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Interesting US History
A Website Devoted to Interesting Events in U.S. History





August 3, 1492

Christopher Columbus Departs Spain for the Indies

On this day in 1492, Christopher Columbus set sail for the East Indies in the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. After about 5 weeks of sailing, they spotted land, which turned out to be somewhere in what we now call the Bahamas. Despite evidence to the contrary, Columbus refused to believe that it was not part of the East Indies (Asian Continent) so he named the inhabitants Indios (Spanish for Indians). The name for the inhabitants stuck but the name of the continent itself (America) was named after Amerigo Vespucci who explored the new continent between 1497 and 1504 and realized that it was not part of Asia, but rather was a new continent previously unknown to Europeans.