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Christopher Columbus (1451-1506), the Italian navigator and explorer, landing in the New World. Believing that Asia could be reached by sailing westward, Columbus won the support of King Ferdinand & Queen Isabella of Spain and on August 3rd 1492 sailed from Palos with three ships, the Nina, the Pinta and his flagship the Santa Maria. On October 12th land was sighted, probably San Salvador Island, and within a few weeks he had reached Cuba & Haiti, returning to Spain in March 1493. He made three further voyages, again to the West Indies in 1493-96, and reaching mainland South America in 1498 and 1502-04. Painting by John Vanderlyn, 1847.
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