun Facts
Christopher Columbus had a curiosity to explore. By sailing west, he strived to reach the rumored abundance of the East. Some thought he was crazy to believe the world was round. They thought the earth was flat and therefore it impossible to sail "around". But Columbus knew this theories were correct and was determined to discover the new land!
Then, on August 3, 1492, his dreams came true! The Queen of Spain supplied him the money to support his voyage. Columbus set sail from Palos, Spain, with three ships: The Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria.
On October 12, 1492, Columbus saw what he thought was an island of the Indies near Japan or China. The island, which Columbus called San Salvadore, was actually a tiny part of an unknown world.
Despite his hopeful efforts to locate Asia or Japan, he didn't reach the mainland on either of his first two voyages across the broad Atlantic. In the end, despite his great discoveries, Columbus was disappointed in his failure to bring Spain back the treasures of the Eastern Lands.
The first European explorer to realize the discovered lands were not part of Asia was Amerigo Vespucci, from whose name the word "America" derives.