525 Years Ago Columbus Set Sail! Learn More About This Discovery with Us

Columbus set sail on his first voyage

Take a stroll down history lane with us to learn more about Christopher Columbus’s travels.  

Christopher Columbus (1451-1506) was an Italian explorer who sailed across the Atlantic Ocean in 1492, hoping to find a route to China, India, and the fabled gold and spice islands of Asia. From the Spanish port of Palos, he set sail in command of three ships—the Santa Maria, the Pinta, and the Nina—on August 3rd, 1492.  He quickly made port in the Canary Islands for a final restocking and left there on September 6.  

It was common at the time for the crews to give ships nicknames. La Santa Clara became la Niña (“the girl”); la Pinta became la Pintada (“the painted one,” in other words, “the prostitute”); and la Santa Gallega became Maria Galante (the name of another prostitute). The church censored these nicknames, but the way we remember them today borrows heavily from the crews’ vernacular!  

Christopher never did find that alternate route around the Muslims, but on Oct. 12, 1492, Columbus made landfall in what is today the Bahamas, and the course of history was changed forever. Although it’s long been known that other outsiders reached North America well before Columbus, his landfall remains the most significant, for good and ill. It opened up the sea-lanes to the first permanent back-and-forth traffic of Europeans, their armies, their priests, and their commerce. 

Something that not a lot of us pay attention to but is actually pivotal in ensuring his success, was that it was financed by Queen Isabella of Spain.  While Christopher was said to be Italian, the Spaniards are credited with making his voyages possible.   

As a side note, when I visited Seville (Sevilla), my tour guide told me that the Spaniards claim him as theirs.  That was the first time I had ever heard that premise.  But subsequent to my visit to Spain, a linguistic professor at Georgetown University in Washington published in 2009, findings following an exhaustive study of documents written in his hand. 

Estelle Irizarry studied his language and grammar and concluded that Columbus was a Catalan speaking man from the Kingdom of Aragon, an inland region of north-eastern Spain at the foot of the Pyrenees. 

The findings published in his book “The DNA of the writings of Columbus” explain that although he wrote in Castilian it was clearly not his first language and his origins can be pinpointed to the Aragon region  

Join us at The Maria Sanchez Show in learning more about the history of the U.S. and the people that have contributed to the success of our nation. Don’t forget to check out our latest program, Shadow Politics with Senator Michael D. Brown. Tune in on Sundays at 4:00 p.m. PDT/7:00 p.m. EDT. 

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