Culture History

5 Lesser Known Facts About Christopher Columbus

Christopher Columbus's journey to discover the "New World" began in 1492. Learn 5 lesser known facts about him and his expeditions!

We all know that in 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue. But did you know these 5 fun facts?

1. He Made 4 Voyages in Total

Christopher Columbus is best known for his journey to the “New World” in 1492, however, he actually set sail on another three separate occasions after. The areas he traveled to included South America, Central America, and the Caribbean islands.

2. He Never Actually Stepped Foot in North America

One large misconception is that Columbus discovered North America, however, this is not true. His journey primarily focused on South America and its surrounding areas during his four expeditions. He did not “discover” America.

3. His Governorship Was Taken Away

Spanish Authorities became aware of the way Columbus and his men were treating the natives on their journeys. Spanish Governor Francisco de Bobadilla was disappointed in Columbus’s actions and responded by sending him home in shackles and stripping him of his Hispaniola governor title.

4. His Real Name Wasn’t Christopher Columbus

Columbus’s given name was Cristoforo Columbo at birth. There is a theory that the name Christopher Columbus originates from his fascination with a pirate named Colombo.

5. The Ship Names Nina and Pinta, Were Nicknames

Many ships in the 15th century were named after saints. Many sailors, however, did not follow this rule and sometimes created vulgar nicknames for their vessels or named them after other people. Columbus’s ship Santa Maria was the only one with an official name. 

1 comment

  1. Thank you for your honest and fair treatment of Columbus with respect to his brutal and inhumane treatment of the Taino – my foremothers and fathers- as well as his subsequent imprisonment on charges of crimes against humanity. Believe it or not, you are the first Ive come across so far on this blogsite to acknowledge these pertinent facts. As a mixed race black/french/amerindian, you can probably imagine my sentiments regarding Columbus are not exactly the most treasured and revered lol, however I can certainly recognize and appreciate the reasons and attributes which you – presumably as an Italian-American – are proud. Above all, I encourage peaceful and meaningful dialog so that we may all grow more knowledgeable of one another’s subculture which together form our great collective American culture. 🙂🙂🙂

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